Detective Inspector Nick Dixon of the Avon and Somerset Police has a bad habit. His intuition, his guesses, his sense of how investigations are going and should go inevitably turn out to be right.
This isn’t a characteristic that endears you to colleagues and superiors, who may be more concerned about police politics and career advancement.
Now Dixon is tracking, or trying to track, a serial killer, who’s left a few bodies in his wake and is intent on taunting the police detective. The investigation leads into a wholly different kind of case, one seemingly bungled by Dixon’s old police foe, and then into a case of bribery and corruption in the construction business. And Dixon keeps sensing and guessing correctly.
Beyond the Point by British writer Damien Boyd is the ninth Dick Nixon mystery, and it may well be the best one yet – which is saying a lot, because there hasn’t been a miss in the entire series. Boyd uses his own experience as a legal solicitor and a member of the Crown Prosecution Service to frame his stories, and then infuses considerable research in just the right way. In this story, for example, the reader will learn a lot about big construction projects, like bridges and nuclear power plants, but will never feel like this is a data dump to impress with how much the author knows.
What Boyd has done in these mysteries is no small feat. He’s mixed intriguing premises, a diabetic hero who often has to stifle himself when he’s dealing with superiors, the ongoing romance between Dixon and policewoman Jane Winter, and the fascination of solid police work punctuated by Dixon’s tendency to try the unexpected and the unorthodox. It’s no surprise that the detective often finds himself in trouble at police headquarters.
Beyond the Point is an exciting, well-researched, and well-written mystery.