The Disappearance or Disparue is an eight-part French TV police drama inspired by the award-winning Spanish series Desaparecida and is set in Lyon. Having loved Engrenages (Spiral) and Temoins (Witness) I had high hopes of Disappearance and was not disappointed.
The plot revolves around the disappearance of Léa Morel on a night out celebrating her 17th birthday with friends, boyfriend and cousin. Although her older brother is meant to escort her home following the festivities, he arrives home without Léa. While her father is initially quite blasé when she fails to turn up her mother is convinced from the outset that something terrible has befallen her elder daughter. I will ot elaborate on the plot as I would certainly, however inadvertently, include spoilers but suffice it to say that this is gripping TV.
I found Inspector Molina who carries his own personal baggage very likeable and very humane. Having a teenage daughter himself makes him all too aware of what the Morel family are going through as they await news of their daughter. I found his sidekick Camille Guérin particularly appealing and she manages to provide some much needed lighter moments in this tense drama.
There is a mixed bag of potential suspects and indeed everyone appears to have something to hide and to be implicated to a lesser or greater degree in Léa's disappearance; as is so often the case, we also learn that Léa had secrets of her own. All of the above reminded me forcibly of the drama series Broadchurch and indeed it has been compared with the British series.
This is an excellent production and I loved the setting and the fact that the Morel family ran a thriving bistro in which they seemed to dine en famille very regularly providing a wonderful ambiance and sense of comraderie in otherwise saddest of circumstances. I even pictured myself visiting the Morel restaurant . There is a dynamic between lead detectives Molina and Guérin which leads me to believe we will may more of them. I certainly hope we do!