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Altered Life (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 1)

Altered Life (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Keith Dixon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Making a killing in business is one thing - doing it for real is another.

Private Investigator Sam Dyke turns down a job that would require skills that he doesn't have - patience, computer-literacy, tact. Then he finds that the skills he does have - tenacity, aggression, street-smarts - are exactly the ones he needs for his next case - hunting down a cold-blooded murderer who seems to know what his every step will be.

To solve the case Sam must negotiate with his ex-wife, cement a relationship with a new love, unravel an office-based financial fraud and fight off an arrogant murderer armed only with a pen-knife. Altered Life is fast-paced, bitterly comic and introduces a tough new English private eye who knows what he wants and, usually, how to get it.

"Right out of the gate, this is an amazing novel for first-time author, Keith Dixon." - Ron Peters, POD People.

"If you like private eye stories, you owe it to yourself to check out Keith Dixon's Altered Life. I had a hard time putting it down and I bet you will too. With this book you'll be in on the ground floor of what is sure to be a successful series of 'Sam Dyke' mysteries." - Dan Marvin, The LL Book Review.

About the Author

Keith Dixon has written three books in the Sam Dyke Investigations series and a fourth book, Actress, which has nothing to do with crime. Another Sam Dyke book is in the works.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 440 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Semiologic Ltd; 5 edition (15 Mar 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00361ENWG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #916 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

A few years ago Keith Dixon realised that he wanted to give up work and write fiction full time.

So since then he's written four novels featuring private eye Sam Dyke and published a non-crime book, Actress. He's also given up work.

The fourth Sam Dyke Investigation, The Bleak, was published in May, 2014 and the fifth, The Strange Girl, will follow in late summer.

He's currently sharing his time between the UK and France.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Altered Life -- exceptionally well written tale 14 Jan 2008
The first thing that hits you when you read the opening lines of Altered Life, is the fact that it is in the First Person. This of course is the standard format for the genre; ie, Crime / Detective / PI stories; but it has rarely been accomplished well since the days of the famed Raymond Chandler; well that is not the case here I am delighted to say, UK based writer Keith manages to put First Person back up where it belongs, on top of the pile, due to his great forte for the style as shown here.

Minus the seedy monologues involving dames and broads and neon lit corner diners providing the only light on dark rainy nights, Keith Dixon stoutheartedly keeps the style of delivery firmly on this ( UK ) side of the Sargasso, and makes the first person narrative style all his own. Altered Life is a tale of a private investigator, Sam Dyke, who is asked by a management consultant, Rory Brand, to investigate his beliefs that someone is trying to scupper his business and steal new software related to the still burgeoning Human Resource culture-monster which is engulfing all aspects of Personnel and Recruitment in both the private and state sectors in all countries where paint bombing and away-days are King.

The story has a surprising very early twist and this then really sets the scene for the rest of the tale; so much so I cannot relate it here as it would be a Class 1 Spoiler. But, the combination of A1 narrative and dialogue, the totally believable characters, and the tense situations punctuating the overall plot, make this a great story by a great writer. Keith once won an award for one of his earlier offerings, let us hope he repeats this achievement with - Altered Life. Well done, Keith, here's to your next offering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonably good read 26 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I started this book I thought it was going to be a 4 star book. However, after a good start it seemed to fall
away a bit and I cannot quite say why.

Sam is a private detective, but with attitude! I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd been punched on the
nose a few times, the way he spoke to people! When a would-be client is murdered, Sam feels guilty for
turning him down and decides to investigate the murder. When Sam's ex-wife pops out of the woodwork, life
gets complicated.

I did think Sam spent too much time driving from place to place around the country, just to have a short
conversation with people, when a phone call would probably have done the job. And there were too many descriptions
of towns, areas, buildings, etc. instead of getting to the action. But I suppose it filled up the story.
Also there seemed to be some dispute over whether he was going to get paid for all this work.
Finally, I do so hate it when perfectly intelligent people agree to meet a known murderer in a dark, isolated spot!!!
As if anybody would!

However, this was an o.k. read and I would probably read another in the series some time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A competent thriller 5 Dec 2013
By Perkins
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sam Dyke is a very likeable, intelligent private detective. The story begins with the murder of Sam's latest client, the dynamic, ruthless head of an apparently thriving business consultancy. Sam's investigation of his late client's murder has enough twists and turns to keep you reading through to the action-packed end. Although I enjoyed the story, the sharp, clever dialogue and the strong characterisation, I nevertheless found my attention wandering from time to time. At first, I couldn't put my finger on why this was happening but then I realised the book never really explains exactly what a business consultant does. Because of this, there was a lack of tension surrounding the business aspect that never really picked up at any time. Once the author began to stray into the realms of transactional analysis to explain a character's motivation, things fell apart a bit although they did pick up again in places. I certainly feel that Sam Dyke is deserving of his own series as there is plenty of scope for him in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Dyke, a modern, British Marlowe 21 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I came across Keith Dixon three or so years ago when I first published my novels in print via Lulu. Though I don't remember specifically chatting with him, his was a name I regularly saw on various Lulu forums and I had been left with the impression that he likely wrote well.

When someone recently suggested I should read "Altered Life", I recognized Dixon's name and decided to see if my past impressions had been correct so I gave his first novel a go. I confirm that Dixon not only writes well, he writes exceptionally well.

In the spirit of Chandler's Marlowe, though with an unmistakable British voice and style, Dixon's prose flows seamlessly and pulls in the reader from page one. His characters are real; flawed, imperfect, human. His story is well thought out, believable and holds together without the slightest glitch. Though not a novel of non-stop action, the suspense grips the reader and forces him, or her, to read just another page, or chapter, or more.

As an added bonus, Dixon's grammar, copy-editing and formatting is among the best I've seen in recent years. I give "Altered Life" a well deserved 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read 17 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Altered Life is a really good read. The story's unexpected twists and turns keep up the momentum, which prevented me from putting the book down for very long before reaching for it again.....Looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Altered life
Easy quick read that requires little thinking.
A few far fetched bits but overall an easy holiday read that goes quick my.
Published 2 days ago by ky
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 20 days ago by brian hazelwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this author cannot fail with this style of writing
Published 21 days ago by mr m cropper
5.0 out of 5 stars WATCHING THE DETECTIVE
Published 24 days ago by metal mickey
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner
This story moves along at a pace. Written in the first person it feels like you are listening to a Philip Marlow play. Read more
Published 25 days ago by book sponge
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read.
Nicely written and it moves along at a good pace. It's a little like a children's book written for adults but it was enjoyable nevertheless. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Nigel Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Competent who dunnit with well drawn characters etc. A good read.
Published 1 month ago by keith
2.0 out of 5 stars Awful
I thought this was going to be a riveting read but how wrong I was. The author must have thought he was writing about Sam Spade rather than Sam Dyke (a former customs and excise... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great
good read
Published 1 month ago by Ben
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
An OK book, but nothing brilliant. Did not like the ending.
Published 1 month ago by Caroline
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