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As The Crow Flies

(DI Nick Dixon #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  17,531 ratings  ·  803 reviews
Rock climbing is now a blood sport.

Detective Inspector Nick Dixon's former climbing partner, Jake Fayter, is dead. Killed in a fall whilst practising a new route on High Rock, Cheddar Gorge. Convinced that Jake would not have made such a simple mistake, Nick Dixon starts digging and uncovers a web of intrigue and criminal activity that will rock the sleepy seaside town of
Kindle Edition, 173 pages
Published January 20th 2015 by Thomas & Mercer (first published April 9th 2013)
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micha There are two grade ratings in England, that's why the narrator says stuff like "E1 / 6c". It's a combination of "earnesty", a level of dangerousness …moreThere are two grade ratings in England, that's why the narrator says stuff like "E1 / 6c". It's a combination of "earnesty", a level of dangerousness because there are very often badly protected routes unique to UK cliffs (E1 is relatively harmless, E6 is highly dangerous), and a terchnical rating of difficulty, as used in the rest of Europe. This is the second part of the rating (6c). Here 3-4 is really easy, like really easy climbing everybody can do, but 6c is sth for trained people. Usually 7a is considered to be a breaking point in everyone's climbing career, 8a is the real stuff for (semi-) professionals ... and so on.(less)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  17,531 ratings  ·  803 reviews

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Kylie D
An easy, quick read, As The Crow Flies is the first in the DI Nick Dixon series. Nick is called in to investigate when his former climbing partner falls to his death from a cliff. Certain that the man's equipment would never had failed him, Nick senses it to be murder, but who would kill Jake? As Nick investigates he finds many secrets coming to light, surprising him, and realises there is more to his friend's death than he'd ever have thought.

I found this book to be quite enjoyable, well plotte
Tori Clare
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is the tale of a climber, but it has no real climax. In truth, it was a yawn.

Completely average, in my view. How generic crime books like this make it to the top of the charts and net a lot of five-star reviews is beyond me. Nothing in there at all to get my pulse racing or to pull me in emotionally. A climber falls off a rock face and plummets to his death. Was it an accident or an act of murder? I neither knew nor cared to be honest, but DI Nick Dixon takes all book to answer that questio
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the Crow Flies is the selection for the Kindle English Mystery Club on Goodreads for the month of April. This is the first book in which we meet DI Dixon. DI Dixon has relocated from a more prestigious posting to a small outpost, much to the dismay of his family and the confusion of his new colleagues. DI Dixon is a former rock climber and rock climbing is the back drop for this thriller.

Dixon is called to investigate a death of a former rock climbing partner, Jake, by Jake’s parents. The ope
Nancy Steinle gummel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denniger Bolton
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I’m now a Damien Boyd fan. I wasn't really sure what to expect with Damien’s book “As the Crow Flies.” I knew I loved the cover depicting crows flying about an early morning or late evening sky, with a rock climber cantilevered obviously very high up from the edge of a rock. I believe I've dreamt of that rock, and it wasn't a good dream either.
It didn't take long for me to “get into” the fast paced page turning story of a police investigator who is investigating the death, by falling, natu
I really enjoyed listening to this. Definitely one I recommend if you enjoy crime novels. It's quite short, so a quick and easy read.

I borrowed this in audiobook format through Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
Victor *I Miss "FREE HUGS"*
Experienced climber falls to his death due to a rookie mistake and the parents ask Detective Inspector Nick Dixon, a friend of the victim who is an ex-climber to keep an eye on the investigation so that no stone is left unturned. The officer investigating the accident is made to look like an idiot, bumbling his way through and opening the door for Nick to insert himself into the investigation.

A lot of technical jargon kept knocking me out of the story. I kept looking for footnotes or anything th
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So close to four stars but there were a few niggles that made me hesitate. I couldn't get a 'grip' on Dixon, he never came 'alive' in my mind, (I couldn't work out how old he was for example). One or two moments didn't ring true, (like keeping his only suit packed in a suitcase for two months) but the actual plot was intriguing. I know nothing about rock climbing and there were a lot of technical details but not so overly technical that I lost interest. The ending was totally unexpected and yet ...more
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-copy, thriller, series
This was only a short book, 200 pages compared to the much longer ones that I have been reading recently but this was a conscious decision to get through some of the books on my "reading" list.

Being so short it was obvious that the story was going to get straight to the point and not digress. There was a build up to the story but this was quite concise.

Overall I enjoyed the book and it was a really quick read. Perfect if that's what you want but with the lack of pages, there wasn't the character
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This first entry in the DI Nick Dixon series was not outstanding in any way, yet highly readable and did everything decently: writing, plot, character development, whodunit, resolution. Nothing ornate, nothing floral or deep. I was unsurprised to learn that Boyd is a lawyer/solicitor.

What I enjoyed most was that it's fast-paced and its locale and scenery. I'd rate it in the high 3s. A very quick read, whose climax and resolution literally transpired on the last few pages. I enjoyed it but had t
The Cats’ Mother
Something made me buy this whole series (6 books at this point) back in November, which means it must've been a helluva good review by someone whose opinion I trust, given how many books were on my OBNRY list, and there are even more now. The first 5 were only about $1 each - that's always the dilemma: do I buy them while they're cheap, knowing that if I like the first one I'll be annoyed if I have to pay more later? In this case, it paid off as I enjoyed this and liked the hero enough to want t ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Well, at least it's only 150 pages.

Written by a former solicitor turned crown prosecutor, our protagonist Nick Dixon is a former solicitor turned cop, and he's awesome at both. He's fast-tracked up the police ranks and can insist on transferring wherever he likes. He's naturally awesome at climbing, watching movies, and being singularly unpleasant to his coworkers and acquaintances. He has one friend, who dies, so that Dixon has something to do in his off-hours.

So that we know Dixon has a soft
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This is an excellent debut novel with a credible investigation team led up by DI Nick Dixon.
It is the best tension packed climbing scenes since The Eiger Sanction and a real crime mystery that has a few twists and belays before the "murder" is solved.
Great locations and passionate writing from an author who has realised his dream of putting his ideas in book form. I think it has enough promise to invest in other books already produced in this series. I liked the no nonsense investigation, the cl
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reasonable non-taxing read. My only criticism was the author's need to flaunt his knowledge of rock climbing terms to point of sheer frustration. Once that was out of the way, I quite enjoyed the book although the final explanation did not really ring true.
May 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
The weakest of what is otherwise a very readable run of the mill procedural series.
2.25 stars.

Trish recommended this series to me since I've enjoyed the DCI Ryan series thus far. What I can say is this: the plot was interesting and the characters were likable enough, but the overall story was a bit bland. I think it's the author's writing style that makes the whole book a bit monotone. There's a lot of dialogue and very little descriptive language in between. There was also a lot about rock climbing and for someone who has no idea about any of that, it was a bit boring. From w
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I admit this took me by surprise. I expected a geographically interesting mystery and got a ripping good yarn with a great geographic context. I liked the English rock- climbing setting and the unravelling of the mystery. Detective Dixon is smart, polite, reasoned and strong - with a dash of instinct. The writing is engaging and competent, driving the story along smoothly while laying hooks for the future. A series to follow - wahoo!
Jane Withers
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like !!
I was told about this series by a friend with similar reading tastes to mine .. I was a fan almost straight away .
I like the characters .. that’s always a bonus . ;-)
Nick Davies
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This was recommended to me by a friend who likes action thrillers a little more than I tend to, but it is essentially an interesting police procedural set in the South West of England, with the slightly unusual focus-point of rock climbing.

It was quite an enjoyable short read, a good pace, a couple of interesting characters and a clever plot.. and for a first novel it certainly showed the author's got plenty of promise. For me though I was left slightly frustrated by the shortness of the novel (
Phillip III
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased a copy of Damien Boyd’s, As the Crow Flies, during a promotion. I had not heard of the author, yet the premise seemed intriguing and unique enough that I wanted to give the novel a try.

Detective Inspector Nick Dixon’s former climbing partner, Jake Fayter, is dead. Killed in a fall whilst practicing a new route on High Rock, Cheddar Gorge. Convinced that Jake would not have made suchOptimized-CrowFlies2f a simple mistake, Nick Dixon starts digging and uncovers a web of intrigue and cr
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
A good mystery set in the UK. This is based on a rock climber's death, and if you are into rock climbing you will really enjoy this book as it focuses on the art of rock climbing.
Vicki - I Love Reading
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
A very easy to read but interesting story. At only 180 pages it was very easy to get stuck into and finish.
This is the fist book featuring Detective Inspector Nick Dixon.As its only a short book it seems to get right to the point early on.,
Detective Inspector Nick Dixon has recently left a career in the Met to move to the Avon & Somerset Police force, He's a character I kind of liked right away.
He receives a call telling him his friend and Former Climbing partner had died.
Dixons friend Jake Fa
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was my first Damien Boyd book and while it was enjoyable, I don't think I'm going to be continuing this series. This story is from the POV of DI Nick Dixon whose friend, Jake, an experienced climber, falls to his death from a rookie climbing mistake.

I liked the main mystery of the book, I liked reading about the investigations and the different clues that kept cropping up. I also liked the small twist at the end of the book concerning Jake's death. Unfortunately, the mystery was fairly for
Miss Dizzy Read
Perhaps I've read too many good crime/thriller books, but this was a bit amateurish and I failed to get on 'the edge of my seat' the story was a bit dull and predictable, glad it was short as probably wouldn't have finished it. Have given it 2 stars as the character was likeable, it was the authors first book and it was free!
Arthur Hunt
As a newcomer to the 'climbing scene' it would have been helpful for the text to have explained some of the jargon and terminology.

As a detective story it was pretty ordinary, with few unexpected turns. As the book was 'free' I can't really grumble, but I don't think I want to read any further DI Dixon stories.
Tonya Love
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good!

After a somewhat slow start,(the first couple of pages) the pace picks up and stays up. Although not my normal genre I really enjoyed this book and plan on following this new author. This was a stripped-down,right to the point 'who-done-it' with absolutely no fluff. Totally worth your time.
Edward Beavers
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interestingly different

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I selected this book. I'm not a rock climber so that was lost on me and I knew the ending was going to be a bit different AND IT WAS!
Wendy Soliman
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
A good, well-written British crime book. The author obviously knows a lot about rock climbing but he didn't cram the book with too much technical stuff. I didn't see the ending coming. Very enjoyable. I have purchased the other books in the series and would recommend this one.
Denise Chrisman
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


I just LOVE a good murder mystery, and this one is not only good but GREAT!!! I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this book to be read by all ages. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this author.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enthralling read. Once over the first few pages that contained a lot of climbing jargon, I really got into the storyline. Am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
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Damien Boyd is a former solicitor turned crime fiction writer.

Drawing on extensive experience of criminal law as well as a spell in the Crown Prosecution Service, Damien writes fast paced crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Nick Dixon.

Damien is published by Thomas & Mercer.

Other books in the series

DI Nick Dixon (10 books)
  • Head In The Sand (DI Nick Dixon #2)
  • Kickback (DI Nick Dixon #3)
  • Swansong (DI Nick Dixon #4)
  • Dead Level (DI Nick Dixon #5)
  • Death Sentence (DI Nick Dixon #6)
  • Heads or Tails (DI Nick Dixon #7)
  • Dead Lock (DI Nick Dixon #8)
  • Beyond the Point (DI Nick Dixon, #9)
  • Down Among the Dead (DI Nick Dixon Crime #10)

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