Dead Level (DI Nick Dixon #5)

deadlevelcover82097-mediumAuthor: Damien Boyd

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Mystery Novel in Series

Provided by Publisher


Blurb: In the early hours of Christmas Eve, the wife of parliamentary candidate Tom Perry is brutally murdered in an apparent burglary gone wrong.

With the by-election campaign about to start in earnest, and the festive season in full swing, torrential rain brings with it flood warnings on the Somerset Levels.

Suspended on full pay and transferred to the cold case unit, Detective Inspector Nick Dixon is languishing on the sidelines as the investigation into Elizabeth Perry’s murder unravels and the floodwaters rise.

Returning to duty, Dixon is convinced that the answer lies hidden in Tom Perry’s political life, but why was Elizabeth the target and not her husband? The more Dixon uncovers, the further he is from finding the truth.


Review: Yet another British mystery with a police detective and his female life and work partner faced with a mysterious death. Add in some serious flooding like we’ve had recently in Texas-disabling, catastrophic, change the profile of the land forever type of flooding. And of course, politics, dirty style. But this is British bare knuckles political infighting. Does it have anything to do with their case?

Tom Perry is running for a local position and is winning pretty handily until his pregnant wife is murdered. Going through a confusing charade of frame-ups and misdirection, the case eventually falls into inspector Nick Dixon’s hands after a hasty reinstatement. Like watching a game of chess, following the clues and piecing together the information is difficult but satisfying as he draws ever more near the eventual killer(s). Or, at least, the ones who placed the order.

This book is about endings and beginnings; about petty things that cause people to crack; and ultimately, about how some relationships can destroy people.

As we watch the sad end of a marriage and a burgeoning family with Elizabeth Perry’s murder, there’s an interesting juxtaposition watching Dixon finesse his way through his happy yet still unapproved affair with his co-worker, Jane. They’ve moved in together and have settled into a comfortable existence while at the same time dealing with Nick’s suspension and their long working hours. I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series but it didn’t in any way limit my enjoyment of this book and only encouraged me to pick up the others.

Boyd’s sense of plot development plays a strong hand as the inevitable, surprising truth comes out at the bittersweet end. Great read about realistic characters whose career field often places their emotional, romantic, and physical health in jeopardy. Thanks!

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