In this adaptation of Candice Fox’s novel Crimson Lake, if the crocs don’t get you the shadowy conspiracy will. Any series that opens with a suicide-by-crocodile is surely worthy of your attention—and that’s exactly how the ABC’s new eight-part crime drama Troppo kicks off. A boatload of tourists watch in horror as a mysterious man on the riverbank attracts a huge and hungry salty, then jumps into the water to meet his grisly fate.
Who would be so desperate to end their life in so gruesome and painful a manner? And what, if anything, does it have to do with the disappearance of a Korean tech executive, who simply walks out of his own life one fine evening?
Detective and tattoo artist Amanda Pharrell (Nicole Chamoun) is on the case. She’s an outsider, having only recently returned to her Far North Queensland hometown of Crimson Lake after serving a stretch for a murder committed in her teens. Shaven-headed and heavily inked, she tools around on a bicycle stapling up flyers for her nascent detective agency, and a disappearance is a big step up from her routine missing pet gigs.
But Amanda needs help, and finds it in the form of ex-cop Ted Conkaffey (a grizzled Thomas Jane). He’s fled the big smoke for the remote tropics after a false sexual assault accusation cost him his career and his family. Indeed, his reputation sees him given the cold shoulder by the locals and targeted by the local cops. And so, two strangers, united only by their outcast status, must unravel the mystery.