Head in the Sand by Damien Boyd, January 2015, aARC from netgalley, 209p.
Head in the Sand is the second book in the DI Nick Dixon series and I really enjoyed it. The plot in this novel was interesting and well thought out, and I hadn’t figured out the whodunit part until the end, when I rolled my eyes and had an ‘of course!’ moment. Although this was an interesting mystery, the characters really didn’t get to shine – which was my main complaint with the first book in the series too. However, I think reading them one after another is a great idea because it builds up the characterisation.
Dixon is one of those characters who I struggle to get a reading of, I’m not sure if I like him or dislike him. He is brilliant at getting the bad guy, but he often doesn’t share his thinking or hunches with the others on the team. He is often rude and short with people, and expects everyone to immediately be doing what he wants them to do, even if he hasn’t told them what that is.
This book also saw DC Jane Winter become a better developed character, but I still see her as being used as a foil to Dixon than being able to contribute to the plot individually. I’d like her to become more central to these stories, and I feel like this book could have been even more interesting if it had been written from her point of view – but of course that is preference and I’m sure many readers will fine Dixon’s story to be more interesting.
Damien Boyd has a very succinct and clean writing style that is easy to read. These books are short, which means there isn’t enough room for characterisation, because most of the words are given to the somewhat complex plot. Personally, I’d still prefer more character building, but our picture is becoming more defined because we are gaining more opportunities to ride along with Dixon and Winter, and I will continue to pick up these books because they are very enjoyable!