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Amazon Prime 2019: seven best crime dramas

From The Americans to Too Old to Die Young, there’s a whole host of top-quality capers on the streaming platform

Whether you are after a traditional cop drama or an apocalyptic crime spree, there is plenty to choose from on Amazon Prime. Here is The Week's best picks of 2019 crime shows on the streaming service.

The Purge 

This dystopian drama takes its cues from the hit US movie franchise of the same name, based on the idea that for 12 hours, once a year, all crime is legal. Gabriel Chavarria plays Miguel Guerrero, a US marine who must survive the night. The first series has finished, but a second is already in the works. “Few 21st Century horror concepts have proven as potent and profitable as The Purge,” says Collider.

Sneaky Pete 

In the first series, conman Marius Josipovic, played by Giovanni Ribisi, is released from prison and steals the identity of his old cellmate, Pete. The second series came out last year, following a similar formula, with Marius running into trouble every step of the way. “Sneaky Pete is so cleverly plotted that even the most obvious outcomes are imbued with tension,” says AV Club. Now, season three is also available.

The Americans 

The Americans came to a close last year with its sixth and final season. Fans bid farewell to KGB spies Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), who pose as a suburban couple in 1980s Washington D.C. Described as “tense, understated, affecting, and one of the greats”, by AV Club, the final season is set against the end of the Cold War. All of the seasons are available to binge on Amazon Prime, so viewers can follow the Jennings’ story from start to finish.

Bosch 

Based on Michael Connelly's book series of the same name, it stars Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch, a Los Angeles homicide detective. The rave reviews haven’t slowed down, with IndieWire describing it as “shocking and unstoppable”. The fifth season has become available on Amazon Prime. 

Too Old to Die Young

This new US show follows Detective Martin Jones (Miles Teller) as he struggles with an existential crisis due to living a double life as a killer for hire in Los Angeles. Reviewers have praised the striking cinematography throughout the ten-episode series, as well as the long silences and brutal violence typical of Drive and Bronson director Nicolas Winding Refn.

White Collar

White Collar is far from the first con-artist crime drama, but this time the light-fingered protagonist is paired up with an FBI agent to take down criminals together. With cheeky characters, and a captivating plot, TV Guide says it is “among the most enjoyable shows ever to employ the USA [Network] formula of breezy, humour-laced intrigue”.

Accused

This eerie BBC drama follows ordinary people who have been accused of a crime and now await the verdict. Each one-hour episode examines a new character with flashbacks showing the events and moral predicaments which lead them to their situation.

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