This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Therefore I looked it up in Goodreads and read the following in one of the comments. The book was self-published and available as a Kindle download very cheaply, Keith is not getting rich with this book , so I felt as a friend the least I could do is read his first effort. Most of the first books that are self published that I have encountered have been disheveled cozies that read like the White Queen looked and featured ladies of a certain age who, though supposedly witty and spunky, usually come across as insufferable smartasses.
A dashed off first draft may on occasion be quickly produced but that is scarcely the mission of an author. The mission of an author is to be read and that usually means finding someone willing to put their money where your mouth is, or actually, since unsolicited manuscripts rarely fare well, someone willing to put their time into finding a publisher.
I would think that self publication works best for previously published authors who are well aware of the behind the scenes work mostly work that a creative mind would find stultifyingly boring that is involved in turning an initial submission into a viable book. Other reviews will tell you about the substance of Altered Life. I will tell you to go to the Kindle Store and download it as a really first class freebie that will closely hold your interest for quite a few hours.
Also, I put my money where my mouth is. Keith Dixon should have gotten rich with The Altered Life. I certainly hope 2 is more financially encouraging. However, I do believe I'll pass on hoping Tom Cruise portrays Sam Dyke on the Silver Screen, though, to be fair, Cruise's performance was fine it just bore no resemblance whatsoever to Jack Reacher. This first novel is quite readable, aside from a few too many strained descriptive similes, involving a British I'm ordinarily not much of a crime fiction reader, but ALTERED LIFE was written by a friend who is a crime fiction enthusiast.
This first novel is quite readable, aside from a few too many strained descriptive similes, involving a British detective, Sam Dyke an homage to Sam Spade, obviously, but "Dyke"? He fears a clandestine and hostile corporate takeover and wants to know who is behind this suspected maneuver. Dyke doesn't much like Brand and puts off giving him a commitment. Vague, so far, but Brand is soon murdered, found with his neck broken in his office, and from there, the novel picks up momentum in a hurry. What's particularly interesting is that Dyke didn't know that his former wife was married to Brand, so he becomes emotionally involved in the crime, something that a private eye should avoid, or at least that's my impression of how the genre works.
He solves the case eventually, of course, usually working at odds with the police, and there is a nod to a romantic convention, sparks flaring between Sam and an office assistant at the firm. What appealed to me most about the novel, though, was Dyke's social commentary on the people he comes in contact with, mostly a shallow "clientele that was young and wealthy" who like to show off their affluence in expensive cars, clothes, and homes.
A concern of the book, aside from the murder plot, is a lament about what England is becoming. Complex, well written and intense. Not a romance story in any respects, just a solid decent crime thriller.
Great dialogue, believable characters and set in a familiar world for once! One or two clunky sentences, but otherwise very enjoyable. Sep 16, Colin Garrow rated it it was amazing Shelves: reviewed. So it was great to discover how it all started for the perceptive sleuth. The plot rattles along, shooting off in unexpected directions all the way through, leading to a cliff-top denouement that had me chomping at the proverbial bit. Like Robbie Coltrane in a classic TV series, this is an absolute cracker.
Teresa Great review. Sep 16, PM. Dec 20, Roddy Williams rated it liked it Shelves: murder-mystery , private-eye.
Editorial Reviews. Review. "In the spirit of Chandler's Marlowe, though with an unmistakable Altered Life (Sam Dyke Investigations Book 1) by [Dixon, Keith]. inacgorcomp.tk: Altered Life: Sam Dyke Investigation, Book 1 (Audible Audio Edition): Keith Dixon, Rob Ellis, Semiologic Ltd: Audible Audiobooks.
Admittedly this had been in my 'to read' queue for quite a while and I had forgotten the details I would have checked when I first downloaded it. The front cover gave me the subliminal impression of the US and I began it on that assumption only to be soon transported to Waverley in England rather than some American Waverley. This is no fault of the author's and was in fact a pleasant surprise since Cr Sam Dyke is a Yorkshire Private Investigator based in Crewe, which is not immediately apparent.
This is no fault of the author's and was in fact a pleasant surprise since Crewe is very much under-represented in the murder genre. Dyke is called in by software company owner, Rory Brand, who feels that his wife is in league with other parties to take over his company and a lucrative software application. Dyke, feeling this to be outside his area of expertise is not keen to take on the case.
The next day Brand is found murdered in his office with the message 'Who's the Daddy Now? Dyke is retained by the company to investigate the murder in parallel with the police, who are not happy to have an amateur detective interviewing witnesses.
Dyke is a very likeable character, with the obligatory issues of his own baggage. He's an updated Sam Spade, less bleak, less harsh, but harassed by the police and finding himself unable to trust anyone's word, with his life and work further complicated by the presence of his femme-fatale ex-wife, her bitter father, the Major - who holds Dyke in no high regard -and a son he had no idea existed.
Dixon perhaps does not emphasise Dyke's position as the outsider enough, being a blunt Yorkshireman in a town far further South near the Welsh border. This would have added to Dyke's sense of isolation on a case where he faces hostility from nearly all sides. The plot is well thought through with a minor twist at the end. Not enough of a twist to give it the wow factor but at least something one wasn't expecting.
For a first novel it's a good one. Fast paced and without padding, it rattles along and keeps one engrossed. My first book by this author The writing in first person is incredibly well done, Sam to me is so laid back, as to be almost horizontal. Imagine a PI and yourself having a drink together in comfortable surroundings, and he's relaying all that's been happening to himself in his quest, to get to the truth. That's exactly how I felt reading Altered Life!
Had to download book Jul 16, Michelle rated it liked it. This book by Keith Dixon pleads for a follow up. The book introduces you to some characters that you believe you know and some you probably don't or at least don't want to know. The plot is good and keeps you wanting to find out what will happen next. I enjoyed reading this book and await the next.
Good Read Really like this author's new detective Sam Dyke. He's strong but hides it. Great ending but I have 2 unanswered questions. What did Sam want to tell Laura? What about Daniel? View all 3 comments. Jan 24, Uwe rated it really liked it. Pretty good story with a lot of twist and turns and a very special main character.
It could have a bit shorter, more to the point and less info about not so interesting details. A few flaws concerning the police, but all in all a good story nicely told! A thoroughly thrilling mystery A great mystery from start to finish. An impossible who dunnit in the Agatha Christie class.
Not to be missed and l Iook forward to further books in the series. Competent, if unbelievable, mystery featuring single handed and foolhardy private investigator Sam Dyke. I really enjoyed this descriptive and well written book with a pretty good storyline that kept me guessing all the way through. Now to find out if there is a follow on.
On December 1, , the city announced that there was a video of a fatal police shooting that took place on October 12, The officer opened fire seconds after arriving on the scene, when Johnson was moving away from police. The attorney for Johnson's family contends police planted the weapon. No charges have been filed against Hernandez. On December 30, , Emanuel announced sweeping reforms within the police department, including new police training for handling tense situations and equipping every officer with a Taser, to be used to control suspects.
All officers were to be equipped and trained by June At that time, Dean Angelo, president of the Chicago chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, said on the subject: "I know there are people on the job for 9 or 10 years who have not been trained. I can't say they have all requested training, but I am sure some have. It's very hard to get the proper training as a Chicago police officer and that's something that has been going on for a very long time. There is certainly a percentage of my members who believe that the Chicago Police Department doesn't offer the same level of training, or the same opportunities to obtain training, as many other police departments in the country.
I think the general attitude is that's just 'Welcome to the Chicago Police Department. On December 31, , 3, pages of emails  split across seven PDFs  regarding the McDonald case and other police-related matters were obtained under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The timing of the release on New Year's Eve has been described by reporters as "strategic".