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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True History and a Whodunit!
Some controversial events in history that have never been successfully resolved always tend to generate a substantial amount of speculation and the sinking of the Struma in the Black Sea in 1942 certainly qualifies. Who was involved, who gave the orders, who knew what and what deals may have been struck and so on remain unanswered questions. Having said that, however,...
Published on 7 Mar. 2013 by DragonOne

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On balance, a good read
An interesting combination of mystery, spying and detection revolving around a WW2 naval encounter which was unknown to me and yet enhanced by the treatment it gets in this narrative.
Again, on the plus side, we have the chivalry of Sam who saves Chantal and the slow but intriguing evolution of a mystery which stretches from the present back to 1942 and back to the...
Published on 19 April 2013 by Wendy


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True History and a Whodunit!, 7 Mar. 2013
Some controversial events in history that have never been successfully resolved always tend to generate a substantial amount of speculation and the sinking of the Struma in the Black Sea in 1942 certainly qualifies. Who was involved, who gave the orders, who knew what and what deals may have been struck and so on remain unanswered questions. Having said that, however, this is a modern day story full of intrigue, mystery, mayhem and romance involving spies, goons, government officials, military trained combatants, pretty women and one smart and tough private investigator, Sam Dyke. I took to Sam right away when he saved the lovely Chantal, a French language translator from what initially seemed like a random attack but as the story unfolded I soon realized that there is nothing random in this story at all, indeed quite the contrary. I love how the author used the backdrop of two true historical events which were slowly uncovered as links to solving the present day mystery. Highly recommended.
(Author provided review copy)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a hard read...really enjoyable!, 17 April 2013
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Unable to resist a damsel in distress or an unsolved mystery,Sam Dyke puts both his life and his relationship with the long suffering Laura on the line. This is a well written plot that glimpses the lengths those with aspirations of political power will go to in order to protect their dubious reputations. Keith Dixon's 'baddies' have a sadistic edge that make you wince. Connell Steele's uncontrolled thirst for violence is no less gruesome than that of Little Jimmy in The Private Lie. And who is the mysterious Angel? Undeterred as usual, Private Eye Dyke's Yorkshire grit drives him on, taking the reader on a journey into WWII and a possible conspiracy that causes ripples in the present day. As with Keith Dixon's previous Sam Dyke investigations, I read The Hard Swim in a matter of days. His writing flows in such a way that you don't want to put the book down. Buy this book...you'll love it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read on many levels, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: The Hard Swim (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book, it draws you in with a excellent combination of exciting storyline and characters supported by well researched historical and geographical detail. Looking forward to diving into the next Sam Dyke in the series... keep them coming Keith!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good read., 14 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The Hard Swim (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
A new author for me but enjoyed it thoroughly. Twists and turns in the plot had me hooked. Will read more of his books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful and engaging read, 30 April 2013
This review is from: The Hard Swim (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Keith Dixon's P.I. Sam Dyke is back.... This time the action takes us to Edinburgh, Manchester, Portsmouth and across the channel to a sleepy village in rural France. Sam makes for a thoughtful protagonist - he's the son of a Yorkshire miner who can riff on comparisons between the decline of industrial Britain and that of French agriculture, while getting himself and his client out of sticky situations.
Keith's nemesis in this book is not the hired assassin Connell Steele, but his paymaster, the ambitious and morally bankrupt politician Gideon Blake.

Where The Hard Swim excels is the way it takes us into the minds of the hard-men soldiers who saw and did much more than they should have on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan. On their return to civvy street some of these washed-up souls end up driving taxis or, for those who really can't get rid of their residual anger, go into jobs such as 'oil security' or worse. Connell Steele is one such, rather deranged example. Steele, though is tiring of his day job as a mercenary. Like many a wage slave he's stuck in his job and even though he's very well paid to do his dirty work, he's hardly the type to chuck in the towel and take himself off to do a creative writing M.A.

The Hard Swim is deftly plotted and an engaging read, weaving together stories from the Second World War with those set in the present. The plotting is so well done that Dixon keeps the reader guessing. Every detail that is set-up earlier on in the novel has a pay-off later on in the story. Keith Dixon's prose is fluent and assured and he has that knack of making the writing look easy.... Although Chantal remains somewhat of an enigma, I think it was a wiser choice by the author to choose instead to delve into the mind of a complex psychopath, who is beginning to doubt himself.

On the strength of this, the third Sam Dyke book I'm keen to read the first two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Dyke getting better and better, 27 April 2013
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LindaMPH (Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hard Swim (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Sam is a good northern straight talking man and by this third book you really feel as if you have got to know him better and he is just the kind of guy you want in your corner if you were ever in trouble. I enjoyed the characters, dialogue and story tremendously and if there was any justice out there these would be made into a tv adaptation. If you liked Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie character then you will like these Sam Dyke books. I hope there will be many more in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars On balance, a good read, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: The Hard Swim (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
An interesting combination of mystery, spying and detection revolving around a WW2 naval encounter which was unknown to me and yet enhanced by the treatment it gets in this narrative.
Again, on the plus side, we have the chivalry of Sam who saves Chantal and the slow but intriguing evolution of a mystery which stretches from the present back to 1942 and back to the present.
I also liked the sense of conspiracy and self-protection amongst those in higher places.
There is, however, a tendency in the narrative to do more telling than showing, so that we sometimes get whole pages of preamble which tend to intrude on the feeling of immediacy or plausibility. For me this, sometimes, made the story cumbersome and 'told' so that there was a sense of being contrived.
The dialogue is generally spontaneous and natural, even if it also seems a little contrived in places to serve the plot.
Overall, I was glad I had been introduced to the sinking of the Struma from an author who obviously enthuses about the intrigue that might have surrounded such an incident.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intricately plotted thriller, 12 April 2013
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This review is from: The Hard Swim (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
I liked this enormously. It has a Dick Francis like attention to detail which makes the plot totally convincing. The thing that I found fascinating was the character of Steele and the psychology of someone who knows he is a sadist but at the same time is aware of what it does to his karma and who thinks of himself as an honourable soldier until disillusioned. A really good read with a depth of characterisation, a classic private eye hero and interesting historical twists to the plot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars OK, but...., 28 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Hard Swim (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Generally a good read but would have liked a little more depth into the 'why' in a couple of instances and just felt there were a some loose ends....but can't be that bad as have already purchased the next book!
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2.0 out of 5 stars do not buy, 23 Jun. 2014
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F. J "Mrs J" (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hard Swim (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Gave this up before I finished. very boring never seemed to get any where although my husband said it wasnt all that bad ! consigned to Archives
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