The Soho Killer. Sounds ominous, right? Well, it is. The fifth book in the DCI Rob Miller series (Joffe Books) is one of the darkest yet. Set in the heart of the capital’s West End, it starts with a brutal murder that sends the local community reeling and law enforcement scrambling to understand what happened.
Rob Miller is nearby on personal business, so gets the call to attend the scene, and what he finds both shocks and horrifies him. Set in August 2022, London is about to enter the most intense heatwave in history, and tensions are running high both at the precinct and on the streets. Tempers flare along with the temperature, and the police are inundated with call outs. Still battling the negative press, the Met are desperate to raise their image and rebuild trust, however, the nature of the brutal crimes is making it very difficult for them. The public expect answers, and they can’t give them any.
Who is killing seemingly random homosexual men on the streets of Soho, and why? The killer is clever, illusive, forensically aware, and seems to know the location of every camera in the area.
When I was researching this book, I took my partner with me to Soho and stood in the centre of Soho Square where the first body was found. “Can you see me?” I shouted.
He glanced at the CCTV camera mounted to the lamp post in the south corner and nodded. “Yep.”
I shifted several paces to the left, under the beady eye of the statue of King Charles II. “What about now?”
More shuffling left.
“That’s it!” he called.
And that’s where I placed the body.
I’m surprised we didn’t get called in for questioning ourselves, so furtive was our behaviour. 🙂
I also had a very interesting chat to a guy in a fetish shop about bondage gear, harnesses, colour codes and things that I was not even aware of prior to writing this book. Store owners, street vendors, council clean up workers, bar staff and cafe managers all contributed to my research – and a huge thanks goes out to them.
Soho is a busltling community with a diverse community and I absolutely love it. Having only been in a couple of times in the past, for theatre shows or jazz concerts, I’d never really explored it properly. I can now confidently say I know it extremely well, right down to every CCTV camera , back alley, sex shop and green space.
So if you’re in the area, I highly recommend a panini and coffee at Bar Italia, followed by a lazy early evening visit to ‘Ain’t Nothing But, a local blues bar with a colourful line-up that won’t fail to entertain. Soho has become my new favourite haunt, until the next book, anyway…