56. As the Crow Flies (DI Nick Dixon Crime Book 1) by Damien Boyd

This was the first book I read after rediscovering my kindle app. I had a kindle from 2013-2015 because I had no more room on my shelves. I didn’t take to it as well as I thought, I definitely prefer a real book, however, I enjoy reading and discovering hidden gems on the app. I now read the kindle app on my iPad and on my PC via Kindle Cloud Reader.

Synopsis (as taken from Amazon Kindle Store) is as follows:

Rock climbers can’t afford to make careless mistakes. But Detective Inspector Nick Dixon’s former climbing partner, Jake Fayter, died just doing that. Or so it seems. Dixon suspects foul play, but his only leads are unreliable accounts of something odd happening in Cheddar Gorge seconds before Jake fell.

The more Dixon learns about Jake’s life, the more he realises that Jake hadn’t been quite the man he remembered…and a lot of people have wanted him dead. Once Dixon gets too close to the truth, those people will emerge from the shadows and kill to protect their secrets.

As the body count rises, Dixon bends the rules to breaking point to lure out a killer and unravel a conspiracy of silence that will rock the sleepy town of Burnham-on-Sea to its core.

Ability to read – I jumped in with both feet to this crime novel by Damien Boyd. I had popped up as a recommendation to me on my Kindle App and being a sucker for anything crime related, I just had to check it out. I didn’t have any difficulty when reading this book and felt that I had a good understanding of the characters and the plot that was happening. I would say that it moved in such a steady state that I sometimes felt bored with the dialogue but otherwise I enjoyed reading it.

Characterisation – Nick Dixon was a hard character to get a scope on. I found him at times, dry and unappealing but I cannot deny that he got the job done. I am open to learning more about him because I think he’s one of those characters where it takes a while for a connection to be formed. I understood the conflicting emotions he had regarding his friend Jake, who wasn’t the man he had thought to be friends with. Nick Dixon did keep me guessing, I had many theories as to who was the murderer or all round bad character and I was constantly changing my mind based off how Nick Dixon made his own decisions. I didn’t manage to guess correctly which makes me feel better about Nick Dixon as a character because he led me on a merry chase through his story and held me captivated.

Visualisation – I’ll admit that in the beginning I actually had to get out google maps and remind myself where Cheddar Gorge is! I am not good with placing things on a map but once I’d reacquainted myself, it was easier to mould the descriptions into a visual picture. I felt that I was able to create a strong visual picture of what was happening and adjust my imagination in time with the changes of the narrative.

Uniqueness – I read a lot of crime novels, so the level of uniqueness has dropped considerably for me. That isn’t to say this book didn’t have some uniqueness about it. I find that victims in crime novels are usually murdered and far and few between (at least that has been my experience), are ever anything else. This book offered an insight into that ‘anything else’ bracket. I thought it was a good opening novel to the series to have Nick Dixon involved in a case of death where the victim was someone he knew, I feel that it gave me a better understanding of the character and where his journey will take him. I do look forward to reading the next book in the series and hope that I am able to connect to it more than I did with this one.

Hannah xoxo

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