"This mystery opens with the killing of an inmate (Parnell) who had confessed to five murders and was awaiting trial. However, at the point of death, the inmate recanted his confession regarding the last apparent victim--- a missing young woman whose body was never found even though her handbag was retrieved. The Parnell case had been originally investigated by Chief Inspector Johnson and Sergeant Lewis, with no involvement by Morse. Was Parnell involved in the fifth case or merely a convenient culprit? Morse, who had never been convinced that Parnell had murdered the missing woman, pursues his own independent (and unofficial) inquiries by questioning the man (George) who found the handbag. As a result of Morse's indagation, George is found murdered shortly afterwards and a sordid mixture of factors emerge (pornography, adultery, and possible rape and blackmail) which may be relevant to his death and the case of the missing woman. We are presented with several possible suspects and paths of inquiry as the two cases intersect. This installment in the series is particularly satisfying in that the viewer is kept guessing until the end when the relevant issues are fully clarified. One aspect of this mystery which distinguishes it from the other Morse episodes is the degree to which Morse and Lewis clash--- as Lewis expresses pent up resentment over what he regards as characteristically arrogant and unappreciative treatment by the Chief Inspector. Ultimately, their relationship is affirmed as their collaborative efforts resolve the intertwined cases."
Intriguing. Suspenseful. Tantalizing. Satisfying.
Jeffrey E Ellis | Naperville, IL USA | 07/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chief Inspector Morse is a curmudgeon. He is an aging, irritable bachelor with a keen sense of smell for murder. Just the right character to solve this mystery. Layer upon layer of lies, deception, and intrigue shield the truth from the casual observer.
Parnell confesses to five murders but had comitted only four. It takes a death bed recantation to spur the police into action. Even then, only Morse has the perseverance to follow the thin trail of evidence to its conclusion. A "closed case" suddenly opens into a profound mystery worthy of the talents of DCI Morse.
Well-acted, beautifully filmed, and with typically understated British humor, "A Walk Through the Woods" is very engaging and enjoyable."
tjdinvt | Vermont, United States | 01/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Way Through The Woods is an example of the Inspector Morse series at its very best: a police-procedural mystery that takes one unexpected turn after another, built around complex, three-dimensional characters -- well written and impeccably acted. The tale develops urgency as it unfolds, both from the developments in the murder case and the dynamics between Morse, Lewis, et al., all working together to produce an intense payoff. Top-notch storytelling in every way."
Inspector Morse: The Way Through the Woods
Just The Facts | Cypress, TX | 09/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All episdes in this series are either very good or excellent. This one is near the end of the run--and is based, on Colin Dexter's book. The characters are great, as usual. the story tight, the outcome (who did it) satisfying. One problem: I was unable to find Colin Dexter's appearance."
Richard B. Schwartz | Columbia, Missouri USA | 08/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why pure? Because this is a linear mystery, with multiple plausible suspects and a kicker ending. It's pure because Morse is in his element--tilting with his superior, attending chamber music concerts in his tuxedo and encountering women in whom he might, ultimately, have a personal interest. It's pure because the core of the story concerns his relationship with Lewis. Lewis has been involved in an earlier investigation with the obnoxious and arrogant DCI Johnson. A murderer has disavowed his earlier confession of guilt for a murder (the fifth; he's responsible for the first four). Morse wants to press on and reopen the investigation. Johnson is indignant, angry and combative. The Thames Valley administration wants to keep everything swept under the rug. Lewis is caught in between. Johnson dangles a promotion in front of Lewis' eyes and feeds his concerns that Morse doesn't fully appreciate him or utilize him well. You can guess the rest. The ending brings Lewis and Morse together in an Oxford wood, with a dead body and with the victim's killer, armed with a shotgun. There's blood all over the place and the potential for more. Then comes the very satisfying but still unsettling ending."