Modus is adapted by Mai Brostrøm and Peter Thorsboe from the novel Frukta inte by Anne Holt and follows a Swedish psychologist and ex-police profiler as she is slowly drawn into a case after a series of murders start to have some implication on her and her family. Inger Johanne Vik (Melinda Kinnaman) has previously worked for the FBI and the Swedish National Police before leaving to pursue a life of academia. However, her skills are required once more after her autistic daughter, Stina, becomes a witness to a murder. Initially Inger is reluctant to get involved with the police work but eventually she begins to work closely beside Detective Ingvar Nyman (Henrik Norlén) as they strive to uncover links between the murders and the possible reasons behind them.
The series is played out in eight episodes of 45 mins and for the first half of the series the time is spent putting everything into place. There are a wide variety of people that you are introduced to and this means that initially the pace is quite slow, however once all the pieces are positioned then the real drama can begin and the pace of the story and developments increases. With the slightly intertwined story lines you are left to work out how they are linked or wonder when it will be revealed how they are related and how this will effect the overall plot. This creates a good amount of mystery and intrigue. The tension builds throughout the second half of this series and it does it well, however there are some moments towards the end that detract a bit from the overall power of the finale, feeling a bit rushed to get to a conclusion.
Throughout there are stunning locations on show, moving from snow capped trees to frozen lakes to the nighttime skyline of Stockholm, adding to the feeling of isolation and Scandinavian atmosphere. Everything feels authentic, right down to the characters wearing enough layers to keep warm throughout. Inger’s eldest daughter, Stina (Esmeralda Struwe), is in and out of the story line but she does a great job of portraying a child on the spectrum and the chemistry between Inger and Ingvar works well.
On reflection, there are some characters and relationships in this series that seem to get too much screen time that doesn’t push the plot on or give anything extra to the characters development. Whilst this isn’t a major issue, it does slow it down or take you out of the story sometimes.
Overall this is a decent series, placing the onus on the profiling of the investigations rather than the normal police work or technical findings, giving it a different air to a standard police procedural but ending up intriguing more than exciting.
MODUS is released on Blu-ray & DVD on Monday 19th December by Nordic Noir & Beyond.