Kickback by Damien Boyd

Kickback by Damien Boyd
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A trainee jockey has been kicked to death by an aggressive stallion at the local stables. Deemed an accidental death, the case is closed. But when the jockey’s brother returns from active service, he sparks an armed siege, demanding the investigation be re-opened and the truth uncovered.

Still recovering from the physical and mental scars of his last case, Detective Inspector Nick Dixon is dragged deep into a murky world of betting scams and murder, where people will do anything to keep their secrets. Even if that means silencing a DI who keeps asking the wrong questions about the wrong dead jockey…

When a trainee jockey’s death is found to be accidental, some unusual circumstances force DI Nick Dixon to re-look at the situation. What he finds is not only that the death was clearly murder, but the entire situation at the jockey’s stables is fraught with shady dealings. All too soon Nick and his team are thrust into a dangerous world within the racing community, full of racing scams and murky morals. There are plenty of people happy to muddy their feet to keep their secrets hidden – and won’t quibble who needs to die in order for this to be laid to rest.

This is the third book featuring DI Nick Dixon and I am really enjoying this series. With this book revolving mainly around the racing world – both at the track and some British stables – this reminded me very much of the older, original Dick Francis novels. I started reading those as a teenager and still enjoy them to this very day, so it was a real pleasure to find another author who has written something in a similar vein. A fairly straight cut murder mystery with strong ties of police procedural this book balanced very well some excellent characters and a strong and sensible plot.

Readers who are looking for a heavily action-based (movie-like) sort of novel might find this pace a little slow, but personally I really enjoyed it, finding the extra time fleshing out the characters and police team in particular really balanced with the complexities of the plot.

An excellent police-procedural style of story with a solid plot and some interesting characters, this is a great read and one I really enjoyed. Recommended.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.