Carnival Blues by Damien Boyd

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

Carnival season is off to an explosive start in this thriller from the bestselling DI Nick Dixon crime series.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Dixon arrives late for Bridgwater’s winter carnival. He’s come to see the squibbing, the traditional firework display that brings the town’s November festivities to a dramatic close. But when the squib of Avalon Carnival Club president Richard Webb is lit, it explodes, engulfing him in flames.

Dixon knows he’s just witnessed a killer making a very public statement. And he can’t help feeling it’s only the beginning.

After his suspicions are confirmed at the Burnham-on-Sea carnival forty-eight hours later, the race is on to find the killer before the next event in a nearby town.

Can Dixon stop the killings before any more lives are lost? And can he do it with police Professional Standards investigators breathing down his neck?

DCI Nick Dixon has arrived late for Bridgewater’s winter carnival, but he’s just in time to join his pregnant fiancée and close friends to watch the traditional fireworks display towards the end of the evening. But when one of the presidents of the fireworks clubs lights his flare, it explodes and engulfs him in flames. Right there on the scene, Nick and his team rush to the man’s aid, then lead up the investigation in the attempted murder. With a number more carnival nights to follow, the team are now racing the clock to try and sort out what’s happened and who might be behind it.

I found this to be an interesting and well-paced British police procedural style of story. While the main plot revolves around the carnival and a series of connected businesses in relation to that, I found that the plot was diverse enough to keep me interested well into the middle of the book. There is also a later secondary plot revolving around DCI Dixon and events that occurred a year or so ago. I feel that readers don’t have to have read any of the previous novels to understand exactly what’s going on with this secondary plot – though do admit it will be a lot more intriguing to readers who have been following along for a while – and I was very pleased with both plots. I do admit I feel this secondary plot felt a little rushed to the conclusion at the very end, though expect that was largely due to the author wanting to tie up the loose ends all in this book and not expand them over to the next one.

I was pleased that the focus remains primarily on the plot and the attempted murder and mystery aspect to the plot. While the secondary plot does add a bit of extra conflict and Nick’s pregnant fiancée – who is also a co-worker – adds quite a bit to the plot and balance of the story, I do like that for the most part this is an interesting and well-paced British police novel. Readers looking for something that is more espionage or action based might not find this fits their needs, but I did enjoy this more traditional mystery flow that the book has throughout.

I’ve been enjoying this series and feel this is an excellent addition. I will be happy to pick up the next book in this series as well and see how things progress from here – especially as Nick and Jane embark on bringing a baby into the world and all the changes – good and bad – that will likely follow.

Speak Your Mind


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