The real crime story at the heart of “Suspicion” is brutal underuse of the show’s biggest star.

Uma Thurman is close to the center of the action on Apple TV’s new mystery series. She plays a high-flying businesswoman whose son is kidnapped from a New York hotel. After footage of the incident goes globally viral — both because of her fame and because of the kidnappers’ provocatively wearing masks of the British royal family — various, seemingly random suspects find themselves pleading their innocence to law enforcement agents from the U.S. (Noah Emmerich) and the U.K. (Angel Coulby). And Thurman finds herself balefully wondering if revealing certain closely-held secrets might free her son.

The investigation story feels standard-issue, reliant on flash, somewhat weak culture-clash material between Emmerich’s and Coulby’s characters, and intimations of dishonesty and conspiracy. But too often, the show seems to be purposefully obscuring what’s going on — and doing so by simply hiding a potent asset. This viewer simply lost the patience waiting for the show to allow Thurman, a gifted performer who too rarely gets the chance to let loose these days, to do much of anything. A big star having a featured cameo is not a new concept, but “Suspicion’s” withholding anything meaty from Thurman extends as far as having her character deliver a major statement to the public… through a publicist, who gets to deliver the lines while Thurman watches on television.

In all, “Suspicion” seems not to know what it has on its hands — and, while it’s competently made and will divert viewers who are mystery fans, it takes far too long to get truly curious about what spurred the crime at its center, or how a powerful person connects to it. The desire to conceal elements of a mystery has resulted in a story that isn’t much of a story at all.

“Suspicion” launches on Apple TV Plus Friday, February 4.

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