Because this is a literary magazine, I’d like to concentrate from time to time on television writers, and am fortunate enough to be able to start with my favourite. Michael J Bird. My hero. And what is Michael J Bird’s trademark? What makes you unknowingly switch on a Michael J Bird show and say, in an instant, ‘Wait a tick, this show is by Michael J Bird.’ The answer is: mystery. In the world of Michael J Bird, things are mysterious. Mysterious things happen. Things turn out ... mysteriously. There is an ambience of mysteriousness. Also, things usually happen in the Mediterranean. The Lotus Eaten, The Aphrodite Inheritance, Who Pays the Ferryman, The Dark Side of the Sun, all these are triumphs of the craft of Michael J Bird. All are set beneath the burning primeval sun of Classical Europe.
You can imagine my surprise then when I heard that the new Michael J Bird series is set in Norway. Is Norway mysterious? I must assume so, otherwise he’d never have set it there. I feel confident Michael knows his stuff. Confident because he has called the series Maelström, a