If you suffer from a nervous disposition and/or you are squeamish, look away now, as this chilling tale of serial murder contains more blood and gore than you can shake a machete at.
The remarkable Ken Stott leads a team of baffled London police officers through a maze of bodies and theories, while simultaneously battling ghosts from his own troubled past. Questions and debates rage throughout; why does the killer change his weapon for each murder, what links a dead chef to a bishop and a soldier, and how can they trace a killer who leaves not one single piece of evidence behind?
This is a visually disturbing and mostly faithful re-creation of the images from the novel by Boris Starling, although certain changes have been made. An interesting decision to make DCI Metcalfe's wife profoundly deaf, but American actress Michelle Forbes carries it off beautifully. Ken Stott's performance is as powerful as ever; the chemistry between Metcalfe and his estranged brother Eric is so intense it's almost uncomfortable, and Neil Dudgeon excels as the character you'll love to hate.
Admittedly, the script is not particularly kind to Frances Grey. ("There's something in there", she groans during one scene. Well gee, you don't say!) However, she makes the best of fairly limited character material.
"Messiah" is far, far more than your average 'whodunnit'. The concepts it tackles are both clever and thought-provoking. If you've read the book, you can sit back and enjoy feeling smug. If you haven't, this controversial and thrilling drama will keep you guessing right until the end.