Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review of Novel THE HARD SWIM


Novelist Keith Dixon’s leading man, Sam Dyke, is smart, tough, likable a detective with a heart and with scruples, living with his formerly estranged son and his own most recent girlfriend.

Dropping in on an international conference of translators, to serve one of them with a subpoena, Sam Dyke meets the lovely and mysterious Chantal Bressette, who has brought with her a cryptic World War II diary partially written in code by a former French Resistance fighter. She hopes to find a translator. Instead, she finds trouble. Just in time, Dyke subdues sinister Connell Steele, a hit man whose stream-of-consciousness comment opens the novel: he “had wanted to take her with him, but now he would have to kill her.” Unfortunately, Steele is not acting alone; he has lots of back-up help. Quickly the chase is on.

Through Britain and, near the end, deep into rural France, Sam and Chantal are pursued by the hired thugs of British political big-wig Gideon Blake, who is desperate to gain possession of the diary, fearing the contents will subject the Blake family, and thus him, to public humiliation and the loss of an near-certain, coveted political promotion.

There is a bit of rocky romance: Sam and Chantal’s warming up causes Sam’s current consort a corresponding cooling.

Throughout we are given strategic and tactical analysis, ethical deliberating, and believable hand-to-hand action. What’s not to like?

This is the third in this Sam Dyke series by Keith Dixon. I can hardly wait to read the first two, ALTERED LIFE and THE BLEAK, both of which I have obtained for my Kindle.

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