My daughter recommended the HBO miniseries, The Night Of. So while visiting her, we watched several episodes. I was immediately hooked, so when I got home I bought the series and finished it the first night I was home. Now, I’m going to rewatch it with my husband. What makes this show so compelling? There were so many things done right: the story itself, the casting, the slow unraveling of the specifics of the case, the twists and turns. In a way the show reminded me of the real crime case of Adnan Syed on Serial, a podcast of The American Life. (If you haven’t listened to it, do.) The detectives made mistakes, the suspect, even more. I won’t tell you what they were because I don’t want to present spoilers. As a crime writer, I look for details in stories. I like accuracy and the only thing I’d say was missing from the investigation was the blood evidence on their suspect. If he’d killed the victim wearing clothing, there’d be blood all over his clothes, which they didn’t emphasize. If he wasn’t wearing clothing, he would be covered in blood and would have had to take a shower. The detectives would have checked the drains. Call me picky, but I like authenticity. However this is minor compared to all that the director did right. I highly recommend this miniseries.
When Detective Cal Sheehan learns no one’s heard from his childhood friend Mike Hawkinson in days, he begins an unofficial investigation. Cal follows a lead from Minnesota to Las Vegas, and back again. When “Hawk’s” car is later found abandoned north of Prairie Falls, Birch County officially opens a missing person’s case, which allows Cal to hunt for his buddy and investigate the strange circumstances surrounding his disappearance. But Cal doesn’t know whether he’s conducting a search and rescue—or a kidnapping and murder investigation—all this as he’s dealing with the blowback from a family tragedy.