25+ mind-boggling detective tv shows with great storylines

The enjoyment is different when the T.V. show is about the cat-and-mouse game of intelligent detectives and clever offenders.

The suspense of the motives, the thrilling plots, and the shocking revelations- all elements contribute to the ultimate mental satisfaction when viewers binge episodes over episodes in the detective-crime genres.

If you are one of those who love detective thrillers, this list will give you the best suggestions to cultivate your interest deeper.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013- 2021)

Image Source: DS

Director- Dan Goor, Michael Schur, Norm Hiscock, Carly Hallam

Where To Watch- Netflix 

Detective Jake Peralta, a gifted but opportunistic detective who is accustomed to doing whatever he likes, joins Captain Ray Holt in Brooklyn’s 99th precinct.

The other staff members of the 99th department include Detective Amy Santiago, Jake’s overachieving and competitive colleague.

Then, there is Detective Rosa Diaz, a tough and reclusive coworker with Detective Charles Boyle, Jake’s best buddy who also has a thing for Rosa.

Then we got Detective Sergeant Terry Jeffords, who was just taken off the job after the birth of his twin girls. There is also Gina Linetti, the station’s sardonic administrator in the team as well.

The Good Detective (2020–2022)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Joo Bang-ok

Where To Watch- Netflix, Viki

Detectives in Incheon, South Korea, work to catch criminals who hide harsh truths. Kang Do Chang has been a private investigator for the past 18 years. He was raised in Incheon, where he was born.

He studies cases based on his personal connections and experience rather than scientific methodologies or reasoning power. 

Detective Oh Ji Hyuk is a top-notch professional. He has nine years of experience. He conducts case investigations using both evidence and knowledge of the criminal’s mind, unlike Kang Do Chang.

He is unable to express his emotions because of trauma from his early life. His late uncle left him a sizable inheritance, which is how he became so wealthy. 

Jin Seo Kyung is a reporter for a newspaper. She has been working in the field for five years and loves what she does.

The Sinner (2017–2021)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Randy Sutter, Ellen Fairey

Where To Watch- Netflix

The Sinner focuses on a young mother who, in the middle of an irrational rage, performs a shocking act of violence but, to her horror, has no idea why. 

The tragedy serves as the foundation for an inverted and totally unexpected criminal thriller where the “why” rather than the “who” or the “what” drives the plot as a detective becomes obsessed with finding the woman’s hidden intention. 

Together, they embark on a harrowing journey into the deepest corners of her mind and the deadly secrets buried there.

Mare of Easttown (2021)

Image Source: Variety

Director- Craig Zobel

Where To Watch- Disney Hotstar

Detective Marianne “Mare” Sheehan of the Philadelphia Police Department tries to keep her personal life from falling apart as she looks into the recent murder of a pregnant teenager in a nearby suburb. 

Mare, who was the star of a championship high school basketball game 25 years ago, is a beloved figure in the community.

Many in the neighborhood have begun to question her investigative skills as a result of her failure to find a solution to the case of another little girl who has been missing for more than a year. 

She has gone through a divorce, lost a son to suicide, and is currently fighting for custody of Mare’s grandson with her son’s ex-girlfriend who used to be addicted to heroin.

Bosch (2014–2021)

Image Source: CS

Director- Michael Connelly

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

Los Angeles homicide detective Harry Bosch is a confrontational guy. He follows his instinct, breaks a few rules, and struggles with authority like any good protagonist while also having the best solved-case rate in all of California. 

He will definitely make for entertaining viewing as he seeks justice in whatever scenarios the writers throw him in.

In the pilot, a dog discovers a human bone that later reveals itself to be a piece of a young boy’s skeleton that had been brutally beaten and abused before being buried in the woods.

The second episode features Raynard Waits, a serial killer who admits to the killing in the case of the bones and develops a strange fascination for Bosch despite the latter’s skepticism in the confession. 

After escaping from custody, Waits starts to tease Bosch as he works to find Waits and solve the boy’s murder.

The Chestnut Man (2021)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Stine Meldgaard Madsen, Morten Kjems Juhl

Where To Watch- Netflix

The cops make a dreadful discovery one stormy October morning in the calm Copenhagen suburb where The Chestnut Man is set.

One of the young woman’s hands is missing, and she was found brutally killed in a playground. A miniature chestnut man looms over her. 

The case is given to the ambitious young detective Naia Thulin and Mark Hess, who is joining her on the investigation.

They quickly come across a puzzling piece of information on the chestnut man that links it to the daughter of politician Rosa Hartung, a girl who vanished a year prior and was considered dead.

Sherwood (2022)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Monroe Hayden

Where To Watch- Roku Channel, BritBox, Prime Video, Vudu

When a former miner is killed by an arrow, detective Ian St Clair (played by David Morrissey) is compelled to visit his native Nottinghamshire and confront his memories of policing the strikes in the 1980s.

He receives assistance from a police officer from the Met Police (played by Robert Glenister), who also has a personal link to the case. 

By exposing the offender’s name toward the conclusion of the first episode, James Graham’s astounding drama smashes your expectations almost immediately, but that only magnifies the tension in this complex, overtly political masterpiece.

Midsomer Murders (1997)

Image Source: PBS W

Director-  Anthony Horowitz, Douglas Watkinson

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

The Midsomer Murders television series is based on Caroline Graham’s books, and it takes place in the imaginary (and absurdly lovely) county of Midsomer, which has one of the highest murder rates in the U.K. Before the credits on each episode, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) must solve all of these complex crimes with more than a dash of humor.

The central plot of the British detective drama centers on Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby’s efforts to resolve a number of murders that occur in the fictitious English county of Midsomer.

The protagonist at the moment is Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon), who is the younger cousin of the previous protagonist Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles).

Broadchurch (2013–2017)

Image Source: DS

Director- Chris Chibnall

Where To Watch- Apple T.V.

A little English beach village is devastated when one of its own goes missing. The slain boy is discovered in a matter of days, and the hunt for his perpetrator starts. 

Everyone starts to turn against one another as a result of the motives of numerous local residents and family members.

As preexisting relationships are broken, it’s up to the duo of cynical detectives to keep the lid on it all while discovering ‘who did it’. The conclusion will keep you up that night and make your brain spin. 

Quantico (2015–2018)

Image Source: Vulture

Director- Joshua Safran

Where To Watch- Hulu, Prime Video, Vudu, Apple T.V.

After a terrorist strike on Grand Central Terminal, FBI agent Alex Parrish becomes a key suspect and is arrested for treason. In recollections, she and the other recruits train at the FBI Academy, each with their own purpose for joining the Bureau. 

The focus of the present-day timeline is on the tense friendship between Parrish and her friends as she flees and makes an effort to prove her innocence during a series of violent attacks.

Alex Parrish, played by Priyanka Chopra, joins the Federal Bureau of Investigation after completing the FBI Academy. When Quantico first began, it had two timelines: the present, when Parrish escapes from captivity to prove her innocence, and the past, when she and her fellow recruits were training at the academy and learning about their personal histories. 

From the second season’s midpoint on, the show maintained a single timeline.

Grid (2022–)

Image Source: Kpopmap

Director- Khan Lee; Park Cheol-hwan; Kwon Hyuk-chan

Where To Watch- Hulu, Disney HotStar

Under the safety of its planetary defense shield, the Grid, Earth has survived destructive solar winds. A murderer is encountered by Kim Sae Ha, a Bureau employee. 

A detective named Jung Sae Book is sent to find the culprit. While tracking the fugitive, she discovers an incredible occurrence: the Grid’s founder, a ghost from the past, has returned after a 24-year exile.

But why does she help the runaway? This thriller explores the puzzling reason why humanity was saved from the end of the world.

True Detective (2014–2019)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson,

Where To Watch- Disney HotStar

Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, two detectives with the Louisiana State Police, are called back in 2012 to look into a homicide case they worked on back in 1995. 

The two ex-detectives recount the events of their investigation as the case is being handled in the present through separate interrogations, exposing old wounds and casting doubt on their claimed success in solving a strange ritualistic murder in 1995. 

In 2012, the timelines intersected and braided as each man was dragged back into a world they thought they had left behind. It becomes evident that evil exists on both sides of the law as they learn more about one another and their murderer.

iZombie (2015–2019)

Image Source: izombie

Director- Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero, Dan Etheridge, Danielle Stokdyk

Where To Watch- Netflix

Liv Moore, a medical resident with a promising future and a fiancé, is scratched by a zombie at a boat party, which causes her to change into one. 

After calling off her engagement and switching jobs to work at the mortuary, where she has visions after eating a murder victim’s brain, she has now entirely changed her life. 

These visions can be used to solve the murder. She struggles, though, because she is unable to reveal her real identity to her loved ones and close friends.

Lethal Weapon (2016–2019)

Image Source: Bustle

Director- McG, Dan Lin

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

Martin Riggs, a young, impulsive detective whose wife and pregnant child were recently murdered, worked alongside Roger Murtaugh, an aging detective with a wife and three children. 

Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh were partners for the first two seasons of the show. Murtaugh and Riggs’ lives are often at risk as a result of Riggs’ devil-may-care ways of catching criminals, but they are still able to respect one another and grow close. 

In season two, after Riggs passes away, Murtaugh experiences a six-month depressive episode. It is during this episode that he meets and befriends Wesley Cole. Former CIA agent Cole has traveled the world and seen it all. As he gets used to life in Los Angeles, Cole quickly finds himself settling on a new partnership with Murtaugh.

Deadwind (2018–2021)

Image Source: Netflix

Director- Riina Hyytiä

Where To Watch-  Netflix

After her husband’s accidental death, Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala), now caring for two kids, continues her job as a homicide detective in the Helsinki Police Department.

As Karppi’s partner, trainee detective Sakari Nurmi (Lauri Tilkanen) is moved from the financial fraud unit to the homicide squad.

 Their first case begins with a normal disappearance. Women’s clothing discovered at a building site directs the investigators to the body of external affairs consultant Anna Bergdahl (Pamela Tola), who was buried with flowers in her hands along a coast leased by wind research company Tempo.

Usko Bergdahl (Jani Volanen), Anna’s husband, is confused after discovering the incident- Anna has been murdered. 

Karppi and Nurmi begin looking into Anna’s history, including her employment with the Tempo firm and its major construction project.

The Outsider (2020)

Image Source: IE

Director- David Auge

Where To Watch- Disney Hotstar

Ralph Anderson, a detective with the Cherokee City Police Department, is played by Ben Mendelsohn.

With a jaded and suspicious attitude toward the crimes he examines, Ralph is a recovering alcoholic who is still dealing with the death of his son Derek, who passed away from cancer years before the events of the episode.

Baseball instructor Terry Maitland, played by Jason Bateman, is detained after being found guilty of killing a little kid named Frankie Peterson.

Before helping with the case, Bill Camp’s depiction of Howie Salomon, the Maitlands’ reliable lawyer, clashes with Ralph over the investigation. Alec Pelley, played by Jeremy Bobb, Howard’s professional colleague, recommends Holly Gibney to the police.

Glory Maitland, played by Julianne Nicholson, is Terry’s wife and is struggling to raise her kids while dealing with the stigma attached to her family as a result of her husband’s arrest.

Mare Winningham plays Jeannie Anderson, Ralph’s wife and an investigator who befriends Glory and helps Ralph in learning the full extent of the situation.

The Mentalist (2008–2015)

Image Source:

Director- Bruno Heller, David Nutter, Alex Berger, Ken Woodruff

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

Patrick Jane committed his entire life to hunt and gunning down Red John after the murders of his wife and children by the serial killer. 

To that purpose, he left his profitable pretense of being a psychic and entered the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a counselor to the team looking into the Red John case, which was directed by Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon. 

Lisbon is able to solve a record number of cases with Jane’s help thanks to his amazing powers of observation and mentalist deduction, but his help is both a blessing and a curse because Jane’s unconventional and even downright dangerous techniques bring much criticism onto Lisbon’s head. The search for Red John is still ongoing in the meantime.

Blue Bloods (2010–)

Image Source:

Director- Leonard Goldberg, Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess, David Barrett, Brian Burns, Frederick King Keller

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

The Reagans, the NYPD’s First Family of Law Enforcement, are the subject of the television show Blue Bloods.

As the head of the largest police force in the world and the son of former PC Henry Reagan, Frank must balance his duties as a parent and a police commissioner. 

Erin, a deputy district attorney; Danny, a senior investigator and fellow Marine Veteran; and Jamie, a recent graduate of Harvard Law School who is now a police officer, are all involved in this family drama and actively protect their city from danger.

Patriotism, enthusiasm, and a strong sense of family are profoundly ingrained in Irish-American culture.

The Wire (2002–2008)

Image Source: VF

Director- David Simon

Where To Watch- Disney Hotstar

The urban decline in the U.S. in general and the drug war in the U.S. in specific can be seen on the streets of Baltimore, not only through the eyes of a few cops and drug gang members, but also through the eyes of the individuals who affect and occupy their world – politicians, the media, drug users, and ordinary residents.

The Wire has received praise for its literary themes, extraordinarily accurate analysis of politics and culture, and realistic depiction of urban life.

Although the show only received ordinary ratings during its original rollout and failed to win any significant television awards, it is now widely considered one of the best dramas ever produced for television.

NCIS (2003)

Image Source: SK

Director- Donald P. Bellisario, Gary Glasberg, Mark Horowitz, Shane Brennan, George Schenck

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

Storyline- Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a special agent with the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), is in charge of the Major Case Response Team. Former Marine Gibbs is a stern investigator and expert questioner who places as much importance on his instincts as on the data.

Senior Field Agent Tony DiNozzo, a philandering, a movie-quoting ex-Baltimore homicide detective who always gets the job done, is Gibbs’ second in command. Along with Junior Field Agent Timothy McGee, a computer-savvy agent constantly made fun of by DiNozzo; the team also includes temporary field agent Eleanor Bishop, a former NSA agent.

They are helped by Dr. Donald Mallard, also known as Ducky, the eccentric medical examiner who is full of strange tales, and Abby Sciuto, the vivacious but Goth lab technician who is like Gibbs’ daughter. This group of elite agents, based in D.C., investigates crimes involving Marines, sailors, and their families, sometimes going across the country or even the globe to do so.

Collateral (2018)

Image Source: EW

Director- S.J. Clarkson

Where To Watch- Netflix

Collateral is a four-part thriller that takes place over the course of four days in London. Carey Mulligan’s Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie, who starred in “The Great Gatsby,” is put in charge of the investigation after a pizza delivery guy is shot and killed in South London. Kip Glaspie determined that the killing was not an act of violence committed at random.

She quickly discovers that she is being lured into the seedier side of London’s underground as she continues her investigation. Additionally, a vicar tries to hide her affair with the only witness to the shooting, while politician David Mars, played by John Simm, becomes involved in the events as a result of his tense relationship with his erratic ex, Karen. As the investigation progresses, disparate worlds merge and intertwine.

Marcella (2016–2021)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Hans Rosenfeldt, Nicola Larder

Where To Watch- Netflix

Marcella is a Scandinavian noir on the streets of Britain and is set in modern-day London with a British Metropolitan Police Officer at its centerpiece. The series told in Rosenfeldt’s unflinchingly clear Nordic style, will take the viewer through a fictional maze until the closing moments.

Additionally, Marcella will explore the psychology of a lone female detective working on a serial killing case on her own with a large number of potential suspects and victims. After a 12-year absence, Marcella Backland, a detective in her late 30s, rejoins the Met’s Murder Squad. She left her fast-track position to get married and focus her life on starting a family.

With her marriage to Jason abruptly ending and her daughter at boarding school, Marcella goes back to work while trying to make sense of what has happened in her life.

Vigil (2021-)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Tom Edge

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

Scottish Police Service Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva is assigned to HMS Vigil, a nuclear-powered Vanguard-class nuclear missile submarine, to investigate a fatality on board, which occurs shortly after the mysterious vanishing of a Scottish fishing trawler.

The police, the Royal Navy, and MI5, the British Security Service are all involved in a conflict as a result of her investigations and those of her colleagues on shore.

The fictional trawler Mhairi Finnea’s death is similar to the sinking of the F.V. Antares in the Firth of Clyde in 1990 by the Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine HMS Trenchant.

Families of the Antares members of the crew complained about Mhairi Finnea’s founding scenes, but the BBC denied that the drama was based on or inspired by a particular real-life event.

Blindspot (2015–2020)

Image Source: YT

Director- Martin Gero

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

 In Times Square, the FBI discovers a fascinating tattooed woman who has no knowledge of who she is. It is discovered that she has tattoos that give hints about a criminal conspiracy as she searches for her history.

Jane Doe, a woman with no memory of her history, is discovered naked and completely covered in elaborate tattoos in Times Square.

Her discovery sparks a massive and complex mystery that attracts the FBI’s interest right away, which starts to follow the tattoos’ hints into a broader criminal plot while also bringing her closer to learning the truth about her identity.

Hannibal (2013–2015)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Bryan Fuller

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

Will Graham is hired by Jack Crawford, chief of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, to help in the investigation of a number of murders that have occurred around the Maryland region. Graham possesses a unique capacity to understand and adopt the viewpoint of a murderer. While this skill saves lives, it also has an unsettling effect on Graham. 

Sometimes, Graham’s fearful thoughts can cause reality to be skewed. To help him deal with the work he performs, Jack assigns Will Graham a doctor.

The psychiatrist is Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who is regarded as a bright and esteemed medical professional by his peers but is unknown to the public as The Chesapeake Ripper, the most notorious serial killer in recent history.

As Jack, Will, and Hannibal become friends, Hannibal takes advantage of his position to not only play risky games with the FBI but also to weaken Will’s mental fitness.

ginning with season three, Kat Miller, assist them while they are working under Lieutenant John Stillman.

Babylon Berlin (2017)

Image Source: TNY

Director-  Henk Handloegten, Tom TykwerAchim von Borries

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime Video

A chaotic metropolis. Everything is undergoing drastic change, whether it is in economics, culture, politics, or the underworld. The still-young Weimar Republic’s roots were already being weakened by speculation and inflation.

Contrasting sharply with the excesses and indulgences of the city’s nightlife and its bursting creative energy are the growing levels of poverty and unemployment.

To solve a crime involving a pornographic network organized by the Berlin Mafia, young Cologne police inspector Gereon Rath is transferred to Berlin.

What looks to be a simple extortion case at first turns out to be a controversy that will forever affect the lives of Gereon and his closest colleagues.

Rath faces a tangled network of corruption, drug dealing, and arms trafficking with his sidekick Bruno Wolter and stenotypist Charlotte Ritter, pushing him into an existential conflict as he is pulled between loyalty and exposing the truth.

Featured Image Source: THR

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment