With the small-screen return of private investigator Cormoran Strike on Sunday in Career of Evil, I look at some of the best fictional detectives to grace our televisions.
Featured In: Many film and TV adaptations over the years, most recently the BBC’s Sherlock.
Lives: At 221B Baker Street, London.
Loves: Knowledge. Problem-solving. John Watson. Danger. Playing the violin.
Hates: A lack of crimes to solve. Being sociable. Anybody who he perceives to be ignorant or slow-witted – so essentially everyone besides himself.
Jurisdiction: Mostly the City of London, but has been known to gallivant around globally to get things done if needs be.
Traits: Deductive brilliance. Emotional detachment. Verges on being a sociopath. Often exhibits all of these within a matter of seconds.
Most likely to: Insult someone’s intelligence and solve a fiendish puzzle simultaneously.
DCI Gene Hunt
Featured In: Life on Mars; Ashes to Ashes
Lives: Manchester, 1973 / London, 1981.
Loves: His Ford Cortina. Later, his Audi Quattro. Putting away bad guys. The pub.
Hates: Bad guys. Occasionally, his fellow officers. Anybody who messes with his car(s).
Jurisdiction: Manchester, 1973, and later London, 1981.
Traits: Dogged. Straight-talking. For a copper, extremely non-PC, but with a heart.
Most likely to: Demand that his colleague gets their hands off his motor whilst dismissing their sissy modern policing methods in rather fruity language.
Honourable Mentions: Aurelio Zen; Rust Cohle
Featured In: The Bridge
Lives: In a lonely-looking Swedish apartment.
Loves: Justice. Getting the job done, preferably on her own.
Hates: Things that are not work-related. The minefield that is talking to other people.
Jurisdiction: Malmö, with the occasional hop across the Øresund Bridge to Copenhagen.
Traits: Intellectually brilliant. Committed to her work. Extremely socially awkward.
Most likely to: Fix a colleague with a blank yet disdainful stare when they attempt to make office chit-chat.
Featured In: Spiral
Lives: In Paris.
Loves: Her job. Her team. Office banter. Swearing colourfully.
Hates: Her job. Her team. Making mistakes. Any hint of long-term commitment.
Jurisdiction: Paris, particularly the dangerous parts.
Traits: Not above breaking the rules to get results. Fiercely loyal to her colleagues. Often an emotional mess outside of work.
Most likely to: Make a catastrophic error that jeopardises an entire case, then unearth something just in time, rush in and save the day.
Honourable Mentions: Miss Marple; Veronica Mars
Career of Evil will be broadcast on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 25th February, and its second, concluding part will be broadcast the following Sunday.