BBC R4 Foreign Bodies- Mark Lawson 8/7- 12/7

To accompany BBC Radio 4’s dramatisations of the Martin Beck novels, which established crime fiction as a form for exploring social change, Mark Lawson presents five more Foreign Bodies focusing on Greece, Argentina, Northern Ireland, South Africa and fictional TV crime-scenes including Broadchurch. Examining subjects including the way in which crime novels have portrayed transitional societies in South Africa and Northern Ireland and explored the legacy of military rule in Argentina.

Episode 1- GREECE – Inspector Costas Haritos ( Mon 8/7- 1.45pm)

In this first episode Lawson, in Athens, talks to writers including Petros Markaris, whose detective series featuring Inspector Costas Haritos has both predicted and depicted the Greek financial crisis.


Episode 2- ARGENTINA – Superintendent Perro Lascano ( Tues 9/7- 1.45pm)

Mark Lawson explores how Argentinian crime writers have dramatised the country’s transition from dictatorship to democracy. He talks to Ernesto Mallo – whose cop, Lascano, works during the years of the military junta – and Claudia Pineiro, who argues that no Argentinian police officer can be a hero.


Episode 3- IRELAND – Inspector Benedict Devlin ( Weds 10/7- 1.45pm)

In the “borderlands” between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, Mark Lawson meets novelist Brian McGilloway, whose books explore the long shadows of the Troubles, and talks to him and other authors from Belfast about the wave of crime-writing that the peace process has provoked.


Episode 4- SOUTH AFRICA – Detective Captain Bennie Griessel ( Thurs 11/7 1.45pm)

Translated from Afrikaans, the detective novels of Deon Meyer have become international best-sellers. Mark Lawson talks to Meyer about the fact and fiction of criminality in post-apartheid South Africa and meets Sifiso Mzobe, whose award-winning debut book features a young criminal in a Durban township.


Episode 5- SCREENLAND- DS Ellie Miller, DI Sarah Lund, Captain Laure Berthaud ( Fri 12/7- 1.45pm)

Crime dramas, home-made and imported, have become TV’s most powerful genre. Mark Lawson talks to creative talent from the ITV hit Broadchurch, the Danish show The Killing and the French success Spiral about the medium’s suitability as a crime-scene and the rise of female investigators.


FIND OUT MORE AT: which includes a free download and a link to interviews with some of the best known names in crime fiction as part of the Front Row Crime Writers Collection. Authors include: Jo Nesbo, James Ellroy, Ian Rankin, Walter Mosley, Henning Mankell, and many more…





  1. Oh, such great news! Thanks for pointing it out. I loved the first series and like the sound of these next few – some I know, some I don’t. Maybe there should be more translations of Markaris (whom I’ve had to read in French) and Ernesto Mallo?

    • I’ve read Mallo’s Sweet Money and Needle In A Haystack in English published by the excellent Bitter Lemon. There’s quite a few of Markaris’ available too but have only read The Late Night News which I really enjoyed.

  2. […] Word reaches me from Raven that five more Foreign Bodies episodes are airing on BBC Radio 4 this week. This time the focus is on Greece (Markaris/Haritos), Argentina (Mallo/Lascano), Northern Ireland (McGilloway/Devlin), South Africa (Meyer/Griessel) and on female crime drama investigators (Miller/Lund/Berthaud). If you happen to miss any, they are available online for seven days. It also looks like the first series is being repeated from Monday 15 July. […]

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