Dead Lock by Damien Boyd

Dead Lock by Damien Boyd
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Early on a cold Somerset morning, ten-year-old Alesha Daniels is reported missing by her father, a violent alcoholic. Her mother, a known drug addict, is found unconscious, but it’s her mother’s boyfriend the police are keen to trace.

As the hunt for Alesha gathers pace, a second local girl is taken, plunging another family into the depths of despair.

Cutting short his holiday, DI Nick Dixon races home to join the Major Investigation Team, but no sooner has he identified a network of local suspects than they begin to show up dead.

At odds with his superiors, Dixon is convinced the child abductions are anything but random, but nobody is prepared for the investigation to lead quite so close to home.

Can Dixon and his team crack the case before all the suspects are silenced? And will he find the missing girls before it’s too late?

When a ten-year-old girl goes missing Jane is called back from her weeklong holiday to help assist with the investigation. DI Nick Dixon understands completely, but he’s happy to remain away and get some climbing done. Only then another ten-year-old girl is kidnapped – and this one is the grand-daughter of a dear friend and colleague – so Nick rushes back to help with the investigation.

I found this to be a really interesting British police procedural style of mystery. I’ve been enjoying this series but was really pleased the story pretty much stands very well on its own. While the friendships and working relationships between Nick, Jane and a number of the close team members all has the weight of their shared history – the plot and story itself stands very well on its own merits and I strongly feel no prior knowledge of any of the books is needed to thoroughly enjoy this story.

While it’s clear from the outset that the two disappearances of the young girls are linked, I felt it an excellent bit of writing the few twists and turns that unfolded as the cases were more thoroughly investigated. I was well past the halfway mark of the book itself before I started to grasp exactly what was going on and even though I was wrong on a few points I felt the author did a good job giving enough insight that the reader could clue in on much of it as Nick and the other detectives pieced everything together. Then watching it all properly unfold was a real pleasure.

Readers of traditional mysteries should find this a well written and solidly plotted story. I have been greatly enjoying these books and am eagerly looking forward to more. Recommended.

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