No matter what type of fictional stories filmmakers come up with, sometimes fact is more gripping and unexpected than fiction, as witnessed in the new film Above Suspicion, which takes its inspiration from one of the most well-known crimes in the FBI's history. Blending together drama and action in the new crime-thriller, the film will put alliances to the test to find out just how deep into a life of betrayal someone will go in hopes of saving themselves from a deadly fate. Check out an exclusive new clip from Above Suspicion above, which is available now to rent and hits Blu-ray and DVD on May 18th.
Based on the true story of one of the most notorious crimes in FBI history, this gritty crime-thriller stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Susan Smith, a young woman desperate to escape a seedy life of crime and drugs in a Kentucky coal-mining town. When a newly minted FBI agent named Mark Putnam (Jack Huston, Fargo) recruits Susan as his informant for a high-profile case, she believes her bad luck may finally be changing. But as Susan and Putnam’s relationship deepens, so does the danger, setting them both on a collision course with deadly consequences.
The real-world crimes that are depicted in the film were chronicled in Joe Sharkey's book Above Suspicion: An Undercover FBI Agent, an Illicit Affair, and a Murder of Passion.
The book is described, "When rookie FBI agent Mark Putnam received his first assignment in 1987, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream, if not the most desirable location. Pikeville, Kentucky, is high in Appalachian coal country, an outpost rife with lawlessness dating back to the Hatfields and McCoys. As a rising star in the bureau, however, Putnam soon was cultivating paid informants and busting drug rings and bank robbers. But when one informant fell in love with him, passion and duty would collide with tragic results.
"A coal miner’s daughter, Susan Smith was a young, attractive, struggling single mother. She was also a drug user sometimes described as a con artist, thief, and professional liar. Ultimately, Putnam gave in to Smith’s relentless pursuit. But when he ended the affair, she waged a campaign of vengeance that threatened to destroy him. When at last she confronted him with a shocking announcement, a violent scuffle ensued, and Putnam, in a burst of uncontrolled rage, fatally strangled her.
"Though he had everything necessary to get away with murder—a spotless reputation, a victim with multiple enemies, and the protection of the bureau’s impenetrable shield—his conscience wouldn’t allow it. Tormented by a year of guilt and deception, Putnam finally led authorities to Smith’s remains. This is the story of what happened before, during, and after his startling confession—an account that 'should take its place on the dark shelf of the best American true crime' (Newsday)."
Above Suspicion is now available to rent on digital platforms and hits Blu-ray and DVD on May 18th.