Top critical review
'Morse, Bergerac, Spender, Rebus, what does that tell you about regionally based detective shows?'
25 June 2019
I bought this book because it was cheap, I like a Police Procedural and it's set in a part of the world that I grew up in.
I have to admit as it started with DI Dixon working on a cold case and suspended pending investigation I did think 'So far so familiar.' (I often wonder if the Police should just suspend all their detectives because they always solve the really difficult cases when they do.).
The story itself rattled along in an entertaining way and is nicely paced. I found the motive and methodology of the main murder a little difficult to believe, but not too outrageous.
There are quite a lot of oblique references to previous books and characters and that is a little confusing on occasions.
As I do know the area in which the book is set, I didn't really get a flavour of the Levels, other than the fact that there was a lot of flooding, there also seemed little in the way of local characters. Most being middle class 'incomers', which while it does reflect a section of Somerset, doesn't really include the more traditional populous, and it felt like a bit of a missed opportunity.
Dixon himself has the standard mix of failed personal relationships, unusual car, slightly ill-judged relationship with a criminal mastermind and character quirks, but is a little colourless at the same time, although bizarrely I think this helps the story itself progress.
There's nothing here that you haven't seen before, but on the other hand it is a well constructed, entertaining thriller that I found myself looking forward to picking up and reading.