Hidden Assets: Series 1 and 2 Box Set – Review

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Hidden Assets Series 1 and 2 – Review (2)

By Karl Hornsey

Irish-Belgian crime drama isn’t exactly a genre that leaps quickly to mind in the annals of detective series (unless the great Poirot was hiding something Irish in his genes), but Hidden Assets stands out as being one of the finest crime series of recent years. Despite its setting, flitting as it does between Antwerp and County Clare, there’s the feeling of Scandi-noir about this series, and that’s high praise indeed. It’s dark and gritty, and fans of the first series will be delighted to know that the second one continues in the same vein, albeit with some key cast changes.

Angeline Ball starred as the lead Irish detective in the first series, and is replaced in the second by Nora-Jane Noone as the head of the Criminal Assets Bureau. There’s a certain generic, tried and trusted element to Noone’s character – no-nonsense and with a point to prove back on her old stomping ground – but the premise works rather than feeling tired and cliched, and the idea of setting the series in two countries and across two different police forces adds an extra element of interest.

Hidden Assets Series 1 and 2 – Review (1)“Slow burner”

This is a series that makes sense. By that, it’s detailed and involving, yet doesn’t try to get too clever. As long as you pay attention, then the storylines work and, while the odd one may be relatively formulaic, most of it feels fresh and engaging without the need for going over the top and getting into the realms of fantasy. Strong characterisation, excellent acting and a script that doesn’t try too hand all go to help in this cause. The first series largely wraps up its key storylines, while leaving a few threads to be grabbed hold of in the second, and there’s every chance that series three will be along in the not too distant future.

Acorn Original are fast developing an excellent reputation for creating dramas of quality, set in locations all around the world, and Hidden Assets is another that’s destined to last and make even more of an impression once it reaches a wider audience. At the moment, it feels like a slow burner and one that has yet to receive the acclaim it ought to have done, but maybe that’s for the better. Too many series burst onto the scenes, all guns blazing, only to fizzle out, but there feels as though there’s plenty more to come from this one.

Hidden Assets‘ series 1 and 2 is released by Acorn

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