‘Bordertown‘ is a Finnish crime drama which originally airs on Yle TV1. It masterfully incorporates elements of Nordic noir in a case set within a small town. Detective Inspector Kari Sorjonen happens to be one of the most respected officers employed at Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation. However, when his wife barely survives brain cancer, he takes a new job as the head of the Serious Crime Unit (SECRI) in Lappeenranta. As he moves his family to the town on the Russian border, Kari hopes for a peaceful life.
Unfortunately, he gets drawn into a series of particularly disturbing murders and finds that peace is the last thing that the new circumstances have to offer. It is a gripping series that keeps viewers guessing until the end. Naturally, you might be interested in other shows which explore small-town crimes that grow increasingly complex. We have got you covered, and you can find many of them on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. Deadwind (2018-)
‘Deadwind‘ is thematically similar to ‘Bordertown,’ insofar it is a Finnish crime series incorporating elements of Nordic noir. The story follows Sofia, who returns as a homicide detective working in the Helsinki Police Department. At the same time, she takes care of her two children after her husband passes away tragically.
Balancing work and being a single mom is hard, but Sofia finds that her life gets a lot harder after she starts investigating the murder of Anna Bergdahl, who worked with the wind research power plant, Tempo. Partnered with a rookie, Sofia must try to uncover Anna’s link to Tempo and how it all ties back to a critical power project being handled by the company. You can catch the show on Netflix.
6. The Valhalla Murders (2019-)
‘The Valhalla Murders‘, which is also on Netflix, has a similar tone as ‘Bordertown.’ In the series, a string of murders forces the Icelandic police force to enlist the help of a capable but enigmatic Norwegian detective. Meanwhile, an officer who’s been passed up for promotion must make peace with her superior and the newcomer handling the case. Soon enough, there’s a break when the investigators realize that the cases all seem to be linked to a boys’ school named Valhalla.
5. Wisting (2019-)
‘Wisting‘ is a Norwegian police procedural that initially aired on Viaplay. The premise follows an investigation carried out by the titular detective, Wisting, in collaboration with the FBI. When a man’s body is found, evidence links the murder to an American serial killer who’s been on the run for almost 20 years. It is believed that he has assumed the identity of a resident in the small town. Authorities mount a cautious search, so as not to alert him. Unfortunately, Wisting’s daughter, who is a crime journalist, opens up links to the ongoing investigation. It puts her and the entire case at risk.
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4. Trapped (2015-)
‘Trapped’ is an Icelandic crime series where the mystery is compounded due to the battle against natural elements. In a fjord near a small Icelandic town, a vessel carrying 300 passengers from Denmark gets stuck. Soon, a dismembered body washes up on the shore, and the cops realize that the murder has only taken place hours earlier. As everybody in the vicinity becomes a suspect, the confinement preys on people’s minds, and the situation devolves into chaos. The riveting tale has captured our attention over the seasons. It originally comes from RUV but has been acquired for airing by BBC.
3. The Chalet (2018)
‘The Chalet‘ or ‘Le Chalet’ is a French series that can be seen on Netflix. Although the series follows the same concept as Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None,’ the story makes use of an entire small French town to heighten the murder mystery. The story is split into two timelines. The one set in 1997 tells us about a family where a writer tries to overcome his creative block in the French countryside. The village’s insular nature does not really welcome the family, and surprisingly, one day, they are just gone.
In the present timeline, some members of the village return to celebrate the wedding of two of their friends. However, the only bridge linking the town to the outside world collapses after they cross over. As they are trapped in the town, an act of terrible revenge starts to unfold, and members begin dying.
2. The Outsider (2020)
Based on Stephen King’s story, ‘The Outsider‘ starts as a straightforward case after the gruesomely mutilated body of a young boy is discovered. However, after the suspect is taken into custody, it seems he has an airtight alibi for when the crime occurred. Soon enough, the investigators realize that a supernatural force has crept into the case, and the small town, making them question everything they believe in. The HBO series manages to keep viewers hooked till the end with the small-town aesthetics heightening the thrill.
1. Twin Peaks (1990-1991, 2017)
David Lynch’s series changed the landscape when it comes to the eeriness connected with small-town crimes. ‘Twin Peaks‘ enjoyed its original run on ABC and became a cult series, only to be revived for an even more fantastic season on Showtime. The premise follows Agent Cooper, of the FBI, who is sent to the fictional town of Twin Peaks, in Washington, to look into the murder of Laura Palmer, the homecoming queen. Soon enough, the mysterious elements of the town turn the murder investigation into an exploration of the surreal and supernatural.
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