This great read harkens back to the days of the straightforward in your face detective genre. The author does not try to be “cutsey” or politically correct. He just tells a great story with an extremely proficient hero, Sam Dyke. I usually can figure these types of tales out by the middle of the book, but not this one. It will hook you early with the deviously crafted characters. An example of this fine writer’s skill is an attempted murder by a forced car accident. When I was reading this heart stopping passage, I found myself literally holding my breath.
If you enjoy a good mystery with many surprises along the way, you’ll love this book.
Meet Sam Dyke, a shoot from the hip, slightly cynical, less than happy with how life has turned out private eye. A turned down job turns into a personal quest to do right by his ex-wife even if it is eighteen years too late. The plot escalates quickly and keeps going until the mystery solved with some death defying quick thinking from Dyke. The hook is baited for the second book nicely but not in such a way that you feel like you got thrown off the literary cliff wondering what happened.
If you’re looking for James Bond style action and danger at every turn then this isn’t the book for you. Dixon creates a very real character with a believable plot line. Not many authors are able to blend the right balance of necessary detail and general information but Dixon hits the perfect balance. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series as it comes out.
I love the Sam Dyke series. Great twists and turns in all the stories. I recommend this series to any reader that like PI stories with a great twist.
Walter D. Percevecz Jr
The Private Lie
Very good book from start to finish. Very action packed … Overall great story and enjoyable.
The Private Lie is very well written. The dialogue is superbly done, easy to follow, and believable. I love Sam’s dry wit. The plot is quite good without any annoying slow spots. The surroundings, people, situations, etc. are well described and easy to visualize without being overly wordy or drawn out.
As for the characters, Sam is awesome. I really truly like him. He struggles with relationships. He’s tough, smart, resourceful, and believable. He screws up, makes mistakes, and wriggles his way out.
I do recommend both of Keith Dixon’s Sam Dyke novels. I’m looking forward to the next installment.
Rhonda “Charlie’s Girl”
The Hard Swim
Great story. Well written and thought out. Sam Dyke always keeps me turning the pages. You have to love this ordinary man who gets into trouble at home and abroad. He’s a cleaner version of Jack Taylor by Ken Bruen but just as dogged and brave. I’m very much looking forward to the fourth book in the series. Worth every penny. So enjoy the ride while Sam deals with some real psychos.
The third in a great series on a par with Ian Rankin. I am glad to have read the three books so far in series and would recommend others to follow this sequence. Although the books can be read as single PI stories there is much to be gained by reading in series. I have thoroughly enjoyed these books and would encourage others, who enjoy a good crime story, to follow in my footsteps.
The Bleak is a genre-jumping buffet of delight – well, maybe not quite genre-jumping, more like sub-genre hopping. It has the traits of a cosy mystery, with little bubbles of hard-boiled drifting about – and with large dollops of humor thrown in for good measure. Dixon does a great job of creating believable characters in believable settings, doing quite unbelievable things. Don’t start this book if you don’t have a few hours to kill – you’ll find it difficult to put down.
Charles A. Ray
The Strange Girl
This novel, set in the world of North-of-England casinos, crooked cops and Asian gangsters, is a fine example of author Dixon’s best work. He places the reader in the midst of a conundrum where you don’t know what’s really going on until the last few pages and provides a fast-pace narrative that will keep the pages turning well into the night (I finished this one at four in the morning!).
Another masterful read from Keith Dixon. Not to be missed by lovers of outstanding detective fiction.
The Secret Sharers
I’ve got the hots for Sam Dyke. Love the intrigue, I’ve read all in just a few weeks in sequence. Find them hard to put down. Now I have to hunt down author Keith Dixon and tell him to WRITE FASTER! I’ve also read his books on writing. Very good. Maybe I’ve got a crush on Sam Dyke AND Keith Dixon. Ahhh, but just a fantasy. They are BOTH too young for me…So WHERE’S THE NEXT BOOK, KEITH???????
The Innocent Dead
This is my first Dixon novel and definitely not my last. I am going back to start at book one of the Sam Dyke P.I. series.
You can read the beginning on the book page. So no spoilers here.
The story is set in England with P.I. Sam and his small crew of Belinda and Sam save the day for the Ware family.
The exciting story evolves with fast intelligent action as Sam uses his detective skills with brilliant deductions leading to the subsequent satisfying conclusion. Enough adjectives. Can you tell I really like Sam and his style.
I encourage any reader interested in the thriller action suspense genre to take the plunge and read this book!
This is my first taste of this author’s work and I’m very happy to say it won’t be the last. The novel begins quietly, sliding its characters into your mind, planting the seeds of what’s to come. There’s no hit-hard, smack-em-over-the-head opening, but rather a slow-burning fuse that sizzles away, gathering momentum, building to a thrilling climax. Keith Dixon’s writing appears deceptively simple, the text easy on the eye, the language ordinary and straightforward. Except – it isn’t. The author’s skill is in avoiding the obvious, painting a picture we can’t quite see as he introduces his characters, each subtly different, beautifully drawn and wryly observed. This is a highly intelligent, witty and well-plotted thriller that’ll keep you guessing til the end.
This is the second in a series but is perfectly good as a stand-alone. I haven’t read anything else by this author but I can see that changing! The writing is very good, pulling you into the story. The characters are three-dimensional and complex. Unlike many a crime book these days, which seem to strive to find the most shocking twist, the power of this book is that it all feels extremely plausible. I enjoyed this a great deal and highly recommend it.
“Ignite” – Amazon Top 1000 reviewer
This is excellent contemporary fiction, an engrossing story about an actress searching for what she really wants in her life set against the background of a tooth and claws competition for the lead role in a film. The actress, Mai, goes through a lot in the period of the competition. She’s left her job of two years on a television soapy hoping to extend herself in a role she’s taken in a stage play. The change of acting style is a challenge by itself and the difficult personality of the director makes it even more difficult. She leaves her boyfriend, her drug-taking brother comes back from Afghanistan and her main competitor in the competition is a bitch out to pull her down. Mai kind of stumbles through all this, thinking it’s what she really wants, but she somehow sabotages her chances at every turn.
The book deals with various themes related to stars, the fickle nature of their work, the drugs, the self obsession and ethics – or lack of them – and the role of the media in manipulating public perception. Mai’s personal challenge is to find something meaningful for herself in a business that seems inherently shallow.
This is a work that not only takes us deeply into the main character, but also carries us along on a plot peppered with surprises. The pacing is excellent and the actions of some of the characters are mysterious enough that I got an ‘ah ha’ moment when the truth behind them comes out in the end.
All up, this is a terrific book and well worth a read. I give it 4.5 stars.