The Last Dance

Highbridge Audio. (Detective Miller, Bk. 1). Jul. 2023. 9:11 hrs. ISBN 9781696612593. $19.99. THRILLER
Detective Sgt. Declan Miller is grieving the murder of his wife, Alex, killed six weeks before the opening of Billingham’s (DI Tom Thorne mysteries) enthralling new series. Against all advice, Miller returns to work and is assigned a new partner, DS Sara Xiu, who finds his cynicism and disregard for protocol positively baffling. As Miller investigates a double murder, he draws upon all his resources, including Alex’s ghost and their circle of competitive ballroom-dancing friends, many of whom are retired cops. Then, when it appears the murder is solved, a shocking discovery puts everything in question. Narrator David Threlfal’s performance is wonderful, with distinct regional accents that make each character a vivid individual. His comic timing is marvelous, conveying Declan’s weary acceptance that most people just don’t get his sense of humor. When he compares a crime to “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, only with stolen cars and cocaine,” listeners will know they’re in for a fun ride.
VERDICT Audiences will love the complex Declan, whose intense grief cannot repress his innate sarcasm. There is a lot going on in this thriller, all of which is brilliantly knit together by the author and a very talented narrator.
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