The Truth Will Out is a Swedish series in the vein of, “a team of misfits are thrown together to solve crimes”. If you are a fan of Jussi Adler Olsen’s Department Q novels, you will see some definite similarities. The success of a “motley crew” series depends on the chemistry of the group, and The Truth Will Out, available only on Acorn TV, doesn’t disappoint.
The Bait and Switch
The lead character, Peter Wendel, is a taciturn detective who is returning to the force after a mental breakdown triggered by the apparent suicide of his brother. Much to his dismay, he is relegated to the virtual basement to go through cold cases. He is told he will have his own team, at which he brightens, thinking he will get to hand pick the best of the force to join him. Instead, he is assigned a group of bottom-of-the-barrel detectives. One is a drunk who may have stolen money from a crime scene, one is a decent detective but is transitioning off the force into real estate, and the other is my favorite-a blowsy older woman who is an administrative assistant, not a cop, but whose insights are crucial to solving the case. Turns out the realtor detective ratted out the drunk detective to Internal Affairs, so they can’t stand each other. The dynamics here are fun, and there is a lot of grumpy humor, which I love.
A Typical Nordic Noir Crime
The case itself kicks off when the police get a tip that Sweden’s most notorious serial killer is a fraud, and although that tip is being investigated by the original team that put the serial killer away, Peter’s supervisor asks him to secretly look into it also. Obviously, this arrangement creates conflict within the police force, as our team starts to suspect that the original investigators rushed the case in order to get a conviction and ease the public’s mind. Another complication is that Peter’s ex-wife works for one of the government ministers who firmly stands by the original conviction. As the team gets closer to the truth, Peter’s breakdown is used against him both privately and publicly.
The Truth Will Out is a delight
I really enjoyed The Truth Will Out, with two caveats. 1. The first episode is S-L-O-W, but I’m happy I stuck with it. Once the team is together, the show becomes gripping. 2. Poor Peter gets bombarded with “You’re unstable”, and “You’re imagining things,” from friends and enemies alike, which gets annoying. That said, it’s a solid procedural, and there is a nice long arc for each character that sets us up for season 2.
Fun fact: Robert Gustafsson, who plays the gloomy Peter Wendel, is actually a very popular comedic actor in Sweden.