Firstly I wish to thank Gaby Drinkald of Midaspr Publicity for inviting me on the Blog Tour for DEAD LOCK by Damien Boyd
Published by Thomas & Mercer
Paperback Original | £4.99
eBook | £3.98
Damien Boyd continues his popular series with the eighth book telling a sinister tale about abduction and murder.
In the heart of Burnham-on-Sea, a ten-year old girl, Alesha Daniels, is reported missing to the Avon and Somerset Police. Inspector Dixon’s colleagues begin the investigation trying to get evidence from Alesha’s parents. Soon after another local girl is taken, leaving her family in despair. At odds with his superiors, Inspector Dixon is convinced the child abductions are anything but random. Dixon and his team face a new hypothesis, trying to find correlations between the kidnappings but are they going to find out who is behind the disappearances?
Kindle edition :Dead Lock (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series Book 8)
Paper back edition:Dead Lock (The DI Nick Dixon Crime Series)
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
I have to admit that this is my first Damien Boyd novel which I am absolutely sold on. My only regret, which is all down to me, was not knowing more of the back ground of this tight team of core characters.
The hardest stories to read are the ones that involve crimes which revolve round missing children, it makes my mind run wild with every possible outcome that normal doesn’t end well. Having two children disappear in a short time period just sent my mind into overdrive frenzy.
There was something very sinister about Alesha Daniels disappearance especially with the young girl already under the watchful eye of the authorities. It was also enough to request the return of Jane Winters from her holiday. Jane was part of a safeguarding unit that worked with children at risk. Alesha was one of her cases. The second girl who goes missing causes concern for Jane’s boyfriend and former boss DI Nick Dixon, as he knows the girl’s grandfather. What unfolds is complex and riveting story that is layered like a prize onion.
Dixon is very much the rooster among his team, where they seem to have a collective way of thinking while he definitely has his own unique train of thought. It works a dream really, I do like a stand out hero in a book. I was absorbed into scenes where it was more like I was a bystander than a reader. I felt that I could look round the places I was in getting a real feel of the atmosphere that it created. Add the characters and sheer tension and it made for an intense Olympic type finale. What an ending! Pure Gold!
I AM ALSO BRINGING YOU AN EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK
Coal smoke. It was a familiar smell – comforting somehow – swirling in the fog of his dreams every morning when the crows dragged him back to his senses, even before he opened his eyes. Was it the same bloody lot following him along the cut these past several weeks? Sitting on the cabin roof every morning, squawking for all they were worth.
Mutton headed coveys.
He glanced across at Jack, fast asleep in his bunk. He was never up before dawn. It must be the grog. He reached over, picked up the jar and took a swig. Just the dregs. He grimaced.
Tam’s bunk was empty, as usual when they reached Combe Hay. Selling coal to the lock keeper’s wife, no doubt. And more besides.
He slid his feet out from under Sikes, the smelly brindle Lurcher who kept them in rabbits in return for the scraps, and yawned.
Time to sort out Bess. Poor Bess. She comes first.
He slipped his feet into his boots and crept out of the cabin, finding the horse where he had left her last night, tethered to a tree along the towpath eating the wet grass, as far from the water’s edge as he could get her. She’d been in the canal again last week, but then it was Tam’s proven remedy for a buckled shoulder.
‘Works every time,’ he always said. ‘Get her in the water and let her swim it off. It’ll soon pop back in.’
It was happening more and more often these days. Poor old Bess. The old nag was starting to struggle to get the barge moving when it was full of coal.
All twenty ton of it.
He filled her nosebag with the last of the oats from the barrel and slipped it over her head. They should get to Paulton today and he’d make sure he filled it up good and proper for the return trip.
He left Bess eating her breakfast in the half light of the dawn and wandered back along the towpath towards the barge. He slid back the tarpaulin and dropped down into the empty hold as quietly as he could. It was either that or wake up Jack and get another basting for his trouble.
He picked up the last few bits of coal. The dregs.
One day he’d have his own boat – it was the life of a bargee for him – then there’d be no more dregs. For him, or Bess.
He tiptoed along the gunwale to the back cabin, trying not to rock the boat. Smoke billowed out of the stove when he opened the door, which explained why everything – and everyone – was covered in a thin layer of black dust. Coal safely in, he gave it a prod with the poker, closed the door and then placed the kettle gingerly on the top. Jack didn’t mind the whistle of the kettle if it was followed by a nice cup of ‘Rosie’, as he called it. And the stronger the better to mask the taste of the coal.
‘Nat, are you in there?’
He poked his head out of the back cabin to find Tam running along the towpath, doing up his belt as he ran.
‘Get Bess harnessed up, then get up to the next lock. It’s against us.’ Tam was banging on the side of the cabin with his fist. ‘Get up, Jack. We need to get moving. I’ll meet you at the top of the flight.’
Then he watched Tam disappear through a gap in the hedge and sprint off across the field.
Lock keeper on your tail again, is it?
Here we go again, Bess.
Nosebag off, harness on. Then he ran along the towpath to the next lock. They had stopped for the night in the middle of the flight so it was only a short dash. He closed the top gate and then ran back to the bottom gate to open the paddles, emptying the water from the lock.
First the nearside, then across the top of the gate to the offside. With both paddles open the lock would empty twice as fast.
He looked back to the barge. Jack was already getting Bess moving. Easier for the old girl today, with no cargo on board.
He glanced down at the top of the gate as he cranked the windlass lifting the nearside paddle, the water swirling as it roared out through the opening. The gate was crumbling and split where it had been rammed by barges coming into the lock too fast over the years, the splintered wood just visible through the piles of wet leaves lying along the top.
He could step over them.
It’d be no bother.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Damien Boyd is a bestselling crime novelist. His series featuring DI Nick Dixon has sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated into five different languages. Damien produces stories based on his own experience from twenty-five years in the legal profession, including a spell at the Crown Prosecution Service. His debut novel, As the Crow Flies, was published in April 2013 becoming an international Kindle #1 bestseller. The sequels, Head in The Sand, followed by Kickback, Swansong, Dead Level and Death Sentence were all critically acclaimed, and his latest novel Heads or Tails achieved great success in the UK and Australia.
Damien takes part in many literary festivals including the Chudleigh and Ilminster Festivals, the Weston-super-Mare Literary Festival, World Book Day with BBC Radio Devon, and is also soon to appear at Bridgwater Library on 24th May and Burnham-on-Sea Library on 30th May to coincide with the release of Dead Lock.
Burnham is where Damien feels most at home and is the reason why he set the series in the town. His grandfather was the manager of the NatWest in Redfield, Bristol before they moved to Burnham-on-Sea. Damien spent the first 32 years of his life in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset and went to St Dunstan’s School in the town. The author has worked as a solicitor for 25 years and decided to leave his career to realize his biggest dream: writing full time.