The Last Dance

Atlantic Monthly Pr. (Detective Miller, Bk. 1). Jul. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780802161949. $28. THRILLER
Readers looking for a fresh voice in the thriller genre might have found their man in Detective Sergeant Declan Miller, star of the first in a new series Billingham, author of the Tom Thorne series. Detective Sergeant Miller personifies the duality of comedy and tragedy within, all delivered with a cynical wit. After just six weeks and against all advice, DS Miller returns to work following the murder of his wife, Alex, a police officer and champion ballroom dancer. Alex had been investigating a local crime family—the Cutlers—when she died. Declan is teamed with DS Sara Xiu, a heavy-metal and motorcycle fan, who is utterly baffled by her new colleague as they investigate a double murder at a local hotel. As one of the victims is Adrian Cutler, son of the local gangster, they surmise it to be a contract killing gone wrong, but why two victims? Declan calls on all his resources, including retired police officers who share his love of dancing, to solve the case.
VERDICT Exuberant, apposite, and very amusing, Miller’s wit and his observations about modern life and policing will delight new fans.
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