*contains some spoilers for The Frozen Dead
In a sleepy town tucked away in the French Pyrenees, a vicious and murderous conspiracy is taking place. That’s what drives the action in The Frozen Death (also called Glacé), as a serial killer pulls the strings from within his psychiatric prison cell. Toulouse detective Martin Servaz (Charles Berling) is sent to this snow and ice covered town to team up with Captain Irène Ziegler (Julia Piaton giving us young Meryl Streep realness) to investigate the strange and unsettling slaughter and dismemberment of a prize horse. However, it’s just the beginning of horrors that stretch back over a decade and involve two different sets of murderers. While Servaz is being taunted by his former best friend/serial murderer, Julian Hirtmann, Irène stumbles unto evidence that changes everything about a supposed and very personal tragedy from her teen years. It’s a lot to take in, but if you are a fan of mysteries and thrillers, you’ll want to give this series a chance.
Irène is an accomplished detective in her own right, but when the older and more experienced Servaz comes to town, she tries to learn what she can. While Servaz is initially hesitant to take the case, the connection to Hirtmann sucks him in. Irene’s a lifelong resident of the town, and is in a loving relationship with the innkeeper, Greta (Sophie Guillemin). She doesn’t hide this from Servaz or anyone else, and it’s clear that she’s been out and proud for quite some time. There are so many threads and storylines that intersect in The Frozen Death, that it’s hard to get too detailed without spoiling something big. I will say this: no lesbians are killed or maimed in this series.
Just a couple of years ago, it wouldn’t have been surprising for Irène to be fridged for the sake of Servaz’s character development, but with the more recent Bury Your Gays trope backlash, it appears that we are actually making some progress in that department. Irène and Greta get to live another day, painting each other’s toenails and kissing in the kitchen.
If you are looking for an edge of your seat thriller, with strong female and lesbian characters, then check out The Frozen Dead on Netflix. (Bella Books also has a great list of mysteries and thrillers in book form!)