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Death in Paradise Season 2 (TV): John C Adams Reviews

Show name: Death in Paradise Season 2

Release date: 2013

Genre: Murder mystery

Starring: Ben Miller, Sara Martins, Gemma Jones, Kenneth Cranham

Created by: Robert Thorogood

Studio: BBC/France Televisions

Length: 60 minutes

Rating: 5/5

Richard Poole (Ben Miller) is our detective for season 2 of Death in Paradise, having come out to Saint Marie in the first season.

Saint Marie is a fictional Caribbean island that is inspired by Guadeloupe.

Richard is in charge of the police force, which has three other officers. Camille (Sara Martins) is the sergeant, Fidel (Gary Carr) and Dwayne (Danny John-Jules) the uniformed policemen.

France is the former colonial power, so the choice of a British detective to head the police force is a little odd and isn’t really explained.

In the opening episode of Death in Paradise season 2, ‘A Murder on the Plantation’, the elderly landowner Roger Seymour (James Cosmo) is murdered.

Everyone in the family, plus the plantation workers, are in the vicinity so narrowing down the list of suspects proves tricky.

On the one hand, the family are all in the house and have alibis. On the other, one of them must surely be the culprit.

There’s plenty of drama courtesy of Seymour’s personal life. His ex-wife (Stephanie Beacham) and nephew are pitted against his new, much younger girlfriend.

The news that Seymour was terminally ill with a brain tumour rocks the family, and the discovery that his girlfriend is the sole beneficiary of a recent will puts suspicion heavily upon her.

However, the Seymour plantation has a long history involving slavery and the ill-treatment of workers.

I loved this episode for addressing the evil of slavery, its presence in the Caribbean and its continuing legacy in terms of poor treatment of the workers within living memory.

An entirely different episode is ’A Deadly Curse’, where four explorers come to Saint Marie to look for the treasure supposedly left there by a badly injured pirate who was never seen again.

I love how Death in Paradise finds a different scenario each time.

Some are contemporary connections with the Caribbean, such as a wedding or an artist living on the island.

In this case, we’re taken back four hundred years. No one has ever found the gold, but Saint Marie receives a lot of tourism from people hoping to find it.

Richard is sceptical about whether the gold was ever there.

He finally comes to doubt whether the gold has anything to do with the string of murders that take place at the explorers’ camp.

As he says, you can’t see past the gold and the assumption that the killings must be about it.

You can see why!

There are so many reasons for people to visit Saint Marie, and Death in Paradise season 2 is particularly creative in showing us some of them.

In ‘A Stormy Occurrence’, a group of scientists have five different weather stations set up on the island, each of which must be monitored daily.

A storm is rolling in, although Richard confidently predicts that it won’t be like the 1987 storm in the UK.

From the wry looks on everyone’s faces, we know that a Saint Marie storm could easily turn into a hurricane and Richard is in for quite an experience.

Just before the hurricane hits, the body of one of the scientists (Leo, played by Mathew Horne) is found.

The lad was pretty unpopular for being shy and nerdy, which earns Richard’s sympathy. He also broke up with his girlfriend, who he stole from a colleague.

So there are plenty of suspects on the personal front.

These are soon joined by professional rivalries: he was about to expose corruption in his department and had challenged whether a colleague should have been credited above him in an academic paper.

There are eight episodes in season 2 of Death in Paradise.

Much of the focus remains on Richard, who must also solve the murder of a former colleague’s wife. He longs to return to the UK, having not settled in Saint Marie, but this is the closest he comes.

Thank you for reading my review.

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