JUNE 1944: Thirty-one SAS soldiers are captured behind enemy lines and are forced to dig their own graves before being shot and buried in a forest in the heart of France.
SEVENTY YEARS LATER: A young woman is attacked in the grounds of Edinburgh Zoo – the attacker seeking the document that might link these two wartime events.
Private Investigator Sam Dyke rescues the woman, Chantal Bressette, and embarks on a quest to find out why the document she carries is being sought by a high-ranking Government official and his team of ex-Army thugs. They follow a series of clues that lead them eventually to an isolated village in central France, tracked by the thugs and government minister Gideon Blake, who becomes obsessed with uncovering what the document reveals because he believes it implicates his father – and thus himself and his family – in an obscene war-crime.
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How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
I write about real people in real situations that happen to be dramatic and exciting. I model my writing on some of the best writers in the genre – James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos, with a dialog style learned from Elmore Leonard.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Every author says you should read as widely as possible. I’d go further and say you should actually study how writers construct their sentences, and then their paragraphs, and then their chapters. Writing rarely comes without the element of craft, and craft is the hardest thing to learn without real study and practice. Find out who is considered to be the best in your genre and then study them remorselessly.
Keith Dixon has been writing fiction since he was a teenager and has learned that, unsurprisingly, stories with strong characters and compelling plots are what readers look for. After drifting from job to job when young, he went on to earn Masters degrees in 20th Century English Literature and Organizational Psychology, and subsequently worked as a lecturer, proofreader, copywriter and business consultant. This experience naturally qualified him to write a series of novels about a tough British Private Eye, Sam Dyke.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I read about the true story of the Struma over twenty years ago and always wanted to write something about. Then, staying in France one year, I heard about the SAS soldiers who were betrayed and killed after the D-Day landings. I thought it would be interesting to link these two stories using my private eye character Sam Dyke, whom I’d written about in my previous two novels, Altered Life and The Private Lie.
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