Dead Level, Death Sentence, Heads or Tails, Dead Lock, Beyond the Point by Damien Boyd
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I actually read these five books before I read the last few I posted reviews for. However, as it takes longer to get all the bits together for multiple books, I posted the single ones first. Ironically, I probably have less to say about these books, as I will take them as a whole, than I have in some of the other reviews.
I continue to really enjoy this series. Nick is a great character, very human, the type of chap I'm sure I would get on with. He has his faults, as we all do, which makes him all the more real. The writing continues to be good; we learn more about Nick in each book and the cases are all excellent and keep one guessing. Once again Nick's life is in danger and this time I really did wonder how he was going to get out of it (I knew he had to as I had more books in the series *g*). Nick really is the kind of copper you would want helping you.
We also learn quite a lot more about Nick's girl-friend Jane, other detective - in fact we learn a great deal more about her. And we learn more about the regular characters and all of them are definitely real people and not just names on the page. Again, they have their good points and their less than good points. I do think characterisation is one of Boyd's real strengths; he isn't afraid to make them real and rounded and imperfect.
The one for me slight negative thing about these later books is that Boyd, like so many authors, has started to make the books longer and flesh things out and give us more personal stuff - mainly about Jane, it has to be said. For me, whilst it's quite nice to learn a bit more about Jane, her background and how it impacts on her life today, I don't need it; I actually don't think it really adds anything to the books. In fact for me, it has slowed the books down somewhat. They are still fast-paced, but not as much as they were. What made Boyd stand out is gradually seeping away - in my opinion anyway. I suspect I'm in the minority as I'm guessing the reason he did start giving us more personal stuff is down to reviews, etc. asking for it. For me, I'd wish he'd go back to how he wrote in the first few books and cut out a lot of what I regard as superfluous stuff.
That said, I'm not going to stop reading the series - quite the opposite. I have already pre-ordered the next book. And it is still a series I would recommend highly. In fact if you do like longer books, with more personal stuff then you'll definitely prefer the later books to the earlier ones.