3 great British TV crime shows you need to watch in July 2024

Two men stand at a crime scene in The Long Shadow.
ITV

It’s getting hot in July, so what better way to cool down than to stay inside and watch some good television? The summer season is usually the season of big-budget action flicks like Bad Boys: Ride or Die or Twisters, but crime shows are just as good and British crime shows are the very best the genre has to offer.

Want a suspenseful procedural that has a parade of famous guest stars? How about a show based on a real-life serial killer? Or a detective series set in a scenic coastal town? If your answer is yes, then the following three shows are just the ticket for quality summertime entertainment.

Need more recommendations? Check out the best British shows on Netflix and the best British shows on Hulu.

The Long Shadow (2023)

A woman looks suspiciously at a man in The Long Shadow.
ITV2

Everyone’s heard of Jack the Ripper, but few outside of England know about the Yorkshire Ripper. The notorious serial killer struck fear into Great Britain from 1975 to 1980, and was eventually caught and convicted of killing 13 women, although some believe he killed more. His reign of terror has been a source of fascination for years, and in 2023, ITV1 produced the latest and possibly best adaption of the real-life story, The Long Shadow.

The seven-episode series focuses on the yearslong manhunt to capture the killer, who preys upon lower-class women who are often involved in prostitution to get by. Toby Jones and David Morrissey star as the detectives assigned to the case, and it’s through their years that we see all the horrors committed by the Yorkshire Ripper as well as all the mistakes the police made in failing to capture him for so long. The Long Shadow is expectedly gripping due to its ripped-from-the-headlines narrative, but it’s surprisingly artful as well, with striking cinematography and soulful performances that give it a sad beauty you won’t forget anytime soon.

The Long Shadow is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Criminal: United Kingdom (2019-2020)

A man is questioned by two people in Criminal: UK.
Netflix

In 2019, Netflix tried an ambitious experiment where it produced a show, Criminal, and released different versions of it set in different countries like France, Germany, and Spain. Only the U.K. version came back for a second season, and that’s probably because it’s the best of a very good bunch. The premise of the show is simple: a pair of detectives bring in a suspect or two for questioning in a bare interrogation room that can be seen by others, usually the support staff who work at the police station but sometimes key witnesses, too.

Each episode is unique, absorbing, and worth watching. Among the standouts include Edgar, which features former Doctor Who star David Tennant as a doctor (!) accused of murdering his stepdaughter; Alex, about a pretty-boy businessman (Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington) accused of rape; and Danielle, which concerns the leader of a self-funded ring of amateur sleuths who try to capture potential sex predators online. If you’ve binged through the U.K. seasons (there are only seven episodes total), move on to Criminal: France, then Criminal: Germany, and then Criminal: Spain.

Criminal: United Kingdom is streaming on Netflix.

Grace (2021-present)

A man stands on a beach in Grace.
ITV

Don’t let the name fool you — Grace has plenty of devious crimes and dead bodies for a good night’s entertainment. Based on a series of bestselling novels by Peter James, the critically acclaimed crime drama is set in the English seaside town of Brighton and Hove and follows Detective Superintendent Roy Grace as he tries to solve crimes while still dealing with a personal tragedy.

Grace is currently in its fourth season, with the first season consisting of two episodes that deal with a mystery of a stag party gone horribly wrong. A car accident leaves many dead, and the groom is missing. Where did he go? And what secret does the man’s bride-to-be seem to be hiding? The first season is free to all, and if you like what Grace has to offer, you can rent or purchase the subsequent seasons for your crime-solving pleasure.

Grace is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.