This paper presents a low complexity pairwise layered tabu search (PLTS) based detection algorithm for a large-scale multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) system. The proposed algorithm can compute two layers simultaneously and reduce the effective number of tabu searches. A metric update strategy is developed to reuse the computations from past visited layers. Also, a precomputation technique is adapted to reduce the redundancy in computation within tabu search iterations. Complexity analysis shows that the upper bound of initialization complexity in the proposed algorithm reduces from O(Nt4) to O(Nt3). The detection performance of the proposed detector is almost the same as the conventional complex version of LTS for 64QAM and 16QAM modulations. However, the proposed detector outperforms the conventional system for 4QAM modulation, especially in 16x16 and 8x8 MIMO. Simulation results show that the per cent of complexity reduction in the proposed method is approximately 75% for 64x64, 64QAM and 85% for 64x64 16QAM systems to achieve a BER of 10-3. Moreover, we have proposed a layer-dependent iteration number that can further reduce the upper bound of complexity with minor degradation in detection performance.