The South Bank Murders by Biba Pearce

Title: The South Bank Murders (Detective Rob Miller Mystery #5)

Author: Biba Pearce

Published on: 3 March 2022

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

The South Bank Murders is the fifth book in Biba Pearce’s Detective Rob Miller series.

DCI Rob Miller is now a father. He’s spending his evening with his son Jack when he receives a phone call from his mentor Detective Chief Superintendent Lawrence asking if he would meet for a pint at a pub. Rob refuses saying his partner (and Jack’s mum) Jo has had a tough time looking after the baby (Jack has a healthy pair of lungs…) and would like to give her some ‘me’ time.

After a few hours, Miller receives a phone call from a copper saying there’s been a shooting at a restaurant in Clapham. When Miller asks the copper to inform his colleague Galbraith about it, the copper says one of the victims is DCS Lawrence. Miller arrives at the scene and so does the rest of his colleagues. Superintendent Mayhew, Miller’s new boss arrives at the scene and tells the team that central MIT would be in charge of the case.

Miller and his team does not take no for an answer. When nobody’s looking, Miller silently pockets Lawrence’s phone and leaves the crime scene. If caught red-handed, the team might lose their jobs but they are adamant to take up the case of their ex-boss’s murder. When Miller insists he wants to solve the case, Mayhew speaks to the Commissioner and gets the case transferred to Miller and team.

The only thing left to do is find the killer. But that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Not especially when battered body of a young boy is found floating in the south bank of the Thames near the London Eye.

Oh my goodness! I have been waiting for this book for quite some time now and boy, was it worth the wait! Biba Pearce is one of my favorite authors and DCI Rob Miller is one of my favorite police procedural series. I was very excited to know the latest installment would be released soon and was eager to read it when Hanna from Joffe Books sent me an ARC.

DCI Rob Miller and his partner Jo (who works for the NCA) are now proud parents of a baby named Jack. Rob arrives early from work one evening and Jo asks him to look after the baby for a while so that she can have a nice long bath. Rob receives a phone call from his mentor and friend DCS Lawrence asking if he could meet him in a while. Rob refuses saying he has daddy duties. A few hours later, Lawrence is killed along with two other men in a shootout.

Rob Miller and his colleagues – Jenny, Mike and Galbraith – are adamant to find out the killer. But their boss Superintendent Mayhew says they were too close to the victim and it might affect their judgement. The group decides to solve the case on their own; when Miller insists he and his team wants the case, Mayhew gives in.

But, the team also has another case in hand. The battered body of a young boy is found in the south bank of Thames. A gunshot wound indicates the boy was shot to death. Who would want to cause grievous harm to a young boy and then shoot him dead? While the case of Lawrence’s murder takes them to a housing estate where a notorious drug dealer lives, the young boy’s murder takes them to a children’s asylum. Soon, the sleuthing team wonders if both the cases have something to do with the county lines operation – the drug dealings that has been going on for some time now.

I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down until the end. We have two mysteries and one team solving them both. One of the cases is personal to the team while the other is heart-wrenching (human trafficking.) We also get a sneak-peak into the coppers’ personal lives – from Mike’s decision to help someone (no spoilers here) to Miller juggling between professional and family life.

The mystery behind both the murder cases kept me guessing till the end. I could not identify the killer. A victim reveals a clue (about the killer) that leaves Rob shocked – a subtle clue that was initially discussed in passing somewhere at the beginning of the story. I tried my best to remember who this person was but failed to do so! Well, my excuse is – there were plenty of red herrings and too many suspects so how am I to remember who the culprit was? Hmm?

Be it the suspense or the character portrayal or the setting, Biba Pearce is a master storyteller. The South Bank Murders is a new favorite in the series. If you are looking for a fast-paced, gripping and completely suspenseful police procedural, you might want to add The South Bank Murders by Biba Pearce to your read list.


Many thanks to the lovely Hanna from Joffe Books for sending a copy of the book.

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