Detective Inspector (DI) Nick Dixon of the Avon and Somerset CID has been called to yet another crime scene, this one a red-brick pillbox constructed in World War II as a coastal defense against the expected German invasion. Amid the graffiti, dirt, empty soda cans, and other accumulated trash is the body of an older man, hands tied behind his back. The body has no identification.
Assisted by Detective Constable (DC) Louise Willmott and the other members of his team, Dixon begins the often tedious business of identifying the victim. He turns out to be a veteran of the Falklands War of 1982 and a military hero, awarded the Victoria Cross. He had something of a troubled past, with two businesses ending badly and eventually returning to his elderly mother’s house to live.
As Dixon delves deeper into the man’s history and life, he begins to find connections to an ongoing court battle between five Falkland veterans and the military. The fight is about asbestos exposure, which the five experienced when ordered to tear apart Argentine buildings erected to fight the war. And the officer who ordered the five to tear the buildings apart was the dead man. And then the case gets really complicated.
Death Sentence by British writer Damien Boyd is the sixth in the DI Nick Dixon crime series, and it crackles with as much action and excitement as the previous five. Boyd, a former solicitor turned crime writer, puts his knowledge of the law, court procedures, and police procedures to good use in these stories, and they are filled with realistic detail.
Death Sentence is the latest Nick Dixon novel to be published, and Boyd has managed to keep the quality high throughout the books. The seventh in the series, Heads or Tails, is scheduled for publication in October. And that's great news!.
Top photograph: a pillbox on the British coast built as a defense during World War II.