Cover Image: The Blood Tide

The Blood Tide

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Member Reviews

After reading the first book in this series- Dead Man's Grave - I had high expectations for this one. Whilst ot didn't disappoint as such I think I'll be going against the majority in my review and saying it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be.

I found this one alot slower going than book #1 and there seemed to be loads of unrelated incidents going on all at once which didn't always feel needed to be honest. It wouldn't have affected the main plot if they hadn't been included. 

The huge cast of characters had my brain frazzled many a time (God I'm getting old) but there were some really interesting and likeable characters thrown into the mix.

This is a perfect series for any fans of Line of Duty. Full of Police Procedure and corruption to keep any fan happy.


Thanks to netgalley and HQ for the ARC.
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The DS Max Craigie series is one of the best police procedurals I've read and one that its getting better with each book. Although I found this title a bit slow to start, it soon gathered pace and I found myself racing to the end. I would highly recommend this gripping read.

Many thanks to HQ and NetGalley for the review copy.
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It's taken me far too long to read any of Neil Lancaster's books, I've been meaning to for ages. The Blood Tide is the second book in his Max Craigie series but fortunately can easily be read as a standalone – although there are references to events in Dead Man's Grave so if you're the sort of reader who prefers to avoid even a hint of a spoiler, you're probably better off reading the series in order. However, it actually left me even more intrigued to read it; I thought Neil Lancaster did an excellent job of integrating what had occurred previously in the plot to bring new readers up to speed without too much exposition.
The book opens with a tense exchange that soon reveals the ruthlessness of some of the characters before another suspenseful scene with a tragic outcome. Although this is a Max Craigie novel, he doesn't actually appear until the third chapter after another police officer, Hamish Beattie witnesses a suicide and then contacts Max when he begins to suspect the death isn't as straightforward as it appears. The victim makes some worrying accusations before he ends his life and his words immediately suggest that this is going to be a shocking case for all involved, with some devastating revelations. Max is part of the small Policing Standards Reassurance Team, working alongside DI Ross Fraser and DC Janie Calder, and their wide-ranging remit to identify and tackle corruption gives them what should be a huge advantage as they are given unrestricted access to all Police Scotland databases. However, they are dealing with professional criminals who have employed threats and bribery to infiltrate all levels of law enforcement and consequently face a formidable task to bring the perpetrators to justice.
There are multiple viewpoints here, with the narrative switching between protagonists and antagonists which builds the tension superbly as it's never really clear just who has the upper hand. The propulsive contemporary storyline also explores issues which have long been a problem for rural areas and as is suggested, here, are likely to become worse as drug cartels look to new, more clandestine routes into the country as import checks are stepped up following Brexit. The first-rate sense of place evokes all the beauty of the Highlands but also underlines just how remote these areas are; with little police manpower, it's no wonder that county lines trafficking has resulted in a huge drug problem in the  fishing villages.
As the body count rises and it becomes ominously evident that Max could be in the firing line, he begins to experience a grim recurrence of the nightmare that has plagued him since Helmand Province. The authentic portrayal of his PTSD is clearly an ongoing theme in the book and is written about with obvious empathy. The characterisation throughout is impressive and I loved the interplay between the main characters which is full of humour as well as more tense scenes. Neil Lancaster's extensive, first-hand knowledge of police work imbues the novel with expert, gritty realism and I particularly enjoyed the surveillance scenes which emphasise how well-functioning, cohesive teams work together.
The pace rarely lets up in The Blood Tide and it's packed with high octane, emotive moments and shocking twists. The storyline reaches breakneck speed towards the end of the novel as Max and his team face a race against time to prevent a dramatic escape and to expose the mysterious high-level contact whose insider knowledge has long been vital to the major drug dealer operating in the area.
The Blood Tide should come with a health warning; may lead to raised blood pressure and reduced sleep! I'll take those side effects though because this is a cracking read and I tore through it in a day. Top-notch plotting, characters I soon became invested in and set in my favourite place in the world, it's as if it was written for me, so of course I loved it. The third book in the series, The Night Watch will be published in September and after the deeply satisfying ending to The Blood Tide, I can't wait to see what lies in store for Max Craigie and his team next!
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Another cracking police novel by Neil Lancaster. Gripping plot and interesting characters - I finished the book in a couple of sittings. Next please!
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I have been a fan of Neil’s work ever since I had the good fortune to pick up a copy of ‘Dead Man’s Grace’ last year. ‘Dead Man’s Grave’ is the first in the series featuring Detective Sergeant Max Craigie. Ever since I finished reading ‘Dead Man’s Grave’, I have been impatiently waiting for the second book in the series. Well ladies and gents, the wait is over because the second book in the series, which is called ‘The Blood Tide’, is due for release in e-book format on the 23rd February 2022 with the hardback to follow on 31st March 2022. I was fortunate enough to have an early sneaky peek at a review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Blood Tide’ but more about that in a bit.
I was drawn to this book by the fact that I saw Neil’s name on the cover of a book I hadn’t read and by the fact that it was the second book in the DS Max Craigie series. ‘The Blood Tide’ developed a hold over me and it was a hold that I wasn’t willing to break at all. As soon as I started reading, I knew that I wouldn’t be doing anything else bar reading for the rest of the afternoon. I was blown away by the story, by the characters and by the quality of the writing. Part of the reason why I enjoyed the story so much has to do with the fact that I loved the character of DS Max Craigie. He put me in mind of Steve Arnott or Ted Hastings from the hit television series ‘Line Of Duty’, which is one of my favourite television programmes. I had my own suspicions as to what was going to happen so I had to keep reading to see if I was anywhere near the truth or if I had got the wrong end of the stick. I became so wrapped up in the story that I lost all track of time and just how quickly I was getting through the story. All too quickly I reached the end of the story and I had to say farewell to DS Craigie and the rest of the team. I found ‘The Blood Tide’ to be a gripping read, which kept me guessing and which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
‘The Blood Tide’ is superbly written but then I wouldn’t expect anything less from Neil Lancaster. He has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with. I love the way in which he grabs the reader’s attention and draws them into what proves to be one hell of a story. The fact that Neil is a former police officer himself makes the story seem that bit more authentic. For me the story hit the ground running and maintains a fast pace throughout. Reading ‘The Blood Tide’ felt like being on a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with more twists and turns to it than you would find on a ‘Snakes & Ladders’ board. Just when you thought that you could take a moment to catch your breath, gather your thoughts and reclaim your stomach then off the action would go again. I love the way in which Neil makes the reader feel as though they are part of the story and at the heart of the action.
In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Blood Tide’ and I strongly recommend it to other readers. In fact ‘The Blood Tide’ has to be one of my top reads of 2022. I will certainly be reading more of Neil’s work in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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Thank you Netgalley and the punisher for the opportunity to review. This was a quick read. Nothing majorly memorable I am afraid. The characters were ok. Didn't hate DC Max but didn't love him either
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Firstly, I would like to thank Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book. It also happened to be one recommended to read by my Book Club.

This the second book featuring DI Max Craigie and I enjoyed this as much as the first. I think it certainly helped that I had read the previous one in terms of “knowing” the characters and their backgrounds, as apart from the main character there are others mentioned from the earlier book. I also appreciated that it is mainly set in Scotland and recognise the places mentioned. This is crime fiction at its best and I can’t wait until the next one.
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Is an amazing Detective Thriller. I fully enjoyed the pace of this story. I kept the on edge wanted to know what was happening next. I needed to know murder story and what what has happened to make him jump and leave his family behind.
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This detective thriller has a believable team dynamic, twisty plot, and vibrant characters in a vividly depicted Scottish setting. It reads like a standalone thriller with pertinent backstory details to orientate the reader towards the characters.

It has sensory imagery that makes the characters, events and settings easy to visualise. Fast-paced and full of twists that keep you turning the pages. Believable characters draw the reader into this complex story, and what happens to  DS Max Craigie and his team matters to the reader.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
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Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the TOM NOVACK novels by the author I was excited to carry on with the investigations of his latest character D.S. Max Craigie. Not one to disappoint the series got off to a great start with the fabulous ‘ DEAD MANS GRAVE ‘ and has been followed up hot on its heels by this thriller. What a thriller it is too, from the first page you will be hooked. Dragged into the dark world of drugs, their distribution and the lengths villains will go to in order to make money off the back of addicts. Police procedure at its most dark and gritty, where the police officers gut feeling comes to the fore and proves itself over and over again. You can read it as a standalone but by reading the first book you may get a more fuller picture of the main characters. Chock-a -block with tension, pace, fear and murder the book delivers it all in perfect combination. Open the book and delve deep into the dark imagination of the author who has created a fabulous new protagonist in the shape of D S. Max Craigie. Spend a few hours in the windswept beauty of Scotland brought to life by the descriptions penned by the author. Feel the thrill of the chase as the investigation takes many paths to the truth. In other words pick up a book by the author and discover a fabulous addition to your bookshelves.
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While this is the second in the DS Max Craigie series it read fine as a standalone story. 

Wonderful characters and a well thought out plot with plenty of twists.
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A belter of a crime novel-I couldn’t put it down.The plot moves at a fast pace and is full of twists and turns, but throughout you have the reassuring presence of DC Max Craigie and his associates.Highly recommended-I can’t  wait for the next book!
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review which reflects my own opinion.
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Impressive thriller - the opening for example fine-ly tunes expectation and crime.. there is a lot of intuitive hunches - police and evil doer alike. The police crew- Ross, Max and Jana work not as a great team. And there is much emphasis on how well they work together - in comparison to Hardie, younger member of a violent criminal  family now involving local people in a deadly drug smuggling operation, whether they want to or not, all the time, claiming the police are in on it. Stylistic repetitions aside, this is a smooth and interesting journey - fast - paced with several serious twists, and stabbing .. recommend for a quick and blasting read.
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When PC Hamish Beattie has to deal with a potential jumper on the Erskine Bridge, he thought it would be just another suicide. But as he attempts to talk the man down, what he hears makes Hamish suspicious. But as enquiries continue, events take a darker turn. Can DS Max Craigie put the pieces together in time?

The Blood Tide is a dark police thriller, with more deaths than an episode of Midsomer Murders, but in the context of the story, they don’t feel excessive somehow. Max Craigie is a likeable character who is obviously dealing with an issue from a previous story - having not read the first book in the series, these were parts I didn’t really get, but it’s easy to catch the drift. Things did get rather complicated towards the end, as the various parts of the trap were sprung, and I struggled to remember who all the different people were, but a very entertaining and gripping story.

Throughly enjoyed reading it.
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Another cracking read from Neil Lancaster.

The story is clever, pacy & very dramatic in places but for me the absolute highlight are the characters Neil produces & the dynamic between the team of Max Craigie, Janie & Ross. They are funny & flawed, but honest & loyal. There is also a wonderful supporting cast, who I hope feature again especially Norma & Barney, villians new & reoccurring, and a morally grey character who is also a firm favourite.

If you like police procedural or crime drama you cannot go wrong with this series.
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This book was an enjoyable read I liked the characters, the plot was gripping nd it kept me turning the pages.
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This book is simply phenomenal!
I loved the storyline, the characters are very likable and realistic. Thank you Neil for creating a strong female police officer as efficient as the hero of the book, a breath of fresh air from most books out there!
The Scottish scenery is so picturesque,  I can't believe I still have not visited Scotland and I now am desperate to visit it. Well done indeed! I now purchased the book and the audible version as Angus King is pure class as ever!
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An excellent follow on to Dead Man's Grave (I'd recommend reading them in order) and once more left me keen for my next DS Max Craigie fix. 
The team -  Janie, Ross and Craigie -  are fast becoming one of my favourite crime busting teams and in this one there's the welcome addition of Norma, who i hope will become a permanent fisture as her witty repartee with Ross is brilliant.
The Blood Tide is complex and very well plotted with an entertaining mix of police procedure, action and twistiness. Dealing with police corruption, heinous crimes and amoral behaviour throughout the justice system this feels really contemporary and relevant.
With a beautiful backdrop of the Black Isle to reliish, belivable and relatable characters and a twisty and satisfying ending, I throughly enjoyed this.
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I've just finished this book and have to say, I've not read a book that gripped me like this for a while. I absolutely loved it and could wait to find out who the insider was! The plot was brilliant with the characters really making you feel like you knew them. It was a really good book with a great plot and one I'd happily read again!
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Love the lead character in this series and his dog, Have read the others in series and eagerly await new ones.
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