Are you living in a “Castle” or want to make a “Killing?”

For this Mystery Monday, let’s talk about TV. You can’t turn on the TV without stumbling across some version of Law & Order. There are something like 147 new detective shows on each season; ok, that’s a bit much, but many new shows that come on every season are cop shows. One that just debuted last night on AMC is “The Killing.” I read a review in my local Sunday paper about it, and just the basic description of it made me want to watch it. Why? Two reasons. First,  the set up was that the lead detective, who’s a female, is on her last day of work in Seattle before moving to California when she’s handed this kidnapping case that turns into a homicide. I wanted to see how they would do that clichéd set-up (see the movie Seven for perhaps the greatest example of it) Second, another cliché is that Seattle is a dreary place that’s filled with gray days and murky nights. I wanted to see if The Killing would give Seattle the justice it deserves as a setting that has more to offer than rain.

After watching the two-hour premiere, I can tell you that I’m hooked. The reason? The same reason I like ABC’s Castle. Again, there’s two reasons. One, the characters. Although the characters in Castle are more jovial and, while they are chasing killers and other bad people, it seems that everything is alright in their lives, the characters in The Killing are hardened, like they have this shell around them and they will not let any emotion crack it (or any amount of rain penetrate it).  But while the characters of the two shows couldn’t be more different, the second reason I like both shows is for the way both shows illustrate how the police take the steps to solve their cases. Again, the two shows are diametrically different here. In Castle, no matter the amount of twists, the killer is caught and the case is wrapped up with a nice bow and given to us at the end of each hour.  With The Killing, the story behind the one case will take an entire season to tell. But unlike the CSI shows, these two illustrate good old-fashioned detective work, and both are great studies for us mystery and thriller writers to help us continually craft our work.

What about you? Are you a Castle fan? Are you going to keep watching The Killing for the entire season to find out who the killer is? To the keyboards!


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. Check out his novels at


2 Responses

  1. Castle is one of my favorite shows. A refreshing combination of mystery and comedy with a killer cast.
    I missed The Killers but it is on again on Thurs. night. Will check it out. Synopsis sounds great. Thanks for the heads-up.
    I enjoy your blogs.

    • Hey Fran! I like Castle as much for Castle’s family dynamic as the detective stories. Plus, Beckett ain’t too bad to look at :). I’m glad you’re going to check out The Killing. AMC’s website for show is awesome as well. Very inspirational stuff.

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