Warning: contains spoilers for all of Death in Paradise season 12.


DI Neville Parker was dealt the cruelest of blows in the penultimate episode of Death in Paradise season 12 when he discovered that Sophie Chambers was not who she claimed to be.

Their first meeting involved Neville accidentally bashing into her with his suitcase. Following that, he also mistakenly took her luggage home with him and almost crashed into her taxi.

As far as introductions go, it was a complete disaster.

But when Sophie arrived at the police station to swap their cases, an initial spark began to form between the pair and a short time later, they began a holiday romance, leaving viewers convinced that Neville would follow her back to the UK in due course.

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Sophie's holiday came to an end but when her boss gave her the greenlight to work remotely, she headed back to the island to pick up where they left off.

But Neville's hopes of a relationship with Sophie were dashed. Her name wasn't Sophie, but Rebecca, and she had travelled to the Caribbean to ruin his life.

When Neville was based in Manchester, he had worked on an investigation into the murder of drug dealer Darren Biggs.

It was Sophie's sister Grace who had killed him, acting in self defence. The former was a courier for Biggs but on that fateful day, she was too ill to carry out her deliveries, with Grace taking her place and paying the price.

Sophie blamed Neville for her sister's imprisonment. His friend and colleague Andrew Buckley was corrupt and had removed Biggs's burner phone, which contained evidence of Sophie's involvement, from the crime scene to protect himself.

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She could have cleared Grace's name, but she didn't have the courage to speak up. A year into her sentence, Grace took her own life.

Sophie latched on tight to that anger when she murdered criminologist David Cartwright and pinned it on Neville. The detective was arrested, with fans convinced that would be the reason for Ralf Little's exit from the show.

Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com about the reveal, Little said: "First of all, I was really impressed with the ambition of the storyline. After the 10-year mark, shows can rest on their laurels a bit or even run out of ideas. And actually, I think this series just keeps getting better and better and more and more ambitious.

"So my first thought was, 'What an amazing set of bold choices for the creative team to make.' I was delighted."

Marlon, Naomi, Neville and Darlene sitting together on the beach in Death in Paradise
Death in Paradise cast. Red Planet Pictures/Denis Guyenon BBC/Red Planet Pictures/Denis Guyenon

Eventually, the truth about Sophie came to light and she'll now spend the rest of her days behind bars. But despite his name being cleared, it was far from a happy ending for Neville.

His love life was once again in the gutter and he began to doubt if he was capable of continuing his work as a detective.

"I think maybe it's time to call it a day," he said, weighing up his future on the island.

"He's really, really beating himself up and he's really in a bad place and frankly, he's not even sure anymore if he's up to the job," Little told RadioTimes.com. "And that has ramifications for whether or not he is worthwhile to the team anymore."

His colleagues and friends, who were concerned for his mental well-being, did their best to boost his spirits but ultimately, the decision rested with him.

Would he stay? Or would he go?

In the finale, Neville opted to remain, news which was greeted with open arms by his companions. For now, the detective is wedded to life in the Caribbean. But there's every chance he'll change his mind in season 13.

Things are certainly looking a little brighter but if Death in Paradise has taught us anything, it's that any situation can shift in a heartbeat.

All 12 seasons of Death in Paradise are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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