Books two and three in the brilliant London based crime series.
DI, or Acting DCI, Rob Miller is a great character. In his personal life he is the quiet man who seems almost shy. In his professional life he is thought of as the quiet but efficient background officer.
But in the first book of the series he was given a chance to be the SIO on what appeared to be a run of the mill murder. This turned out to be anything but run of the mill, and his ability as as leader, and as an investigator shone through.
It’s no surprise that he is given a second run at SIO in book 2, The West London Murders, when a man is stabbed to death in what appears a random attack.
As the investigation gets going it soon becomes evident that the National Crime Agency was aware of the man. Rob and his team are asked to lay of the main suspect as the NCA have him as one of their main targets in a County Lines investigation, which could lead to a major drug gang being taken off the streets.
When another death is linked to that of the first victim it becomes apparent that neither murder has anything to do with the drugs gang, and that a murder investigation is the Mets priority.
Rob is reunited with Jo Maguire, now working for the NCA, they both have their own priorities, Rob the murder investigation, Jo the drug gangs and their suppliers.
Can they play nicely and satisfy both of their bosses, can they solve the murders without jeopardising the drug investigation.
Just as intriguing, where will their own relationship go, now that Rob is in a very unstable marriage.
In the third book, The Bisley Woods Murders, Rob is made SIO when a young girl goes missing. A body is found but it’s not that young girl, it’s another one, and she’s been buried for years.
When the girl who Rob was initially tasked to find turns up safe and well it’s not the end of the investigation, because by this time a body dump has been found, and the team are looking for somebody who has been killing young girls for years.
How has this not been picked up before? It’s a testament to Pearce’s writing that I never asked that question. The flow of the story is brilliant, and realistic, it highlights how easy it is for mass killers to go unnoticed.
From the start the investigation is hampered in the most unexpected of ways. But this leads to the discovery of the burial sites. It also throws the investigation team down blind alleys in the investigation.
The frustration of the team is only added to when it becomes personal for one of their number.
Can the murdered in London be linked to The disappearance of Jo Maguire’s sister nearly 20 years ago.
I came late to this series, and I’m loving catching up.
It’s like that TV series you didn’t catch first time around and now you’re binge watching it.
It’s compulsive. The crimes are really well conceived and realistic. The setting, the London Suburbs is perfect for the story. Most importantly, for me, I can engage with the characters.
Rob Miller is brilliant, he is just an ordinary man, a bit shy and a little insecure in everything except his commitment to an investigation. His personal life is in turmoil. As the series starts he is engaged to a high maintenance girl who, in everyday terms is well above his punching weight.
By the second book they are married but in a very unstable relationship. In typical man style he ignores the situation at home to concentrate on his cases, but his home life is always on his mind.
And then there’s Jo. A career focused young woman who Rob finds solace with, and both of them would want more if he wasn’t married.
There are conundrums in the investigations and Robs personal life that keep these stories going at just the right pace.
A great series.
Publisher Joffe Books. Print Length: 266 & 338 pages. Available now