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"The Truth Will Out": Brilliant, Intriguing Swedish Serial-Thriller

Lyndon Henry is a writer, editor, and journalist. He also enjoys viewing international TV series.

Detective Peter Wendel (Robert Gustafsson) and Officer Barbro Svensson (la Langhammer) tackle a serial murder case and political intrigue.

Detective Peter Wendel (Robert Gustafsson) and Officer Barbro Svensson (la Langhammer) tackle a serial murder case and political intrigue.

Nordic Noir

If you enjoy murder-mystery thrillers full of danger and psychological tension, with daunting challenges and hints of political intrigue, then 2018's The Truth Will OutDet som göms i snö in Swedish—is for you. An eight-part TV series, this intricate Nordic noir features dialogue in Swedish with English subtitles, with English spoken briefly on occasion.

Please note: This review involves only Season 1. Season 2 involves an entirely different story.

Storyline

The Swedish title, Det som göms i snö, comes from a common Swedish saying: "What is hidden in snow will be exposed in the thaw". So, what's hidden that needs to be discovered? "Based on true events", the story begins with a sequence of puzzling, seemingly disconnected shards of actions and scenes – but these will all eventually come together and make sense.

Stockholm Police Detective Peter Wendel, back at work after a nervous breakdown and a family tragedy, is tasked with hastily assembling a new cold-case unit. Just at this same time a previous conviction in a notorious, supposedly closed serial-murder case has been called into question. Wendel must focus his new cold-case team of three rejects and misfits on what he's convinced is a serial killer still on the loose.

As the plot thickens, Wendel and his rag-tag team must not only confront mortal danger but deal with their own demons and drawbacks, as well as the impediments of political intrigue and threats that seem to move closer to home and family. This series has a lot going on.

Enthusiastic Reviews

Reviews of the series have been predominantly quite positive. Here's a sampling:

  • "The Truth Will Out is not your typical whodunit. Rather, it is an intricate, low-key, slow-burn drama with multiple mysteries and a pervasive darkness, whose narrative is steeped in the foibles of men and women and the complexities of the human condition."
    —The Euro TV Place
  • "What I particularly loved with this show ... is that it does have some humour scattered throughout which helps prevent it from being unremittingly dour .... I can heartily recommend The Truth Will Out, especially to those who enjoy Nordic noir crime dramas that are intelligently written, well-produced and superbly acted."
    —Davina Baynes (Reel2Reel Talk)
  • "One of best Nordic Noir Crime Dramas ... This is not an action thriller. The crew of misfits that make up the new Cold Case unit soon stumbles into a politically charged murder case. Wonderfully, understated acting keeps you glued to your seat wondering which twist and turn will happen next. Highly recommended."
    —Audience review, IMDb
  • "Unusual, funny, grim and wonderful .... The case is complex and nail biting at times. The sub plot explores how his mismatched team of rejects start to bond together and uncover the truth."
    —Audience review, IMDb
Four members of the cold-case team in The Truth Will Out (2018).

Four members of the cold-case team in The Truth Will Out (2018).

Major Characters

Detective Peter Wendel (Robert Gustafsson)

"Robert Gustafsson, a huge star in his native Sweden for being a comedic genius, delivers a tour de force dramatic performance as Peter Wendel—a man obsessed with finding the truth while possessed by people and events in his past."
—Euro TV Place

"Robert Gustafsson [is] brilliant as Peter, this damaged, volatile, grieving man who struggles with mental illness. It is however his stubbornness and disregard for his own safety that is admirable. The nuance and range that the actor shows in this role are seriously impressive."
—Davina Baynes, Reel2Reel Talk

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For his role, Gustafsson received the 2019 Kristallen (official Swedish television award) for Best Actor.

Cold-Case Team

  • Caijsa Bergholm (alcoholic cop) — played by Louise Peterhoff
  • Jorma Virttanen (Caijsa's team partner) — played by Christopher Wagelin
  • Barbro Svensson (Peter's team partner) — played by Ia Langhammer

"Ia Langhammer as Barbro Svensson was so impressive and it is so refreshing to see an older female character who is dynamic ... and grows so much over a few episodes."
—Davina Baynes, Reel2Reel Talk

For her role, la Langhammer received a Best Actress Kristallen nomination in 2019.

Peter Wendel's Family

  • Ann-Marie Wendel (Peter's ex-wife) .— played by Maria Sundbom Lörelius
  • Vera Wendel (Peter's teenage daughter) — played by Tyra Olin

Behind the Scenes

The series, consisting of 8 episodes about 42-44 minutes in length, is based on an idea from famed Swedish author and criminologist Leif G.W. Persson. Writers and creators were Hans Jörnlind and Aron Levander. Directors were Kjell-Åke Anderssen and Lisa Farzaneh. Filming locations predominantly involved Stockholm and the Stockholm region, including Sundbyberg, Tomteboda, and Solna.

The film score music was composed by Kaare Bjerkø. For his soundtrack Bjerkø received a Best Music nomination for the HARPA Nordic Film Composers Award (2020). The nomination stated that "“Kåre Bjerkø has created simple music with strong emotions in several layers. From the very first moment, the music holds the viewer in suspense, momentum, curiosity and doubt."

Produced by the Swedish company Yellow Bird, Det som göms i snö has been a hit for Sweden’s Kanal 5. In 2019 the series received a nomination for the Kristallen award as Best TV Drama.

With its English title The Truth Will Out, the series has been available in distribution through a number of streaming services, including Acorn, Walter Presents, and AppleTV. The series is also available in DVD from Amazon and other vendors, and perhaps in your local public library.

References

Warning: Some sources may contain spoilers!

"The Truth Will Out" Series 1 DVD

© 2022 Lyndon Henry

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