There’s something charming about Italian crime dramas. Maybe it’s the climate, the landscapes, the organised crime connections, or even their devotion to good food – but there’s something uniquely identifiable as Italian in all of them. They could be set nowhere else. ‘Ice Cold Murders: Rocco Schiavone’ continues that trend, this time on the beautiful and often dangerous streets of Rome.
If you want to avoid spoilers, stop reading this article now.
After his adventures in Season 1, Rocco – the chain-smoking, foul-mouthed detective inspector – is being interviewed about a murder that took place in his apartment. As he recounts to the Chief Constable and Prosecutor what happened, we’re transported back to 2007 when Rocco was brought in to investigate the murder of the son of a reporter, his beaten body having been found at the bottom of a quarry. The quarry is poorly guarded by a character called Gigi the Cesspit, meaning anyone could have driven in and dumped the body. But who would want to murder a young man with seemingly no enemies?
Two days later, a second body is found in a busy street. Another young man of the same age, killed with the same weapon that killed the boy in the quarry – a stabbing to the back of the neck caused by an awl. But this time, there’s no blood – it appears to have been drained from the body. How did that happen, and how did it get there, in a busy street, without anyone noticing?
Rocco seeks to find a connection between the two boys. When he does, he realises that others are equally at risk until the culprits are apprehended. In the meantime, he’s busy trying to sort out his own personal life, as his wife – Marina (played by Isabella Ragonese) – has left him.
I’ve not seen the second part of this story, so how this case concludes, and how it fits in with the death of the woman in his home some years later, isn’t evident yet – but I’m fully hooked already, such is the immediate appeal of this series.
Marco Giallini, who plays Rocco, is superb in the title role. He’s a fascinating character, frequently blurring the lines between upholding and breaking the law. He must be great fun to play. He’s involved in some wonderfully comic exchanges in the show – the writing is very clever and quick-paced. It’s not dissimilar to ‘Montalbano’, so if you’re a fan of that show, this will be right up your street too. The dialogue is both witty and at times moving. At one moment Rocco is joking with colleagues, and then we hear a cry as the reporter discovers that the victim is his own son.
I believe RAI – the Italian broadcaster who commissioned the series – are already on Season 4, so we’ve plenty to look forward to.
Walter Presents: ‘Ice Cold Murders: Rocco Schiavone’ Season 2 airs Fridays for 8 weeks from 11th February 2022 on More 4 at 9pm. Episodes available on Walter Presents via All 4 each week.