Echoes of The Bridge in star's new cop drama with city playing big supporting role
The past will come back to haunt you.
That is the central theme to Jimmy Nesbitt's latest homegrown crime thriller, which even before its premiere on BBC One on Sunday night was being hailed as blazing a trail for noir here.
The four-part series is the brainchild of Co Down-born writer Chris Brandon.
Judging from the opening episode, he may have left home years ago, but still has a finely-tuned ear for our quick wit.
With Line Of Duty's Jed Mercurio at the helm under his production company HTM Television, Bloodlands is a compelling cat-and-mouse chase between Nesbitt's haunted detective Tom Brannick and the mythical assassin known only as Goliath.
He was a murderer who, in the lead-up to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, "disappeared" figures - both loyalist and republican - who posed a threat to the peace process.
Goliath, whose modus operandi was making it look like his victims upped and left of their own volition, was kept a secret from the public amid suspicion the killer was a police insider. He then quietly slipped away.
But when a Range Rover belonging to missing haulier Pat Keenan, who has an IRA past, is dredged up from Strangford Lough in all the hallmarks of an abduction by loyalist paramilitaries, it appears to Brannick that Goliath has made a return.
A postcard of Harland and Wolff's Samson and Goliath cranes found in the 4x4's wing mirror triggers the connection to the cold case, setting Nesbitt off on a crusade to find the assassin, with partner DS Niamh McGovern (Charlene McKenna) in tow.
And for Nesbitt's detective it is personal, very personal.
His wife, who worked for military intelligence, was also one of Goliath's victims, although she was never officially listed as such.
Supported by a strong cast boasting Derry Girls and Game Of Thrones actor Ian McElhinney, comedian and Luther actor Michael Smiley, Susan Lynch and Kathy Kiera Clarke (Derry Girls' Aunt Sarah, who plays Keenan's tough and straight-talking wife), Nesbitt is on fine form, clearly relishing playing a grieving husband living with the pain of unanswered questions for decades.
He deftly plays Brannick as a professional officer with a maverick streak whose need for closure leads him to butt heads with his past RUC colleague and now superior, DI Jackie Twomey (Lorcan Cranitch).
Twomey has taken over control of the Keenan investigation and is determined not to let Brannick's obsession with Goliath derail it, with the objective of preventing a political crisis.
Brandon's script carefully balances plot and dialogue, which is peppered with quick-fire local humour.
One example is when DI Twomey meets up with Brannick at Belfast docks, in the shadow of the H&W cranes.
He remarks: "I drove past 19 pubs on the way in... why did you want to meet here?"
Thematically, there are obvious parallels between the cold case and a post-Troubles Northern Ireland trying - and arguably failing - to keep its past 'buried', and in some scenes Bloodlands is perhaps a bit too heavy-handed in exploring it.
The circumstances in which the missing Keenan is found has echoes of Scandi-noir thriller The Bridge, along with the gruesome discovery on one of the lough's islands, which hints at darker, more twisted actions by Goliath lie ahead.
Bloodlands is a compelling watch, so much so that it is certain that calls for a second series will be made by fans only one episode in.
Let's just hope Nesbitt's detective survives unscathed to catch killers for another day.
Bloodlands continues on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm.