The concept behind USA Network’s TV series, The Sinner, is simple. A brutal killing is committed by the most unlikeliest of suspects and Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) has to figure out why, in aid of the murder suspect.

Strangely, I watched the 2nd season first, mainly because of Carrie Coon, who played cult leader Vera Walker, who is also the mother of the killer in question, 13 year-old Julian Walker (Elisha Henig).

In the 1st season, the killer in question was Jessica Biel – as a housewife (Cora Tannetti) who goes berserk at the beach with her family, stabbing to death an apparent stranger.

Over the course of 8 episodes (in each season), viewers were brought through a labyrinth of lies and deceit, in order to get to the harsh truth, usually due to the work of Ambrose himself.

Overall, the series has been well crafted – although some of the plot reveals can get a tad ludicrous – and in both seasons there are key story events that stretch the suspension of disbelief to breaking point.

The performances are even – the female characters are strong – although Pullman’s Ambrose sometimes comes across as altogether so damaged that it’s a wonder he gets anything done, never mind solve very complicated murder mysteries.

In the final analysis, a solid series to binge watch and both are now available on Netflix.

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