Review: ‘The Cobalt Sky (Sam Dyke investigations Book 10)’ by Keith Dixon

The Cobalt Sky (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 10) by [Dixon, Keith]I was drawn to this book because the mystery at the heart of it concerns a painter, his idiosyncratic process, and a forgery of one of his works. I often enjoy crime novels and thrillers that are concerned with the theft of or search for artistic artefacts. Fortunately, this being the tenth in Dixon’s Sam Dyke series of detective books was no barrier at all to enjoying it as a standalone.

Keith Dixon is a British writer of crime fiction who likes to combine elements of the hard-boiled USA detective style with a British approach to crime solving. So if you enjoy UK settings (Crewe, Manchester and Alderley Edge), a dogged, private investigator hero who is more witty than he is flawed, car chases that occur at slow speeds, and the brandishing of almost no guns – then this may well be your kind of detective story. It reminded me rather of the Cormoran Strike series by ‘Robert Galbraith’.

This intriguing epigraph opens the book: “What usually has the strongest psychic effect on the child is the life which the parents have not lived.” (Carl Jung) And the story does span generations. The family at the heart of the book splintered long ago. Each damaged member has determinedly not thought in years about the events which lie at the bottom of the book’s central mystery. Now Sam Dyke comes knocking on their doors, hired to get to the bottom of a puzzle which nobody realises, to begin with, is related to their ongoing, familial unhappiness. Dyke unwittingly puts each of them, and himself, in danger when he does so.

Indeed, the book is as much an examination of the damage families can do to their members as it is a novel about forgery and death.

Dixon draws in a variety of strands to enrich the book. It is a testament to his skilful plotting that none of them feel like red herrings (although one or two of them are).

The book is beautifully written and cruises along like a well-maintained Bentley.

** Received a book file in exchange for an honest review **

 

 

Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed.

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