IQiyi’s Who Is The Murderer is a mysterious drama

Xiao Yang (left) as Leng Xiaobing and Dong Zijian as Xia Mu in Who Is The Murderer. (Screenshot from a TV series)

Based on a Chinese novel of the same name, Who Is The Murderer chronicles the pursuit of a serial killer in the city of Haizhou. Due to a lack of evidence and witnesses, the case remains unsolved for 17 years.

While the premise seemed typical, we realized that its plot is teeming with originality (unlike its poster design) after watching four episodes of the iQiyi original series. Here’s how this could be your next Chinese drama to freak out:

1. Police officer Leng Xiaobing is motivated by guilt and determination to solve the Haizhou case.

Xiao Yang of the Chopstick Brothers, known for starring in the Detective Chinatown film series, stars in Who Is The Murderer as police officer Leng Xiaobing. In 2000, Leng was a rookie police officer, who came face to face with the serial killer. As he was shy and inexperienced, he was too afraid to shoot the murderer, which led to his escape and the death of a victim.

The incident has since tortured him with guilt and trapped him in a vicious cycle of self-blame. Even though he can explain to others that his inaction is due to a lack of courage, and pretend everything is fine, deep inside he cannot get over his mistake. He kept an eye on the Haizhou case, in order to catch the murderer to right his wrong.

This internal conflict has been well portrayed by Xiao, which makes Leng an intriguing character with great potential for development in the story. Leng, who aspires to work on major crimes, is a determined man. His ability to get things done despite setbacks is appreciated by his supervisor. This hallmark feature, aided by his guilt, sets the stage for how the story unfolds afterwards.

2. The three main characters are related to the Haizhou case in special ways.

Besides Leng’s involvement as a policeman in the case, the story of two other characters is linked to the case: Xia Mu (Dong Zijian) and Shen Yu (Zanilia Zhao). Xia Mu’s foster mother was killed by the serial killer. Having witnessed Leng’s inability to shoot the murderer, Xia seems to hate and blame Leng, and even make him feel guilty by recounting his less than lucky childhood.

Shen Yu is a psychologist, which is more than it looks as she also engages in law and forensics. She was not directly involved in the Haizhou case, until she received a strange box, containing an item that the serial killer took from his victim 17 years ago.

Zanilia Zhao as Shen Yu in Who's the Murderer.  (Screen capture: iQiyi)

Zanilia Zhao as Shen Yu in Who’s the Murderer. (Screenshot from a TV series)

With all of the introductions put together in the first four episodes, and how the three main characters get to know each other a little better, subsequent episodes will likely explore how they come together to work on the case. As they bring their own unique qualities and contributions to the resolution of the case, the story can only get more interesting from here.

3. The series is well paced and structured to retain its charm.

Who Is The Murderer is a relatively short series with a total of 16 episodes, each approximately 40 minutes long. Each episode ends with a moment of suspense, which may trigger your urge to binge-watch the series in one sitting. Since the series is still ongoing and will release six episodes each week, you’ll have to wait at least two more weeks for the full series if you don’t like being held in suspense.

Who is the murderer is now activated iQiyi with new episodes available every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

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