Hidden Assets, a joint Irish and Belgian police procedural, stars Angeline Ball as an Irish cop named Emer. The role is a spin off from the character Emer in Acceptable Risk. Emer was a favorite in the earlier series and that earned her a series of her own.
Hidden Assets is a tightly-written, well paced mystery. It starts off with Detective Sergeant Emer Berry at work in her job with the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB). This arm of the Irish police can seize anything that was gotten with illegal money. The CAB raids the home of a drug dealer. The raid yields unpolished diamonds that are linked to bombings in Belgium.
Emer teams up with Belgian anti-terrorism cop Christian de Jong (Wouter Hendrickx) and they jointly work the case. Most of the time the story is set in Antwerp, Belgium, but Emer stays in touch with her team in Ireland regularly.
The police follow multiple lines of investigation. Clues involve hidden assets (as the title suggests), money laundering, political manipulations, terrorist bombings, murders, and immigration issues.
Emer and Christian work well together, and their teams complement each other in the skills department. Especially important is the data whiz Norah (Cathy Belton). Norah loves nothing more than a clean whiteboard where she can diagram her way through any complex set of relationships.
Emer and Christian have very different personalities and goals in their jobs. Emer is the kind of cop who wants to follow a trail to the very end and know all the whys and hows. Christian is more interested in saving lives in the immediate moment, even if it means some answers are lost.
Both cops are dedicated to the job and have no personal life outside of their work.
A family headed by Bibi (Simone Kirby) comes on the police radar. Bibi runs a company at the port of Antwerp and one of her employees is killed in an apartment used by the terrorists. Then it’s discovered that the apartment is owned by the Irish guy whose drug assets were seized.
That leads them to Bibi’s brother Fionn (Peter Coonan), who has a history as a criminal and seems like a good prospect for money laundering charges. Bibi’s husband, James (Charlie Carrick), is a lawyer who doesn’t much appreciate his wife bailing out her errant brother all the time. James’ father, Richard (Michael Ironside), is in the process of buying a huge chunk of the port of Antwerp. Bibi goes to him for financial advice.
None of the mysteries are straightforward. The people you suspect often don’t turn out to be the guilty ones. There are some nice twists and turns in the unraveling of this far-reaching mystery.
The series was created by Peter McKenna. The directors were men but there was a woman on the writing team. Angeline Ball was a treat the entire time as a calm and unflappable police officer who can think her way through the most complicated crimes.
There were a couple of loose ends, but not annoyingly so. This was a straight forward crime solving story with tension and plenty to think about. I enjoyed it very much. All the episodes are available now on Acorn TV.