Driven to the Wrong Conclusion
Wilson Smith | 06/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like a lot of the Inspector Morse films, a big clue to cracking the case is contained in the title. Including Morse and Lewis, there is a third person who plays an equally significant part in the investigations in this film: DS Maitland, an expert on crimes against women, of which this case is. She just happens to be one, too. This is perhaps the most straightforward storyline, with only a few twists and turns, one of which crops up at the very end, turning the investigation upside down, and also causing everything to fall into place and make sense. Morse is adamant he has his man from the very start and his contempt for the individual, not only an arrogant car salesman but a blackmailer and convicted wifebeater to boot, blinds his judgment. There are many red herrings in this case and the general rule in writing a "whodunit" - i.e. make the last person the viewer would expect to have done it, do it - is employed cunningly. Overall, this is another shining example of the classy series, brilliantly written by Academy Award Winner Anthony Minghella and directed by Sandy Johnson. It is not difficult to see why this is one of the Morse films Colin Dexter selected as his favorites."
Intricate. Unexpected. Thought-Provoking. Sad.
Jeffrey E Ellis | Naperville, IL USA | 08/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The story opens with murder. A single woman is found slain and there are precious few clues. And then another victim is killed in a similar fashion. There are still no clues. Suddenly, a correlation appears to surface: the women bought their cars from the same dealer. Morse and his crew spring into action swiftly to bring their man to justice. Ignoring procedures, protocols, and even the law, they rush to judgment.
"Driven to Distraction" is a fine piece of mystery writing but the saddest of the Morse episodes. Without revealing too much, we find our lovable curmudgeon a little less lovable. He takes on a decidedly more human (i.e. flawed character) than before. There is a reflective sadness about this episode that is rather haunting.
Let's Talk Cars
William J. Thor | Vero Beach | 05/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This entry provides another variation of stories in the Morse series. The apparent unrelated murder of three women challenges Morse to find a common denominator which will tie the deaths together. With no apparent link, Morse begins to reach for clues. The music of Cole Porter is our background sound track as Morse becomes obsessed with an auto dealer as the culprit. To this end homes are entered and searched without a warrant and an arrest is made without probable cause - all of which incurs the wrath of Superintendent Strange - so much so that he pulls Morse off the case. Lewis is also upset with the irregularities and withdraws from assisting Morse. As usual Morse continues, unofficially, along with a police specialist, who deals in crimes against females. With only two other legitimate suspects we are in for quite an ending. Along the way Morse attends driving school and discusses his Jaguar at length. The story is straight forward; a solid four star effort."