Dublin Murders: Season 1 (2019)

Season 1
Dublin Murders

Critics Consensus

Thrilling, but a bit tired, Dublin Murders's grim subject matter is no doubt gripping, but for some it may feel a little like djvu.



Critic Ratings: 28


Audience Score

User Ratings: 59

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Air date: Nov 10, 2019

Detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox are on the case after a young girl is found murdered in the woods on the outskirts of Dublin, Ireland.

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Air date: Nov 17, 2019

Rob continues to work on the cases despite his promise to Cassie.

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Air date: Nov 24, 2019

All of Knocknaree mourns as Katy Devlin is laid to rest. The pressures on Rob and Cassie mount as there are still no arrests in the case.

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Air date: Dec 1, 2019

Looking into Cassie's past as she tries to cope with Lexie's passing; Rob gets something out of the Katy investigation.

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Air date: Dec 8, 2019

Rob, unmoored by Cassie's absence, is increasingly obsessed with Jonathan Devlin, convinced he and his childhood friend Cathal Mills may be dangerous paedophiles. He is desperate to find the one witness to the events in the woods in 1985 that has hasn't yet spoken to ? itinerate ex-friend of Jonathan and Cathal's, Shane Waters. But Shane, a homeless drug addict, hasn't been seen since Katy's body was found. Meanwhile, Jonathan has sent his daughters Rosalind and Jessica away from Dublin. Rob tracks Rosalind down to a dingy caravan park. Soon the extent of Rosalind's disturbed behaviour emerges, and Rob feels he can save the girl. Meanwhile, Cassie starts to back away from Operation Vestal, spending time with Frank as he schools her in the art of being Lexie. Rob realizes time is running out on the investigation and decides the only way to fully remember what happened that day is to spend the night alone in the woods, totally immersed in that strange world...

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Air date: Dec 15, 2019

Undercover as Lexie, Cassie finds herself emotionally seduced by the house and Lexie's devoted friends. She and Frank discover the locals in the village hate Whitethorn House and its owners because of what they represent - colonialism and cruelty, with the scars and skeletons of the famine cottages. Furthermore, the inhabitants of Whitethorn House are refusing to sell, blocking plans for a new motorway that would bring jobs to the area. Meanwhile, Rob is obsessed and distressed by his memories of the day of the disappearances. The only thing he can do is to reach out to Sandra, the rape victim who still lives on the estate. But Sandra denies everything, throwing him out of her house.

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Air date: Dec 22, 2019

Everything comes to a head as Cassie confronts Lexie's killer and Rob has a breakthrough about Katy's murder.

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Air date: Dec 29, 2019

The finale finds Rob and Cassie forced into a face-to-face reunion.As arrests are made, Rob and Cassie both come to profound realisations.

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Dublin Murders: Season 1 Videos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Moe Dunford
Detective Sam O'Neill
Sarah Greene
Cassie Maddox/Lexie Mangan
Killian Scott
Rob Reilly
Ian Kenny
Leah McNamara
Rosalind Devlin
Peter McDonald
Jonathan Devlin
Jonny Holden
Damien Donnelly
Eugene O'Hare
Detective Quigley
Sam Keeley
Daniel March
Conleth Hill
Superintendent O'Kelly
Jonathan Forbes
Dr Mark Hanley
Vanessa Emme
Abby Stone
Charlie Kelly
Justin Mannering
Carolyn Bracken
Sandra Sculley
Ericka Roe
Alannah Shorey
Alexandra Moen
Simone Cameron
Niall Jordan
Peter Savage
John Hayes
Tana French
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Critic Reviews for Dublin Murders Season 1

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (15)

Dublin Murders might have made for a pleasingly mopey whodunnit along the lines of Shetland or Broadchurch if Phelps weren't so obviously unsure of her source material.

Nov 11, 2019 | Full Review…

Lucky for us, "Dublin Murders" revels in characters that can both sink and swim.

Nov 11, 2019 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Some crime series captivate because the mystery itself is so maddeningly mysterious, while the lure of others is largely the frisson between the leading detectives. This Irish drama of tragedy and intrigue has both in spades.

Apr 14, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

The storytelling is crisp and connective, but it's always accentuated by a disconcerting mood that feels connected to the sense that everyone is being drawn into something they can't control.

Feb 12, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Remember that if you're drawn to what is an unusually ethereal mystery, one that is tricky and sometimes off-kilter. You've been warned. The cast is excellent, by the way.

Dec 18, 2019 | Full Review…

It is a tasty slice of cut-and-come-again cake, even if the relationship between Cassie and Rob - upon which the credibility of the story turns (or will, if faithful to the books) - is not yet sufficiently close or well-drawn.

Nov 8, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The psychological mystery takes many twists and turns as it winds its way to an almost inevitable conclusion, and at times it takes modest but bizarre detours.

Nov 8, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's a refreshing if unsettling reminder that life is full of unanswered and haunting questions.

Nov 8, 2019 | Full Review…

Dublin Murders is very good indeed.

Nov 8, 2019 | Full Review…

It all helped to build the haunting ambiguity of the piece...melancholy landscape shots, claustrophobic interiors and Volker Bertelmann's disturbing soundtrack intensified the effect.

Nov 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Wait until the run is over and binge this show so you're not exhausted by all the twists and turns.

Nov 12, 2019 | Full Review…

Certainly it was atmospheric, often terrific, never dull, but I suspect many were befuddled by the leaps between two plots.

Nov 11, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dublin Murders: Season 1

  • Feb 23, 2021
    A dark and well-made show about the effects of psychological trauma, but the bifurcated narrative is a significant mistake Airing on BBC One in the UK and Ireland and Starz in North America, Dublin Murders is an eight-part series that adapts the first two novels in Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series – In the Woods (2007) and The Likeness (2008). And herein lies the show's biggest problem. French's series is pseudo-anthological in design; each novel has a different protagonist, and although there are common characters across all of the stories, each plot is wholly self-contained. In writing Dublin Murders, Sarah Phelps presents the plots of the first two novels as happening concurrently. This doesn't even remotely work, with the events of The Likeness never feeling like anything other than a half-baked B-plot that serves only to detract from the far superior material in the A-plot. Nevertheless, there is much to laud here; the acting, the cinematography, production design, and art direction, the editing and directing, and, when focusing on the first novel, much of Phelps' writing. The show takes place in 2006 and begins with the discovery of the body of twelve-year-old Katy Devlin (Amy Macken) in the woods around Knocknaree, a (fictional) housing estate in Dublin's suburbs. Detectives Rob Reilly (Killian Scott) and Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene) of the (fictional) Dublin Murder Squad are assigned to the case, which has attracted a great deal of attention, as twenty-two years earlier three young children disappeared in the same woods. One of those children was found a few hours after they disappeared, and although he was uninjured, his shirt was ripped as if by claws, and his shoes were filled with someone else's blood. He swears, however, that he has no memory of what happened in the woods. That child, Adam, left Ireland with his parents and as far as anyone knows, never returned. However, Rob is in fact adult Adam, having secretly returned to Ireland with a new identity, a fact known only to Cassie, and he plans to use the Devlin investigation as a means to delve into the 1985 case. Meanwhile, Cassie is approached by her old boss, senior investigator Frank Mackey (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), with an intriguing undercover operation. Aesthetically, the show has a lot going for it. To a certain extent, it mixes genres – there's the obvious whodunnit, but there's also a pseudo-Chinatown motif of greed, conspiracy, and corruption, and a vaguely supernatural, otherworldly undercurrent, not unlike Twin Peaks. In terms of narrative structure, although the 2006-set events are presented chronologically, the show makes ample use of flashbacks, which jump around quite a bit in the timeline. That this never becomes arbitrary is a testament to the editing, which always ensures to establish the link between the show's present and the moments to which the characters are flashing back. The cinematography is also worth mentioning, working hand-in-hand with the production design to suggest that things just aren't quite right in Knocknaree in general, and the Devlin home in specific. The acting too is impressive. Scott and Greene have tremendous chemistry, which is pivotal, and although both are initially presented as likeable, if damaged, individuals, as the show goes on, both actors allow us to see a much darker side to their personas, with each turning on the people closest to them in a particularly vicious manner. Thematically, much like In the Woods, the show isn't so much focused on the Devlin murder as it is the nature of lingering trauma. Virtually every character is damaged in some way, but none more so than Rob, who, to a certain extent, never really made it out of the woods in 1985. The show begins with him asking Cassie, "what if the killed are the lucky ones?" And this is a central theme throughout – what if it's those who are murdered who could be considered free, and those who survive that are forever trapped within their trauma? All of which brings us to the show's fatal flaw. Phelps is unable to mould the two plots to coalesce properly, with the characters in Cassie's case never being developed. We're never allowed to get to know these people, as the whole thing never feels like anything other than an afterthought. Splitting the show like this does neither plot any favours – in the novels, each case works by immersing us in the interiority of the protagonist, as the plot unfolds in a manner coloured by that character's subjectivity. Continually cutting away from one plot to show us the other completely breaks that immersion. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the show for the most part. It's well-acted, looks great, and in relation to the murder case, is very well written. A shorter run focusing on just that case would have been infinitely preferable, but that's not what we got. It's absolutely worth checking out, but be prepared to be frustrated once the undercover operation starts taking up so much time.
  • Feb 18, 2021
    I liked all the main characters and the quirky characters they were. People with different agendas are trying to solve a murder mystery. Interpersonal entanglements abound. I want to know when the next season will start filming!!!! The ending was a complete shock with some unfinished stories.
  • Aug 05, 2020
    Excellent Cime series
  • May 31, 2020
    There are about three plots in this show. I think it could have lost one of them (the most tangential one) and the show would have been better. But the ending makes the wait worthwhile, although loose strings remain...
  • May 07, 2020
    Based on the Into the Woods and The Likeness novels by Tana French and set in 2006 Ireland, two detectives are investing the murder of a girl in the outskirts of Dublin. Hauntingly, the same location is notorious for a number of unsolved crimes that took place in 1985 where three children entered the woods but only one returned. Which begs the question, are these events interlinked? Weaved in are personal stories from the characters as the town's secrets begin to unravel. The characterisation was key to the success of executing this plotline. Morally grey characters and intricate backstories in their relationships ensured we were sufficiently distracted to any clues placed regarding the core murder. Killian Scott and Sarah Greene had intense chemistry, their partnership was ideal in carrying the show through its 8 episode run and it was great to see Scott lead a police procedural after his supporting role in Strike, also as a detective. An underdog of the series was Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. Upon first encountering his character Frank I didn't anticipate him changing the dynamic of the show so drastically, as a rather impudent character, Frank brings an almost dangerous attitude towards his work and often operating in the grey. You can expect lots of questionable undercover work to pique your interest. While some episodes required forcing your attention to truly focus as the twists slowed down, it was all worth it for that finale. As secrets become unravelled, landing our characters in quite deep water, my imagination was running rampant. It is so satisfying to feel as though there is true pay-off from a twist. The setting of Dublin adds to the fantasy as being able to experience a police procedural though a different culture to the usual London set was a treat. Creepy towns with a history are always bound to be entertaining but they require unique depth to stray from other productions in the genre and Dublin Murders is sure to keep you addicted to the very end with its constant intrigue with plenty of stones left unturned for a possible sequel. I am now quite desperate to pick up the novels, so props to Sarah Phelps for creating an adaptation that can stand on its own yet is bound to attract readers to the books the show is based on.
  • Apr 25, 2020
    Was really enjoying the first rate script, acting, story....everything, until suddenly there is a totally inexplicable segue midway to a secondary plot involving Cassie going through what seems like an awful lot of trouble to find the killer of her doppelganger -- a member of cult-ish houselhold. Suddenly becomes mix of Mission Impossible and Young and Restless soap opera, and gets away from the intriguing initial plot of the unexplained Dublin murders. With the advent of binge watching, it seems that writers feel the need to stretch out what would have been a taught feature film into multiple episodes, with many "filler" moments.
  • Mar 22, 2020
    A bit slow, with good and ok acting performances, but it picks up towards the end.
  • Mar 14, 2020
    I think this is an excellent show! I'm so tired of American shows! The casting is marvelous; this is not the same old thing. Very true to the novels, and very good! I am reading every Tana French novel I can get my hands on. Love it!
  • Feb 23, 2020
    Watched the first episode and was hooked. And then...... it was all down hill from there. Stuck with it until the end hoping for redemption but, alas, it was not to be. At the end of the last episode we looked at each other and said 'that's it???". What a disappointment. I believe I saw an ad for a second season and we have zero interest in watching any additional seasons. Watching this made me appreciate how well done season 1 of True Detective. Demand better quality writing. Don't waste your time
  • Jan 15, 2020
    Two series recently have both come from Ripper Street, the male detective from this and the lead female witch from The Witcher. This was very interesting, great performances, I will definitely look for the actors again...story had a good amount of twists however the over arching story wasn't resolved.

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