Sunday, November 22, 2020

Book Tour and Giveaway: The Two Fathers (Sam Dyke Investigations #11) by Keith Dixon

Title: The Two Fathers
Series: Sam Dyke Investigations #11
Author: Keith Dixon
Publisher: Semiologic
Publication Date: November 14th 2020
Print Length: 243 pages
Genre: Mystery
Why does Jessica Hastings come home late several times a week?

Her husband asks Private Investigator Sam Dyke this simple question. Dyke doesn't want the case: he doesn't do divorce work ... but Brian Hastings doesn't want a divorce, he wants an explanation.

When Sam finds out what Jessica is doing, it opens up more questions. And when Brian Hastings goes missing, they're questions he feels compelled to answer.

At the centre of the mystery is a man who most people in Manchester don't know--Larry Stone. But those who do know him, know that far from being the simple florist he seems to be, he's actually the biggest crook in town. He's powerful, he's dangerous, and he's currently working a deal with a Dutchman who's even worse.

And Sam is now caught in Stone's sights as he works to find Brian Hastings, to solve a couple of murders, and to prevent Stone corrupting even more members of his own family than he already has.

Before the biggest deal of Stone's crooked career goes down.

Stone had walked into the middle of the tunnel as though he had a purpose, and when he turned to face me I found out what the purpose was. He gestured to the bald Welshman, and to another man who’d been standing inside the entrance, and they grabbed my arms and held tight. I didn’t bother struggling.

‘Go easy, big fella,’ the Welshman said. ‘This won’t last long.’

I’d been watching Stone’s face and it was as if the muscles in his cheeks and forehead had worked themselves up into permanent outrage. He looked as if he might explode. The energy came out of his hands as he worked them open and closed.

‘You talked to my wife,’ he said. ‘I told you I didn’t know anything about this Hastings man so you go running to my wife and start bothering her and my child.’

I said, ‘We were in a public place. Isn’t she allowed to talk to anyone?’

‘She is. You’re not.’ He nodded at the Welshman. ‘Hold him.’

He approached me and I knew what was coming and I watched his weight shifting to see whether he was going for the head or the body. Unfortunately, it was the body, so I could do nothing but try to tense my stomach as his fist drove into it. He had a heavy punch that came from his wide shoulders.

The air whooshed out of me and the Welshman and his friend held me as I doubled over.

‘Easy, big fella. Breathe deep.’

I did as he suggested, largely because I had no choice.
Keith Dixon was born in Yorkshire and grew up in the Midlands. He's been writing since he was thirteen years old in a number of different genres: thriller, espionage, science fiction, literary. Two-time winner of the Chanticleer Reviews CLUE First in Category award for Private Eye/Noir novel, he's the author of eleven full-length books and one short-story in the Sam Dyke Investigations series and two other non-crime works, as well as two collections of blog posts on the craft of writing.

Ideas and How to Get Them
by Keith Dixon

This was a real headline in the UK’s Guardian newspaper recently:
Russia’s ‘Sausage King’ killed in Moscow in crossbow attack.
I posted it on Facebook, suggesting that it wasn’t a headline you saw every day, and a writer friend commented that there were at least 5 crime novel plots encapsulated in that sentence.

And he wasn’t wrong!

- Who was the ‘Sausage King’ and why was he under threat of assassination?

- Why did the assassin use a crossbow?

- Why did it take place in Moscow?

- Who hired the assassin, and why?

- Did the King know who did it, and would investigators be able to track down the murderer?

So when people ask – as they often do, despite it being somewhat of a cliché – ‘Where do your ideas come from?’, I only have to point them to the news. At least half a dozen of my books took their inspiration from a stray headline or story I happened to see in a newspaper. Here are just two examples:

- there was the story of the mother and daughter pair who were fooled by a Scottish con-woman into paying thousands of pounds for a fake health treatment … in despair, the mother and daughter later committed suicide. (I used the con-woman but softened the ending!)

- there was a trial in Liverpool of two brothers who ran a building firm – officially – but were notorious local gangsters on the side. (I later saw a pair of brothers, massive in black tee-shirts, who became the physical models for my Ginger Twins.)

And in my latest book, The Two Fathers, the beginning of the story was a report that a £50m burglary at a house belonging to Tamara Ecclestone – daughter of former F1 boss Bernie – was carried out by a mother and son team, possibly with some inside help.

In my books I’ve grown more and more interested in family relationships in the world of crime, so a news item like this immediately sparks interest: how did this couple become involved in crime? Which one of them was the boss? Was one of them reluctant to get involved but was persuaded by the other … ? All of these were excellent areas to explore.

I developed the story as part of my Sam Dyke Investigations series, where Sam is a private investigator in the UK, so he was, as usual, the central character. But as the story moved on I began to make the couple more sympathetic than reports of the original crime suggested, and created a Mr Big as the real villain of the piece. And even he solicits some understanding at the end—it’s never good to have your villain be 100% evil!

And this is what usually happens. A character or a situation or a set of facts piques your interest and you can’t stop thinking about it. For me, primarily writing a private eye series, I then have to work on how to fold the headline into a case he can investigate. This is both the hard part and the fun part, and it’s where the fiction begins to diverge from the fact. Inventing the story background, the characters and the plotline that holds them all together is a really creative act and is sometimes more fun than writing it all down afterwards!

But being creative with the facts as they exist is an essential part of the process. Otherwise, I’d just be re-posting the news, and where’s the fun in that?
Win a $15 Amazon gift card or two eBook anthologies of the first 7 books in the Sam Dyke Investigations series by Keith Dixon– 1 winner each !

Follow the tour HERE for more content!


  1. I love the cover and yes I judge by covers..

  2. Interesting summary. Looks like a good read.

  3. The cover art seems mysterious with the man running down the road.

  4. I'm reading lots more during this pandemic!

  5. The book cover is interesting and story sounds interesting.

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  7. sounds like a fun one

  8. I like the cover, the misty looks makes it seem more intriguing.

  9. The book sounds great from the summary I read above!

  10. I love a good mystery and this one is on my list.