And this was no DIY disaster resulting from an IKEA flat pack faux pas. No, this was intentional.
Now I’m only guessing here, but under such circumstances you’d be on the first boat back to the fjords right? Wrong. Deformed digits or not, our sailor chose to hang out in Havana with his hammer wielding assailant. Strange.
BBC2’s Echoes from the Dead had started off quite promisingly, a typically atmospheric slice of Scandinavian sleuthing: sparse, moody, lean. What is it about Nordic thrillers? Short days, long nights? Search me, but they have an eeriness all their own.
But pretty soon the whole thing started to unravel as a far-fetched tale of murder and mistaken identity unfolded. Murderer and cop killer Nils Kant (Felix Engstrom) had fled to Castro land where eventually our drunken Swedish sailor had also landed. Cuba’s Swedish population had doubled in the blink of an eye. Very soon it had halved again.
And so posing as the sailor, Kant returned to his homeland. What the various agencies would have made of it all heaven only knows. Think about it: Two Swedes in Cuba and then one mysteriously vanishes. They tend to stick out in Cuba, Swedes. But hey ho, it’s only Cuba. These things happen.
Bonecrusher is free to return home. Meanwhile the corpse of ‘Kant’ is presumably repatriated back to Sweden where, due to the crushed knuckles, everybody accepts it as Kant. Those crushed knuckles you see were apparently how people recognised the serial killer, not by his face as you and I might have done. “It’s Nils Kant alright Mr Coroner, I’d recognise those knuckles anywhere…”
But that all happened in the past. In the present we follow Julia (Lena Endre) who twenty years ago had lost a young son – Jens - allegedly swept out to sea. But maybe it wasn’t an accident, maybe it had been murder, maybe Kant had not died in Cuba after all and had returned home to Sweden to continue his murderous ways. Why not?
At this point the plot started to get just a little too silly. Our heroine meanwhile hooks up with a lonely police man whose father had been another victim of Kant and together they set about solving the ‘mystery.’ But the detective is hiding a guilty secret: He’s the killer of her son!! Irony of ironies.
Shock! Horror! For upon Kant’s return to his homeland he had encountered young Jens wandering around the foggy marshes, whereupon he had offered to help the boy home. Kant you see for all his faults was not a child killer. He merely had a pathological hatred of Germans and the Police - so not all bad then.
At that very moment a car had emerged out of the fog and mown down both boy and serial killer. By sheer coincidence the driver of that car was…you guessed it…why our very same police man – his younger self of course. What irony! He had killed the killer who had killed his father, if you..er…see what I mean.
Hmmm…and that was that. Overall a curiously unsatisfying film from a country that produces otherwise very thoughtfully conceived drama.
At the end of it all, the emergency helicopter was called out. Julia’s elderly father was shivering. Cold places those Swedish marshes. All very underwhelming.