How a crazy-popular crime novel series was turned into a TV show

‘Dublin Murders” star Killian Scott was surprised at the response he got when he went to buy the books upon which the new Starz series is based.

“I went to this great [LA] bookstore called Book Soup and asked, ‘Do you have any Tanya French novels?’ ” says Scott, 34. “The guy looked at me like I was a complete idiot. He said, ‘Of course we do — but they’re all sold out!’

“I was like, ‘Well, can I order a copy?’ And [the bookseller] said, ‘We ordered hundreds! Just come back,’ ” he says. “So all of a sudden I discovered these books are bestsellers and have a very devoted fan base.”

“Dublin Murders,” a BBC co-production premiering Saturday (8 p.m), is based on French’s bestselling “Dublin Murder Squad” series of crime novels. The show follows detectives Rob Reilly (Scott, “Ripper Street”) and Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene, “Penny Dreadful”) as they investigate the murder of a 13-year-old girl found in the local woods. The case seems to be connected to the mysterious disappearance of three children 20 years earlier — from which only one boy returned.

The story weaves together a psychological thriller — exploring the deep connection between Rob and Cassie and their backgrounds — with a whodunit murder mystery.

“Each character is very well-rounded with a lot of depth,” says Greene, 35. “In some procedurals it wouldn’t really matter who’s getting the information or speaking. But in [creator Sarah Phelps’] script, each character very much has their own distinctive voice, and they go on such a journey.”

Greene says that journey came with a sense of pressure, which she tried to forget about while filming the series.

“The people who are fans . . . I hope I’m something like what they saw in their head when they were reading [the books],” she says. “You’re not going to be able to please everybody, and that’s the same with every job. But I tried to avoid feeling that pressure. Now that [the show] is out, I’m allowing myself to think about it more.”

“Dublin Murders” was filmed in Dublin and Belfast over the course of seven months, providing a homecoming for both Irish-born stars. Greene currently lives in London; Scott lives in Berlin. “It was wonderful to film at home and be working with an Irish cast and crew. We had such a natural familiarity that you can only get in a place where you grew up,” says Scott. “This was the most serious amount of time I’d been in Ireland in years. I really loved it — I get kind of sentimental about it because I don’t live there anymore.

“But that’s my country and those things do mean quite a lot to me,” he says. “Sometimes you only really discover that when you’re a little bit older.”

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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