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Foreign TV Crime and Mysteries

This page contains an extensive list of foreign language crime and mystery television series and movies.  Though I am American, my appetite for these series and movies is insatiable and beyond an addiction level.  As compared to their American counterparts, these foreign language series and movies tend to rely less on glitz and gimmicks, and focus more on the investigation, procedure, sub-plots, and character development.  One key factor that enables this is the program length, which can range up to multiple hours per case or story.  Due to the sheer number, they are divided into some very rough categories, which are summarized below. 

  • Police DetectivesThe theme of this category concerns murder, and the main characters are one or more police detectives.

  • Private Detectives The theme of this category concerns private detectives that solve mysteries and cases which involve a crime or murder.

  • Citizen SleuthsThe theme of this category concerns private citizens who are sleuths that solve mysteries involving crime or murder.

  • ForensicsThe theme of this category concerns forensic experts that assist police detectives with murder investigations.

  • ProfilersThe theme of this category concerns profilers or criminal psychologists, and they assist the police with solving serial murders.

  • PolicingThe theme of this category is policing of crime, and uniformed police or non-murder detectives are the predominant characters.

  • LegalThe theme of this category concerns the legal aspect, the legal team, or the resulting trial of crimes including murder.

  • JournalistsThe theme of this category concerns journalists who investigate crime, murder, or political corruption.

  • Espionage, Terrorism & PoliticalThe theme of this category concerns espionage, terrorism, or political intrigue and scandal.

  • Heists & Organized CrimeThe theme of this category concerns heists, where thieves are the predominant characters, or organized crime.

  • General Mysteries & CrimeThe theme of this category is mystery or crime, and the predominant characters are generally not the police.

 

Repeat visitors can visit the Update History on the About page to see what was added by date.  The summaries and my comments about each series are dynamic, and might be updated over time, so a date is listed when each was updated.  

Police Detectives

The general theme of this particular collection concerns murder or serial murders, and the primary characters are police detectives.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

Dicte (TV Series 2013-2016)


Dicte is a Danish language television series from Danish television network TV2 Danmark. The series is based on novels by author Elsebeth Egholm. The primary character is Dicte Svendsen, who is a journalist and crime reporter. She helps the police solve crimes, both with and without their approval. Dicte is portrayed by Danish actress Iben Hjejle, and police detective John Wagner is portrayed by Danish actor Lars Brygmann. The series ran from 2013 to 2016, and there are a total of 15 independent stories or cases that run about 90 minutes each.
Dicte is a solidly entertaining series. The somewhat expected antagonistic relationship exists between Dicte and the police, but the lead detective does genuinely values her assistance in the end. One aspect that makes the series entertaining is the number of recurring characters, including her daughter, her ex-husband, two of her friends, and other reporters. If you enjoyed Dicte, consider trying the series Modus, and Rebecka Martinsson. If you like actor Lars Brygmann, consider the series Borgen.






Dicte (TV Series 2013-2016)


Dicte is a Danish language television series from Danish television network TV2 Danmark. The series is based on novels by author Elsebeth Egholm. The primary character is Dicte Svendsen, who is a journalist and crime reporter. She helps the police solve crimes, both with and without their approval. Dicte is portrayed by Danish actress Iben Hjejle, and police detective John Wagner is portrayed by Danish actor Lars Brygmann. The series ran from 2013 to 2016, and there are a total of 15 independent stories or cases that run about 90 minutes each.
Dicte is a solidly entertaining series. The somewhat expected antagonistic relationship exists between Dicte and the police, but the lead detective does genuinely values her assistance in the end. One aspect that makes the series entertaining is the number of recurring characters, including her daughter, her ex-husband, two of her friends, and other reporters. If you enjoyed Dicte, consider trying the series Modus, and Rebecka Martinsson. If you like actor Lars Brygmann, consider the series Borgen.






Citizen Sleuths

The general theme of this category concerns citizen sleuths that solve mysteries and cases generally involving crime or murder.  Some of these sleuths may operate cooperatively with the police, while others may have antagonistic relationships with the police.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

Before We Die (TV Series 2017-2019)


Before We Die is a Swedish language television series from television network SVT in Sweden. The title in Swedish is Innan vi Dör. The primary character is an police detective with the organized crime unit, who investigates a missing colleague and possible involvement with a motorcycle gang. The series ran from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with ten episodes that run about an hour each.
Without giving away any spoilers, the plot is completely over the top. But given that, there was good character development, and it was still somewhat entertaining. I’ve only seen the first season, and not planning on viewing the second season.




Black Spot (TV Series 2017-2019)


Black Spot is a French language television series from television network France 2 in France. The title in French is Zone Blanche, which actually translates into English as White Zone. It is reference to a dead spot where cellular networks do not function. The story follows a police Major Laurène Weiss, who is the sheriff of her remote hometown in wooded mountains. As the murder rate is high, a prosecutor is sent to the area to investigate why. The series ran from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with eight episodes that run about an hour each. This was a very different and entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Amazon Prime. It was unique as there is some dry humor interjected throughout, particularly with the public prosecutor’s character. If you enjoyed Black Spot, consider trying Trapped, The Invisible Guardian, or Monster.




Borderliner (TV Series 2017)


Borderliner is a Norwegian language television series from television network TV 2 in Norway. The title in Norwegian is Grenseland. The story concerns a police officer who returns to his home town to investigate a murder. Fans of the series The Last Kingdom will recognize lead actor Tobias Santelmann. The series ran in 2017, and there are a total of eight episodes that run about an hour each. This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. The biggest annoyance was that it was not renewed for a second season, so a major sub-plot was left unfinished. If you enjoyed Borderliner, consider trying The Invisible Guardian, or Monster.




Bordertown (TV Series 2016-2020)


Bordertown is a Finnish language television series from television network Yle TV1 in Finland. The title in Finnish is Sorjonen. The primary character is Kari Sorjonen, who is a national police detective. He moves his family to a rural part of Finland near the Russian border, wishing for a more quiet life. Instead, he becomes involved with some major cases in the area. Sorjonen is portrayed by Finnish actor Ville Virtanen. The series ran from 2016 to 2020, and there are a total of 31 episodes that run about an hour each. This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. I’ve seen the first season, and plan on watching the other seasons. One very minor aspect that I found somewhat annoying was the need to use fake computer screens with scrolling data, similar to American television. If you enjoyed Bordertown, consider trying The Break, Lava Field, or Dicte. If you like actor Kari Sorjonen, he has a role in the Swedish series Rebecka Martinsson.




The Break (TV Series 2016-2019)


The Break is a French language television series from television network La Une in Belgium. The title in French is La Trêve (“The Truce”). The primary character is Yoann Peeters, who is a police detective from Brussels, who transfers back to his hometown in the Ardennes. A death occurs, which appears to be a suicide to everyone else, but Peeters suspects it was murder. Peeters is portrayed by French actor Yoann Blanc. The series ran in 2016 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with a total of ten episodes that run about an hour each.
This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. I’ve seen the first season, and plan to watch the second season. The series has a subplot that includes a psychological element concerning Peeters, so it leaves you guessing until the conclusion. The cinematography and scenery of the Ardennes is outstanding. If you enjoyed The Break, and another series with a psychologically flawed character is Rebecka Martinsson




The Bridge (TV Series 2011-2018)


The Bridge is a combination Swedish and Danish language television series from television networks in Sweden and Denmark. The title in Danish is Broen, and the title in Swedish is Bron. The series begins with a dead body found on a bridge, half on the Sweden border and half on the Denmark border. A police detective duo from both countries is assigned to solve the murder. The primary characters are Saga Norén, who is the police detective from Sweden, and Martin Rohde, who is the police detective from Denmark in the first two series. Saga is portrayed by Swedish actress Sofia Helin, and Martin is portrayed by Danish actor Kim Bodnia. The series ran from 2005 to 2018, and there are four series. Each series contains an independent story, and is spread across ten episodes that run about an hour each. The Bridge is a solidly entertaining series, which I watched via Hulu. This series was remade into an American version, as well as combination British and French language version called The Tunnel. If you enjoyed The Bridge, some other series to consider include The Killing, Modus, Public Enemy, and Department Q.




Deadwind (TV Series 2018-2020+)


Deadwind is a Finnish language television series from television network Yle TV2 in Finalnd. The title in Finnish is Karppi, and named after the primary character Sofia Karppi, who is portrayed by Finnish actress Pihla Viitala. After the death of her husband, Karppi move to Helsinki. The series has run since 2018, and so far there are 20 episodes across two seasons. It was renewed for a third season. Deadwind was entertaining series, which I watched via Netflix. My biggest criticism was that it was too long and moved too slow.




Department Q (Theatrical Movies 2013-2016)


Department Q is a series of Danish language theatrical movies from Denmark. The movies follow two police detectives, Carl Mørck and Assad, who are from a cold case unit. There are three movies, Department Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes (Danish: Kvinden i buret) released in 2013, Department Q: The Absent One (Danish: Fasandræberne) released in 2014, and Department Q: A Conspiracy of Faith (Danish: Flaskepost fra P) released in 2016. Mørck is portrayed by Danish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Assad is portrayed by Danish actor Fares Fares. These are very entertaining and well produced movies, which I watched via Netflix. There is an appealing noir feel to them, including their office being in a dark basement. If you enjoyed Department Q, some other series to consider include The Bridge and Trapped.




The Disappearance (TV Mini-Series 2015)


The Disappearance is a French language television mini-series from French television network France 2. The title in French is Disparue. The two primary characters are police detectives Bertrand Molina and Camille Guerin, who investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Molina is portrayed by French actor Francois-Xavier Demaison and Guerin is portrayed by French actress Alice Pol. The mini-series ran in 2015, and there are a total of eight episodes that run about an hour each.
This was a highly entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Acorn TV. Every person involved has something to hide, and eventually becomes a suspect at some point. Some online reviews describe it as a French version of Broadchurch, which is a complimentary comparison, as I thoroughly enjoyed both. If you enjoyed The Disappearance, consider Spiral, Bordertown, or Rebecka Martinsson.




The Forest (TV Series 2017)


The Forest is a French language television series from French television network France 3. The title in French is La Forêt. The two primary characters are police officers Gaspard Decker and Virginie Musso. Decker is portrayed by actor Samuel Labarthe, and Musso is portrayed by actress Suzanne Clément. When a young girl disappears in the forest, the police begin to investigate, and commonalities with past incidents in the forest come to light. The series aired in 2017, and is spread across six episodes that run about an hour each.
This series was entertaining, but is a bit over the top. Without giving away any spoilers, Musso’s daughter previously went missing, but she is still allowed on the case.




The Frozen Dead (TV Series 2017)


The Frozen Dead is a French language television series from French television network M6. The title in French is Glacé. The two primary characters are police detective commander Martin Servaz and captain Irène Ziegler. Servaz is portrayed by French actor Charles Berling, and Ziegler is portrayed by French actress Julia Piaton. While investigating the decapitation of a prized horse of a wealthy businessman, at the scene is found the DNA of a convicted serial killer, who is in a psychiatric prison. The series ran in 2017, and runs about six hours.
This series contains an overused and over the top plot, so it is not one that I particularly enjoyed, but the cinematography and scenery were a saving grace. If you enjoyed The Frozen Dead, consider the series The Mantis, The Bridge, or The Killing.




The Invisible Guardian (TV Movies 2017-2019)


The Invisible Guardian is a Spanish language television movie from Spain. The title in Spanish is El Guardián Invisible. The primary character is Amaia Salazar, who is a police detective that is forced reluctantly to return to her hometown to investigate a murder. Salazar is portrayed by Spanish actress Marta Etura. The movie aired in 2017, and runs about two hours. There is a second movie titled Legado en Los Huesos (Legacy of the Bones), and a third movie titled Ofrenda a la Tormenta (Offering to he Storm). The was solidly entertaining movie, which I watched via Netflix. The detective’s hometown is rural and there are a number of local legends, so there is a minor supernatural element as a subplot. If you enjoyed the Invisible Guardian, another series to try with a slight supernatural element is the British mini-series Mayday.




The Killing (TV Series 2007-2012)


The Killing is a Danish language television series from television network DR1 in Denmark. The title in Danish is Forbrydelsen. The primary character is Sarah Lund, who is a police detective in Copenhagen. Each series concerns a single serial murder case. Lund is portrayed by Danish actress Sofie Gråbøl. The series ran from 2007 to 2012, and there were three series, each with an independent story.
This was solidly entertaining. The series was remade to an English language version in the USA by the AMC network. If you like actress Sofie Gråbøl, she has a role in the British series Fortitude.





Forensics

The general theme of this category concerns forensic experts that are the predominant characters of murder investigations, and may have antagonistic relationships with the police.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

The Simple Heist (TV Series 2017-2019)


The Simple Heist is a Swedish language television series from Sweden. The title in Swedish is Enkelstöten. The story concerns two female friends nearing retirement, who are down on their luck monetarily, and decide to rob a bank. The series aired from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, and each consists of six episodes that run about an hour each.
This was a series that I viewed via Acorn TV. It is a light hearted and entertaining series,. There are comedic elements and situations throughout, and my only criticism would be that there are some parts which were slow moving. The second series was dull and slow moving, so I did not even finish it. If you enjoyed The Simple Heist, consider the series Dicte.





Profilers

The general theme of this particular category concerns a profiler or criminal psychologist, who assists the police with solving serial murders.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

The Simple Heist (TV Series 2017-2019)


The Simple Heist is a Swedish language television series from Sweden. The title in Swedish is Enkelstöten. The story concerns two female friends nearing retirement, who are down on their luck monetarily, and decide to rob a bank. The series aired from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, and each consists of six episodes that run about an hour each.
This was a series that I viewed via Acorn TV. It is a light hearted and entertaining series,. There are comedic elements and situations throughout, and my only criticism would be that there are some parts which were slow moving. The second series was dull and slow moving, so I did not even finish it. If you enjoyed The Simple Heist, consider the series Dicte.





Legal

 

The general theme of this category concerns the legal aspect, where the primary characters are lawyers or judges, and the resulting trial of crimes including murder.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

Case (TV Series 2015)


Case is an Icelandic language television series from Icelandic television network Stöð 2. The series is called Réttur in Iceland, and was re-titled Case in English language markets. The story concerns Logi Traustason, who is a down and out attorney. When a young girl is found hung to death in a ballet theater, he gets involved in investigating her death. Logi is portrayed by actor Magnús Jónsson, and the police detective is portrayed by Icelandic actress Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir. The series aired in 2015, and there are ten episodes that run about an hour each.
This series was unique and entertaining, which I viewed via Netflix. The series is definitely not for everyone due to extreme graphic content, including drug use and nudity. As might be expected from the basic plot summaries, the down and out attorney realizes that this case might be his one shot at some type of redemption. If you enjoyed Case, some other Icelandic series to consider include Lava Field and Trapped. If you like actress Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, consider the series Trapped.





Before We Die (TV Series 2017-2019)


Before We Die is a Swedish language television series from television network SVT in Sweden. The title in Swedish is Innan vi Dör. The primary character is an police detective with the organized crime unit, who investigates a missing colleague and possible involvement with a motorcycle gang. The series ran from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with ten episodes that run about an hour each.
Without giving away any spoilers, the plot is completely over the top. But given that, there was good character development, and it was still somewhat entertaining. I’ve only seen the first season, and not planning on viewing the second season.




Black Spot (TV Series 2017-2019)


Black Spot is a French language television series from television network France 2 in France. The title in French is Zone Blanche, which actually translates into English as White Zone. It is reference to a dead spot where cellular networks do not function. The story follows a police Major Laurène Weiss, who is the sheriff of her remote hometown in wooded mountains. As the murder rate is high, a prosecutor is sent to the area to investigate why. The series ran from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with eight episodes that run about an hour each. This was a very different and entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Amazon Prime. It was unique as there is some dry humor interjected throughout, particularly with the public prosecutor’s character. If you enjoyed Black Spot, consider trying Trapped, The Invisible Guardian, or Monster.




Borderliner (TV Series 2017)


Borderliner is a Norwegian language television series from television network TV 2 in Norway. The title in Norwegian is Grenseland. The story concerns a police officer who returns to his home town to investigate a murder. Fans of the series The Last Kingdom will recognize lead actor Tobias Santelmann. The series ran in 2017, and there are a total of eight episodes that run about an hour each. This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. The biggest annoyance was that it was not renewed for a second season, so a major sub-plot was left unfinished. If you enjoyed Borderliner, consider trying The Invisible Guardian, or Monster.




Bordertown (TV Series 2016-2020)


Bordertown is a Finnish language television series from television network Yle TV1 in Finland. The title in Finnish is Sorjonen. The primary character is Kari Sorjonen, who is a national police detective. He moves his family to a rural part of Finland near the Russian border, wishing for a more quiet life. Instead, he becomes involved with some major cases in the area. Sorjonen is portrayed by Finnish actor Ville Virtanen. The series ran from 2016 to 2020, and there are a total of 31 episodes that run about an hour each. This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. I’ve seen the first season, and plan on watching the other seasons. One very minor aspect that I found somewhat annoying was the need to use fake computer screens with scrolling data, similar to American television. If you enjoyed Bordertown, consider trying The Break, Lava Field, or Dicte. If you like actor Kari Sorjonen, he has a role in the Swedish series Rebecka Martinsson.




The Break (TV Series 2016-2019)


The Break is a French language television series from television network La Une in Belgium. The title in French is La Trêve (“The Truce”). The primary character is Yoann Peeters, who is a police detective from Brussels, who transfers back to his hometown in the Ardennes. A death occurs, which appears to be a suicide to everyone else, but Peeters suspects it was murder. Peeters is portrayed by French actor Yoann Blanc. The series ran in 2016 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with a total of ten episodes that run about an hour each.
This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. I’ve seen the first season, and plan to watch the second season. The series has a subplot that includes a psychological element concerning Peeters, so it leaves you guessing until the conclusion. The cinematography and scenery of the Ardennes is outstanding. If you enjoyed The Break, and another series with a psychologically flawed character is Rebecka Martinsson




The Bridge (TV Series 2011-2018)


The Bridge is a combination Swedish and Danish language television series from television networks in Sweden and Denmark. The title in Danish is Broen, and the title in Swedish is Bron. The series begins with a dead body found on a bridge, half on the Sweden border and half on the Denmark border. A police detective duo from both countries is assigned to solve the murder. The primary characters are Saga Norén, who is the police detective from Sweden, and Martin Rohde, who is the police detective from Denmark in the first two series. Saga is portrayed by Swedish actress Sofia Helin, and Martin is portrayed by Danish actor Kim Bodnia. The series ran from 2005 to 2018, and there are four series. Each series contains an independent story, and is spread across ten episodes that run about an hour each. The Bridge is a solidly entertaining series, which I watched via Hulu. This series was remade into an American version, as well as combination British and French language version called The Tunnel. If you enjoyed The Bridge, some other series to consider include The Killing, Modus, Public Enemy, and Department Q.




Deadwind (TV Series 2018-2020+)


Deadwind is a Finnish language television series from television network Yle TV2 in Finalnd. The title in Finnish is Karppi, and named after the primary character Sofia Karppi, who is portrayed by Finnish actress Pihla Viitala. After the death of her husband, Karppi move to Helsinki. The series has run since 2018, and so far there are 20 episodes across two seasons. It was renewed for a third season. Deadwind was entertaining series, which I watched via Netflix. My biggest criticism was that it was too long and moved too slow.




Department Q (Theatrical Movies 2013-2016)


Department Q is a series of Danish language theatrical movies from Denmark. The movies follow two police detectives, Carl Mørck and Assad, who are from a cold case unit. There are three movies, Department Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes (Danish: Kvinden i buret) released in 2013, Department Q: The Absent One (Danish: Fasandræberne) released in 2014, and Department Q: A Conspiracy of Faith (Danish: Flaskepost fra P) released in 2016. Mørck is portrayed by Danish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Assad is portrayed by Danish actor Fares Fares. These are very entertaining and well produced movies, which I watched via Netflix. There is an appealing noir feel to them, including their office being in a dark basement. If you enjoyed Department Q, some other series to consider include The Bridge and Trapped.




The Disappearance (TV Mini-Series 2015)


The Disappearance is a French language television mini-series from French television network France 2. The title in French is Disparue. The two primary characters are police detectives Bertrand Molina and Camille Guerin, who investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Molina is portrayed by French actor Francois-Xavier Demaison and Guerin is portrayed by French actress Alice Pol. The mini-series ran in 2015, and there are a total of eight episodes that run about an hour each.
This was a highly entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Acorn TV. Every person involved has something to hide, and eventually becomes a suspect at some point. Some online reviews describe it as a French version of Broadchurch, which is a complimentary comparison, as I thoroughly enjoyed both. If you enjoyed The Disappearance, consider Spiral, Bordertown, or Rebecka Martinsson.




The Forest (TV Series 2017)


The Forest is a French language television series from French television network France 3. The title in French is La Forêt. The two primary characters are police officers Gaspard Decker and Virginie Musso. Decker is portrayed by actor Samuel Labarthe, and Musso is portrayed by actress Suzanne Clément. When a young girl disappears in the forest, the police begin to investigate, and commonalities with past incidents in the forest come to light. The series aired in 2017, and is spread across six episodes that run about an hour each.
This series was entertaining, but is a bit over the top. Without giving away any spoilers, Musso’s daughter previously went missing, but she is still allowed on the case.




The Frozen Dead (TV Series 2017)


The Frozen Dead is a French language television series from French television network M6. The title in French is Glacé. The two primary characters are police detective commander Martin Servaz and captain Irène Ziegler. Servaz is portrayed by French actor Charles Berling, and Ziegler is portrayed by French actress Julia Piaton. While investigating the decapitation of a prized horse of a wealthy businessman, at the scene is found the DNA of a convicted serial killer, who is in a psychiatric prison. The series ran in 2017, and runs about six hours.
This series contains an overused and over the top plot, so it is not one that I particularly enjoyed, but the cinematography and scenery were a saving grace. If you enjoyed The Frozen Dead, consider the series The Mantis, The Bridge, or The Killing.




The Invisible Guardian (TV Movies 2017-2019)


The Invisible Guardian is a Spanish language television movie from Spain. The title in Spanish is El Guardián Invisible. The primary character is Amaia Salazar, who is a police detective that is forced reluctantly to return to her hometown to investigate a murder. Salazar is portrayed by Spanish actress Marta Etura. The movie aired in 2017, and runs about two hours. There is a second movie titled Legado en Los Huesos (Legacy of the Bones), and a third movie titled Ofrenda a la Tormenta (Offering to he Storm). The was solidly entertaining movie, which I watched via Netflix. The detective’s hometown is rural and there are a number of local legends, so there is a minor supernatural element as a subplot. If you enjoyed the Invisible Guardian, another series to try with a slight supernatural element is the British mini-series Mayday.




The Killing (TV Series 2007-2012)


The Killing is a Danish language television series from television network DR1 in Denmark. The title in Danish is Forbrydelsen. The primary character is Sarah Lund, who is a police detective in Copenhagen. Each series concerns a single serial murder case. Lund is portrayed by Danish actress Sofie Gråbøl. The series ran from 2007 to 2012, and there were three series, each with an independent story.
This was solidly entertaining. The series was remade to an English language version in the USA by the AMC network. If you like actress Sofie Gråbøl, she has a role in the British series Fortitude.





Journalists

The general theme of this category concerns journalists as the primary characters, and they investigate crime, murder, or political corruption.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

Dicte (TV Series 2013-2016)


Dicte is a Danish language television series from Danish television network TV2 Danmark. The series is based on novels by author Elsebeth Egholm. The primary character is Dicte Svendsen, who is a journalist and crime reporter. She helps the police solve crimes, both with and without their approval. Dicte is portrayed by Danish actress Iben Hjejle, and police detective John Wagner is portrayed by Danish actor Lars Brygmann. The series ran from 2013 to 2016, and there are a total of 15 independent stories or cases that run about 90 minutes each.
Dicte is a solidly entertaining series. The somewhat expected antagonistic relationship exists between Dicte and the police, but the lead detective does genuinely values her assistance in the end. One aspect that makes the series entertaining is the number of recurring characters, including her daughter, her ex-husband, two of her friends, and other reporters. If you enjoyed Dicte, consider trying the series Modus, and Rebecka Martinsson. If you like actor Lars Brygmann, consider the series Borgen.






No Second Chance (TV Mini-Series 2015)


No Second Chance is French language television mini-series from French television network TF1. The title in French is Une Chance de Trop. The story was adapted from a novel by Harlan Coben. The main character is Alice Lambert, a mother, who is attacked along the River Seine. When she wakes up in a hospital after the attack, she determines that her child is missing. Lambert is portrayed by French actress Alexandra Lamy. The mini-series aired in 2015, and there are a total of six episodes that run about an hour each. This was a solid drama and thriller, which I watched via Netflix. Some of the components of the plot are definitely over the top, and bear some similarity with American thrillers, but this was still entertaining to watch. There is some great cinematography of the city of Paris throughout the series. If you enjoyed No Second Chance, consider trying The Bridge, The Disappearance, or Department Q.





Espionage, Terrorism & Political

The general theme of this category concerns espionage, terrorism, or political corruption and scandal.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

Before We Die (TV Series 2017-2019)


Before We Die is a Swedish language television series from television network SVT in Sweden. The title in Swedish is Innan vi Dör. The primary character is an police detective with the organized crime unit, who investigates a missing colleague and possible involvement with a motorcycle gang. The series ran from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with ten episodes that run about an hour each.
Without giving away any spoilers, the plot is completely over the top. But given that, there was good character development, and it was still somewhat entertaining. I’ve only seen the first season, and not planning on viewing the second season.




Black Spot (TV Series 2017-2019)


Black Spot is a French language television series from television network France 2 in France. The title in French is Zone Blanche, which actually translates into English as White Zone. It is reference to a dead spot where cellular networks do not function. The story follows a police Major Laurène Weiss, who is the sheriff of her remote hometown in wooded mountains. As the murder rate is high, a prosecutor is sent to the area to investigate why. The series ran from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with eight episodes that run about an hour each. This was a very different and entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Amazon Prime. It was unique as there is some dry humor interjected throughout, particularly with the public prosecutor’s character. If you enjoyed Black Spot, consider trying Trapped, The Invisible Guardian, or Monster.




Borderliner (TV Series 2017)


Borderliner is a Norwegian language television series from television network TV 2 in Norway. The title in Norwegian is Grenseland. The story concerns a police officer who returns to his home town to investigate a murder. Fans of the series The Last Kingdom will recognize lead actor Tobias Santelmann. The series ran in 2017, and there are a total of eight episodes that run about an hour each. This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. The biggest annoyance was that it was not renewed for a second season, so a major sub-plot was left unfinished. If you enjoyed Borderliner, consider trying The Invisible Guardian, or Monster.




Bordertown (TV Series 2016-2020)


Bordertown is a Finnish language television series from television network Yle TV1 in Finland. The title in Finnish is Sorjonen. The primary character is Kari Sorjonen, who is a national police detective. He moves his family to a rural part of Finland near the Russian border, wishing for a more quiet life. Instead, he becomes involved with some major cases in the area. Sorjonen is portrayed by Finnish actor Ville Virtanen. The series ran from 2016 to 2020, and there are a total of 31 episodes that run about an hour each. This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. I’ve seen the first season, and plan on watching the other seasons. One very minor aspect that I found somewhat annoying was the need to use fake computer screens with scrolling data, similar to American television. If you enjoyed Bordertown, consider trying The Break, Lava Field, or Dicte. If you like actor Kari Sorjonen, he has a role in the Swedish series Rebecka Martinsson.




The Break (TV Series 2016-2019)


The Break is a French language television series from television network La Une in Belgium. The title in French is La Trêve (“The Truce”). The primary character is Yoann Peeters, who is a police detective from Brussels, who transfers back to his hometown in the Ardennes. A death occurs, which appears to be a suicide to everyone else, but Peeters suspects it was murder. Peeters is portrayed by French actor Yoann Blanc. The series ran in 2016 to 2019, and there are two seasons, each with a total of ten episodes that run about an hour each.
This was an entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Netflix. I’ve seen the first season, and plan to watch the second season. The series has a subplot that includes a psychological element concerning Peeters, so it leaves you guessing until the conclusion. The cinematography and scenery of the Ardennes is outstanding. If you enjoyed The Break, and another series with a psychologically flawed character is Rebecka Martinsson




The Bridge (TV Series 2011-2018)


The Bridge is a combination Swedish and Danish language television series from television networks in Sweden and Denmark. The title in Danish is Broen, and the title in Swedish is Bron. The series begins with a dead body found on a bridge, half on the Sweden border and half on the Denmark border. A police detective duo from both countries is assigned to solve the murder. The primary characters are Saga Norén, who is the police detective from Sweden, and Martin Rohde, who is the police detective from Denmark in the first two series. Saga is portrayed by Swedish actress Sofia Helin, and Martin is portrayed by Danish actor Kim Bodnia. The series ran from 2005 to 2018, and there are four series. Each series contains an independent story, and is spread across ten episodes that run about an hour each. The Bridge is a solidly entertaining series, which I watched via Hulu. This series was remade into an American version, as well as combination British and French language version called The Tunnel. If you enjoyed The Bridge, some other series to consider include The Killing, Modus, Public Enemy, and Department Q.




Deadwind (TV Series 2018-2020+)


Deadwind is a Finnish language television series from television network Yle TV2 in Finalnd. The title in Finnish is Karppi, and named after the primary character Sofia Karppi, who is portrayed by Finnish actress Pihla Viitala. After the death of her husband, Karppi move to Helsinki. The series has run since 2018, and so far there are 20 episodes across two seasons. It was renewed for a third season. Deadwind was entertaining series, which I watched via Netflix. My biggest criticism was that it was too long and moved too slow.




Department Q (Theatrical Movies 2013-2016)


Department Q is a series of Danish language theatrical movies from Denmark. The movies follow two police detectives, Carl Mørck and Assad, who are from a cold case unit. There are three movies, Department Q: The Keeper of Lost Causes (Danish: Kvinden i buret) released in 2013, Department Q: The Absent One (Danish: Fasandræberne) released in 2014, and Department Q: A Conspiracy of Faith (Danish: Flaskepost fra P) released in 2016. Mørck is portrayed by Danish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Assad is portrayed by Danish actor Fares Fares. These are very entertaining and well produced movies, which I watched via Netflix. There is an appealing noir feel to them, including their office being in a dark basement. If you enjoyed Department Q, some other series to consider include The Bridge and Trapped.




The Disappearance (TV Mini-Series 2015)


The Disappearance is a French language television mini-series from French television network France 2. The title in French is Disparue. The two primary characters are police detectives Bertrand Molina and Camille Guerin, who investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Molina is portrayed by French actor Francois-Xavier Demaison and Guerin is portrayed by French actress Alice Pol. The mini-series ran in 2015, and there are a total of eight episodes that run about an hour each.
This was a highly entertaining police procedural, which I watched via Acorn TV. Every person involved has something to hide, and eventually becomes a suspect at some point. Some online reviews describe it as a French version of Broadchurch, which is a complimentary comparison, as I thoroughly enjoyed both. If you enjoyed The Disappearance, consider Spiral, Bordertown, or Rebecka Martinsson.




The Forest (TV Series 2017)


The Forest is a French language television series from French television network France 3. The title in French is La Forêt. The two primary characters are police officers Gaspard Decker and Virginie Musso. Decker is portrayed by actor Samuel Labarthe, and Musso is portrayed by actress Suzanne Clément. When a young girl disappears in the forest, the police begin to investigate, and commonalities with past incidents in the forest come to light. The series aired in 2017, and is spread across six episodes that run about an hour each.
This series was entertaining, but is a bit over the top. Without giving away any spoilers, Musso’s daughter previously went missing, but she is still allowed on the case.




The Frozen Dead (TV Series 2017)


The Frozen Dead is a French language television series from French television network M6. The title in French is Glacé. The two primary characters are police detective commander Martin Servaz and captain Irène Ziegler. Servaz is portrayed by French actor Charles Berling, and Ziegler is portrayed by French actress Julia Piaton. While investigating the decapitation of a prized horse of a wealthy businessman, at the scene is found the DNA of a convicted serial killer, who is in a psychiatric prison. The series ran in 2017, and runs about six hours.
This series contains an overused and over the top plot, so it is not one that I particularly enjoyed, but the cinematography and scenery were a saving grace. If you enjoyed The Frozen Dead, consider the series The Mantis, The Bridge, or The Killing.




The Invisible Guardian (TV Movies 2017-2019)


The Invisible Guardian is a Spanish language television movie from Spain. The title in Spanish is El Guardián Invisible. The primary character is Amaia Salazar, who is a police detective that is forced reluctantly to return to her hometown to investigate a murder. Salazar is portrayed by Spanish actress Marta Etura. The movie aired in 2017, and runs about two hours. There is a second movie titled Legado en Los Huesos (Legacy of the Bones), and a third movie titled Ofrenda a la Tormenta (Offering to he Storm). The was solidly entertaining movie, which I watched via Netflix. The detective’s hometown is rural and there are a number of local legends, so there is a minor supernatural element as a subplot. If you enjoyed the Invisible Guardian, another series to try with a slight supernatural element is the British mini-series Mayday.




The Killing (TV Series 2007-2012)


The Killing is a Danish language television series from television network DR1 in Denmark. The title in Danish is Forbrydelsen. The primary character is Sarah Lund, who is a police detective in Copenhagen. Each series concerns a single serial murder case. Lund is portrayed by Danish actress Sofie Gråbøl. The series ran from 2007 to 2012, and there were three series, each with an independent story.
This was solidly entertaining. The series was remade to an English language version in the USA by the AMC network. If you like actress Sofie Gråbøl, she has a role in the British series Fortitude.





Heists & Organized Crime

The general theme of this category concerns heists where thieves and grifters are the predominant characters, or organized crime where gangsters or hitmen are the predominant characters.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

No Second Chance (TV Mini-Series 2015)


No Second Chance is French language television mini-series from French television network TF1. The title in French is Une Chance de Trop. The story was adapted from a novel by Harlan Coben. The main character is Alice Lambert, a mother, who is attacked along the River Seine. When she wakes up in a hospital after the attack, she determines that her child is missing. Lambert is portrayed by French actress Alexandra Lamy. The mini-series aired in 2015, and there are a total of six episodes that run about an hour each. This was a solid drama and thriller, which I watched via Netflix. Some of the components of the plot are definitely over the top, and bear some similarity with American thrillers, but this was still entertaining to watch. There is some great cinematography of the city of Paris throughout the series. If you enjoyed No Second Chance, consider trying The Bridge, The Disappearance, or Department Q.





The Simple Heist (TV Series 2017-2019)


The Simple Heist is a Swedish language television series from Sweden. The title in Swedish is Enkelstöten. The story concerns two female friends nearing retirement, who are down on their luck monetarily, and decide to rob a bank. The series aired from 2017 to 2019, and there are two seasons, and each consists of six episodes that run about an hour each.
This was a series that I viewed via Acorn TV. It is a light hearted and entertaining series,. There are comedic elements and situations throughout, and my only criticism would be that there are some parts which were slow moving. The second series was dull and slow moving, so I did not even finish it. If you enjoyed The Simple Heist, consider the series Dicte.





General Mysteries & Crime

The general theme of this category concerns general mysteries or crime, and the predominant characters are generally not the police. The themes of these series and movies do not readily fit into the other categories, so this is simply a catch-all category.  Click on each toggle to expand it and show further details.

Dicte (TV Series 2013-2016)


Dicte is a Danish language television series from Danish television network TV2 Danmark. The series is based on novels by author Elsebeth Egholm. The primary character is Dicte Svendsen, who is a journalist and crime reporter. She helps the police solve crimes, both with and without their approval. Dicte is portrayed by Danish actress Iben Hjejle, and police detective John Wagner is portrayed by Danish actor Lars Brygmann. The series ran from 2013 to 2016, and there are a total of 15 independent stories or cases that run about 90 minutes each.
Dicte is a solidly entertaining series. The somewhat expected antagonistic relationship exists between Dicte and the police, but the lead detective does genuinely values her assistance in the end. One aspect that makes the series entertaining is the number of recurring characters, including her daughter, her ex-husband, two of her friends, and other reporters. If you enjoyed Dicte, consider trying the series Modus, and Rebecka Martinsson. If you like actor Lars Brygmann, consider the series Borgen.






No Second Chance (TV Mini-Series 2015)


No Second Chance is French language television mini-series from French television network TF1. The title in French is Une Chance de Trop. The story was adapted from a novel by Harlan Coben. The main character is Alice Lambert, a mother, who is attacked along the River Seine. When she wakes up in a hospital after the attack, she determines that her child is missing. Lambert is portrayed by French actress Alexandra Lamy. The mini-series aired in 2015, and there are a total of six episodes that run about an hour each. This was a solid drama and thriller, which I watched via Netflix. Some of the components of the plot are definitely over the top, and bear some similarity with American thrillers, but this was still entertaining to watch. There is some great cinematography of the city of Paris throughout the series. If you enjoyed No Second Chance, consider trying The Bridge, The Disappearance, or Department Q.





      

    

    

 

© Copyright  -  Timothy J. Barron  -  This page was updated September 6, 2021