The Hard Swim
Private Investigator Sam Dyke rescues a young woman from kidnapping - or worse - and helps her discover the devastating secret that her family has kept since World War II. More
FEBRUARY 1942: The Struma, a broken-down steamer, explodes and sinks in the Black Sea, drowning 768 Rumanian Jews fleeing the Nazis and heading for Palestine, and safety.
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 family in an obscene war-crime.
The Hard Swim is the third in Keith Dixon's series of Sam Dyke Investigations.
If you like fast-moving thrillers in the vein of The Day of the Jackal, the Jason Bourne movies and Lee Child's Jack Reacher, then you'll love The Hard Swim.
Here's what reviewers have said:
'The Hard Swim is deftly plotted and an engaging read, weaving together stories from the Second World War with those set in the present. The plotting is so well done that Dixon keeps the reader guessing. Every detail that is set-up earlier on in the novel has a pay-off later on in the story. Keith Dixon's prose is fluent and assured and he has that knack of making the writing look easy.... '
'I liked this enormously. It has a Dick Francis like attention to detail which makes the plot totally convincing. The thing that I found fascinating was the character of Steele and the psychology of someone who knows he is a sadist but at the same time is aware of what it does to his karma and who thinks of himself as an honorable soldier until disillusioned. A really good read with a depth of characterization, a classic private eye
hero and interesting historical twists to the plot.'
'It would have been typical of the genre, and much simpler for the author, to have made Sam's chief antagonist, appropriately named Connell Steele, an inscrutable psychopath. Dixon, to his credit, makes him a far more complex personality, a professional assassin who is losing the ability to hide from his own doubts behind his avowed commitment to the military virtues of patriotism and honor.'
'If you like intricately woven plots, in-your-face action and a straightforward, no holds barred hero, you'll need to get this book - and if you haven't read the first two Sam Dyke adventures, you will.'
' ...this is a modern day story full of intrigue, mystery, mayhem and romance involving spies, goons, government officials, military trained combatants, pretty women and one smart and tough private investigator, Sam Dyke.'