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Altered Life: The exciting debut of the gripping Sam Dyke detective thriller series (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 1) by [Dixon, Keith]
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Altered Life: The exciting debut of the gripping Sam Dyke detective thriller series (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews
Book 1 of 8 in Sam Dyke Investigations (8 Book Series)
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Length: 300 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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."
Claude Bouchard, author of the 'Vigilante' series.

From the Author

Thanks for stopping by! 
This is the first book in the Sam Dyke Investigations series. The second is THE PRIVATE LIE followed by THE HARD SWIM, THE BLEAK, THE STRANGE GIRL, THE SECRET SHARERS and THE INNOCENT DEAD. All are available on Kindle and through Amazon.com in print.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2544 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475106009
  • Publisher: Semiologic Ltd; 2 edition (March 15, 2006)
  • Publication Date: March 15, 2006
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00361ENWG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,335 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I began reading this book, was impressed by the quality of the prose and cleanliness of the copy, so I thought I was in for a good read. Unfortunately, however, the book failed to live up to its early promise. Although there were some lovely metaphors, well-written prose alone does not make a good book. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book, it just doesn't quite hang together and it lacks the sparkle that makes a book shine.

The main character seemed well enough developed, but I would like to have seen a bit more of his thought process and emotions. Murder mystery readers need a few clues so they can participate in the hunt for the killer. As it was, since he didn't share his thoughts on the case, I had nothing to go on, and found it a little unbelievable when he put it all together after a rather haphazard investigation.

Secondary characters were a little sketchy and the major players at the end of the book were so little known to me that I couldn't remember exactly who they were. It was supposed to be a twist, but it failed because I couldn't work out what the woman had to do with the overall crime or what her motivations were, both in past scenes and in the final scene.

Also, for a character who we were supposed to believe was your usual street-smart private detective, he was inordinately stupid at the end when he met the killer with no back-up. Any person with half a brain would have waited at the inn for him, but that wouldn't have provided the dramatic ending, hence the ending seemed rather contrived.

Though it kept me reading, the story was basically rather dull. Books of this genre need a lot more excitement to be successful.
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Format: Paperback
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 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This author is a good writer in that he crafts sentences and paragraphs with clarity and colorful descriptive phrases. The story as a whole, though, suffered a bit from what they call the "sagging middle." The hero spends chapter after chapter going around interviewing people without making appreciable progress.

Characterizations are well drawn, and the settings are beautifully described, so I enjoyed that part.

The ending seemed lame, because the hero knowingly walks into a trap -- anything to confront the killer, right? -- and gambles his life with little preparation for what he should expect. Then a minor character rescues him, so we can't even admire Sam Dyke for saving himself against great odds.

The motivations for the guilty parties aren't adequate for murdering people. Many experience disappointments in business without trying to kill everybody involved, including the detective who's on their trail.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I think of hard-boiled detective fiction, I don't think of British writers. When I think of British detective fiction, I don't think of the hard-boiled kind. So it was a surprise to see a British hard-boiled detective novel. But it was a good surprise.
I haven't had a chance to check out the second in the series, but it's on my list for the summer.
This first novel doesn't reach the level of the great American hard-boiled novels, but there's a lot of potential here. I certainly would recommend it for fans of hard-boiled detective novels.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writer has talent and uses very descriptive writing, too descriptive in my mind to keep a pace going that is expected in a mystery novel. In the end it's an enjoyable read that slows to a crawl at times.
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