Few actresses are as closely aligned with their screen characters as Caroline Proust, the star of the long-running French crime drama Spiral. Even when she popped up as a guest star on the BBC whodunnit hit Death in Paradise six years ago I couldn’t erase the image of Captain Laure Berthaud, the Parisian cop Proust has been playing on television for the past 15 years.

Laure is not glamorous, she’s not sociable, she certainly doesn’t follow the rules and she’s not even virtuous. She looks scruffy and bedraggled and God forbid that she should crack a joke. Yet such is the power and off-kilter charisma of Proust’s performance that we love her dogged crime fighter nonetheless.

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