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Sunday 7 January 2024

‘The Marlow Murders’ by Biba Pearce

Published by Joffe Books,
17 October 2023.
ISBN: 978-1-83526187-3 (PB)

When the body of Debbie Morris is found floating in the river Thames, DCI Rob Miller currently on compassionate leave, is called in as SIO.  It is six months since Rob was suspended over his last case in which he had placed misguided trust in the wrong person, and which had resulted in his partner Jo being stabbed.

Arriving at the scene he finds PC Victor Trent, who had left his police tape in his car a quarter of a mile back, doing his best to control the gathering crowds of onlookers and press.  

Debby Morris, mother of twins had been reported missing more than a month earlier. Last seen at a charity Christmas party, run by Dame Constance Blanchard, at the historic Hollyhock Manor in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, owned by billionaire Roman Petrovic.  A dog walker had found Debbe’s phone, handbag, and Santa's elf hat in a park near the river Thames a couple of days later, but despite a police nationwide search, she was not found. Now she is discovered still in her elf costume, five miles downstream from where she disappeared.  Was it suicide? Was it an accident? Was she pushed?

The first port of call was to the husband, Ian Morris who says he was away in Oxford that day.  Next the people at the party. And so, the investigation continued. The question Rob wants answered is who saw Debbie leave the party. It appears no one did!  

This is the seventh book in the series but the first I have read. Something I must remedy. All the characters are well fleshed out. I particularly liked PC Victor Trent. He had a shaky start but came up trumps in the end.

In all good mysteries people have secrets. Some that go far back into the past.  But truth has a way of surfacing. Cleverly and intricately plotted this is a page turner that kept me guessing to the end. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Biba Pearce grew up on the wild eastern coast of Southern Africa. She now lives in Surrey, and when she isn’t writing, can be found rambling through the countryside or kayaking on the river Thames. She writes gritty police procedurals and is the author of the bestselling DCI Rob Miller series published by Joffe Books. Her latest release, The Marlow Murders, was published in October 2023.  Look out for The Frost Killer, published 9 January 2024.

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