As the Crow Flies – Damien Boyd – 4 stars
Now, this was a book I didn’t have very high expectations for. It was free on the Kindle store, so I guess I assumed it was going to adhere to the ‘you get what you pay for’ rule. Let’s just say I would have paid money for this book.
I don’t read a lot of crime fiction, so it was definitely refreshing for me to read something in this genre – especially something that I feel makes an effort to stand out. I really enjoyed the rock-climbing aspects, and felt like it was something the author was passionate about, which always makes for more enjoyable reading. I also really liked the fact that it was set in Britain (my homeland), as it just made the whole thing more relatable to me, and allowed it to step away from some of the CSI stereotypes.The plot trotted along – to me – at an enjoyable pace, and while I felt it worked well with twists and installments of information, it wasn’t as suspenseful or thrilling as I might have expected.
As for the characters, I did feel they were approached a little clinically. I would have liked to learn more about DI Nick Dixon (the protagonist) and definitely would have liked to see more development in his relationships – especially with Jane, with whom romance is only hinted at. I assume that these things build up in the books that follow, but that’s something I would really have benefited from.
The writing itself was clean-cut and edgy; smooth reading without being too simplistic. The only thing that tripped me were numerous cases of shoddy editing: missing/misplaced commas, the odd spelling error…nothing that a finer-toothed ‘editing comb’ couldn’t have sorted, and yet not really an issue than can be claimed to detract from the overall very enjoyable writing.
The book as a whole was pleasantly surprising, and I really got involved with the case-oriented plot, trying to piece together the evidence. I, personally, was completely taken by surprise by the turns of events, but again – I don’t read a lot of crime fiction. The ending especially, I felt, was neat and poignant – a perfect ending to a generally excellent book.
Four stars to Damien’s Boyd’s debut novel, and may his writing career flourish.
If you’ve read this too, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.