Cover Image: The Blood Tide

The Blood Tide

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Member Reviews

I would like to thank Netgalley and HQ for an advance copy of The Blood Tide, the second novel to feature DS Max Craigie of Police Scotland’s Policing Standards Reassurance Team.

A fisherman disappears in the North of Scotland and a man jumps to his death from a bridge south of Glasgow. Max finds links between the two events, but proving it is dangerous, especially as a figure from his past is intent on revenge.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Blood Tide, which is another engrossing and exciting read, full of twists and unexpected events. I did not find the subject matter in the novel as interesting as the previous novel, Dead Man’s Grave, but that’s a matter of personal taste rather than any issue with the writing, hence four rather than five stars.

I like the author’s way of writing. His style is accessible and easy to read and his plotting immaculate. The novel starts with a pair of seemingly unrelated events and Max makes a connection. It’s all rather nebulous at first, but it’s not long before the team are making more connections and the author widens his scope considerably. It’s slick and draws the reader in, despite, in hindsight, being rather fantastical, with a high body count and some major scheming. It’s great fun with humour, tension and miraculous escapes.

The characterisation is strong too. The team are smart with a can do attitude and strong camaraderie. There is humour and in jokes, but also danger and physical damage. 

The Blood Tide is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
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This is the second book in the DS Max Craigie Scottish Crime Thriller series and it is just as good as the first one. It is one of the best police procedurals I have read, it is fast paced and has a great story line, I feel as though you go on the journey with the police and I was trying to work out what had happened. Two victims but are they connected, DS Max Craigie has to find out before it is too late. I love the character of DS Max Craigie, I feel as though he is perfect for the job and handsome too. I didn't want to put it down what with the twists that come up too. I am really looking forward to book three in the series. If you haven't read book one, what are you waiting for? These books are going to be super popular.
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This is the follow up to the wonderful Dead Man's Grave by ex-police officer Neil Lancaster featuring the PTSD suffering ex-military DS Max Craigie set in Scotland. Max continues to be haunted by the past and his role in the imprisonment of powerful and ruthless gangster, Tam Hardie. In a prison cell, a bitter Hardie has not forgotten Craigie, he is determined to do whatever it takes to take revenge on him and those close to him. Witnessing and unable to prevent a suicide on Erskine Bridge, PC Hamish Beatie is disturbed and upset that the despairing and fearful man felt he had no choice but to die if he wanted to protect his family as he tells of a murder in a remote part of the West Scottish coast. Beatie writes up his report, and makes the decision to phone his friend Max to ask him to look into what the victim had said to him. There is a missing fisherman's wife that Craigie interviews that sets off alarm bells in his head.

Max is now part of a three person team with DC Janie Calder and DI Ross Fraser, Police Standards Reassurance, a special unit set up by the Chief Constable, Chris Macdonald, in his efforts to root out police corruption. The team is strengthened considerably when an old friend of Max's, a NCA intelligence analyst, Norma Kirk, joins them, becoming an invaluable member of the investigative team almost immediatedly, not to mention seeing to it that office problems get addressed more effectively. As it becomes clear that ruthless and powerful operators are prepared to do whatever it takes to move in on the drugs trade, and key surveillance evidence documents murders that have been covered up, Max and his team find themselves on a dangerous inquiry in which Max finds himself facing the terrible quandry of either letting a deadly foe walk or saving the life of someone close.

Lancaster certainly knows how to write a gripping thriller, with all the requisite ingredients that has the reader glued to the pages, with surprising twists and turns, and packed with high levels of suspense and tension. Add to that the hard working supportive police team that have each others back, with a strong team spirit and ongoing banter, the author has created a great bunch of terrific characters that you cannot help but warm to, and the addition of Norma to the unit is a great move by the author. This is shaping up to be a great series, atmospheric, entertaining and engaging, action packed and with heart, whilst making great use of the stunning Scottish landscape. Can't wait for the next in the series! Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
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A fisherman who has disappeared into thin air. A young man who jumps off a bridge to his death. Neither of these incidents seem like the sort of thing that would fall into the lap of DS Max Craigie and his team, but when more bodies start appearing, it transpires that there may be a link between them - one which will very much challenge Max and be potentially deadly for him and his loved ones.

This is an absolutely rip-roaring book - I read the first novel so when I saw that the sequel was available I jumped at the chance! It is a continuation of what happened in the first book, so I would recommend that you read that first. The story speeds along and there are a few moments where you're very surprised which way it ends up going! An easy 5*.
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A big WOW!  The Blood Tide ticks all my boxes for a great read, and it has given me two days of absolute pleasure and intrigue.  I read the first in this series (Dead Man’s Grave) and, although I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave a 5 star review, I think The Blood Tide is even better.  Maybe it’s because I feel as if I know and understand the characters a little more now.  Whatever, this is an excellent story written by a brilliant author, and my ‘Top two books of 2021’ has now become my ‘Top three books of 2021’ (and I’ve read a lot!).  What I particularly love is that the story seems so authentic and real (it probably is!) and you can imagine everything that is happening.  Your stomach churns as the tension mounts, and you honestly can’t put the book down.  The portrayal of the major characters brings them to life on the pages and you can’t help but want them to succeed.  What a small but amazing team!  DS Max Craigie, DC Janie Calder, their boss Ross, and this time Norma the intelligence analyst.  They work so well together, there’s so much trust between them, and the office banter makes you chuckle.  This fast-paced book is full of twists and turns, and has everything you could possibly want in an intense thriller – murder, mystery, corruption, suspense … and Nutmeg.  Absolutely first class, and I can’t wait for the next one.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this ARC in return for an honest review.
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A solid four star read. Great premise. Well written. Good characters. Page turner. Plenty of suspense to keep me guessing Would definitely read the  next novel. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review it.
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Another brilliant DS Cragie thriller!
Neil Lancaster has produced a fantastic novel full of twists and turns, I could not put it down!
He captures the Scottish scenery and culture perfectly and the characterisation is great.
I highly recommend this book, an overall great read.
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An intercepted drugs drop on Loch Torridon, a man on Erskine Bridge so terrified he prefers suicide and a missing persons inquiry starts the second novel featuring DS Max Craigie of Police Standards Reassurance, a covert group operating out of Tulliallan. When his friend PC Hamish Beatie contacts Max with some obvious concerns which he shares with the team and DI Ross Fraser gives the go ahead for an investigation. What follows goes deeper than the Mariana Trench and is just as dark. 

Wow, this is a buckle up, strap yourself in read right from the start and it’s an absolute belter!! The police team are fantastic characters. Max is brave, dogged, determined with his past as a soldier in Helmand Province still affecting him deeply. DI Ross Fraser is a colourful character with the emphasis on character with the pages being far from dull when he’s on them. DC Janie Calder has a good relationship with Max and I love the banter between them. This is one fast paced thriller, full of danger and excitement revealing brutality and ruthlessness of a group prepared to stop at nothing. The deeper the investigation goes the more the whole thing stinks like a load of rotten fish and the team need all the ingenuity at their disposal to unmask the villains. There are more twists and turns in the storytelling than on a highland road with fantastic locations being used effectively as a backdrop to the gritty proceedings. Brooding over events from his prison cell at HMP Edinburgh is Tam Hardie festering on his loathing for Max which is entirely reciprocated. 

This is a very well written novel, the writing is succinct, it conveys the excitement, danger and tension without being overblown and similarly fills in backstories from Book One without unnecessary repetition. It can be read as a stand-alone but the first in the series is also very good (Dead Mans Grave) and worth reading too. This is a breathtaking, gripping read and a high octane ride to a very satisfying conclusion. I can’t wait for number three!!

Ps. There’s an adorable cockapoo called Nutmeg ❤️

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to HQ, HQ Digital for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.
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This is the next book in the DS Max Craigie series, and it’s a cracker. Max is contacted by an old friend and ex colleague who thinks that there is something suspicious with a suicide he has just dealt with. Max’s’ instincts kick in and he starts to look into the case but before he can find much out thinks take a turn for the worse. 

 A real roller coaster of a read, so well written, it really draws you in from the first page, like all good books do. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on what’s happening, something else happens to shake it all up again. Having loved the previous book, Dead Mans Grave, I was excited to be able to review this book. It carries on seamlessly from the previous book but is a stand alone read too. Janie and Ross, Max’s colleagues in their small unit, are back too, with more details coming out about their back stories and also their allie, their Chief Constable, This police procedural feels real, with a genuine knowledge of the stresses and problems that police officers live with daily, as the author is an ex police officer. The Scottish setting is perfect and portrays realism in the manpower and location problems all forces deal with. Loved it, a definite must read. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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The Blood Tide is proof positive the DS Max Craigie series is truly thrilling. Neil Lancaster has produced a terrific thriller. If you like a gripping plot, read this book. Yes, if you're a fan of Line Of Duty, you'll smile every time you read about someone being bent. But, this series succeeds on its own merits. The Scottish atmosphere is perfectly captured. The characters are engaging. There are twists. There are turns. The page turning will be fast and furious as the reader can't wait to see what happens next. The Blood Tide is extremely entertaining. #TheBloodTide #NetGalley.
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My thoughts about Neil Lancaster’s brilliant follow up to his fantastic Dead Man’s Grave, The Blood Tide is a wonderful Police Procedural mystery thriller, There’s nothing like a good thriller. And I believe, as audiences mature, delivering one that manages to keep them on the edge is quite the challenge. Most thrillers with psycho killers are at some point predictable – and for a thriller reader junkie like myself, the acquired knowledge can immediately join the dots, zeroing in on the killer, their motive, backstory, etc. dousing the thrill altogether. In that sense, writer, Ex police officer Neil Lancaster’s The Blood Tide fares much better, retaining the suspense almost to the very end.The Blood Tide is one of those books that will give you chills through its detailed and layered plot points, which works in its favour. Another thing that works,the books main lead character DS Max Craigie,As this reluctant cop tries to cope with work, a serial killer starts murdering people which blow me away to find out the killers real motivation,is just incredible. Author Neil Lancaster has once again proved that he has a keen eye for content-driven thrillers by flagging off The Blood Tide, which is undoubtedly yet another feather in his cap.The story of Neil Lancaster’s The Blood Tide begins in a remote sea loch on the west coast of Scotland, a fisherman vanishes without trace. His remains are never found.A young man jumps from a bridge in Glasgow and falls to his death in the water below. DS Max Craigie uncovers evidence that links both victims. But if he can’t find out what cost them their lives, it won’t be long before more bodies turn up at the morgue.Soon cracks start to appear in the investigation, and Max’s past hurtles back to haunt him. When his loved ones are threatened, he faces a terrifying choice: let the only man he ever feared walk free, or watch his closest friend die. Neil Lancaster’s The Blood Tide is a brilliant follow up in the DS Max Craigie series which is not only well written but a absolute cracker, and The Blood Tide is one of the best Police Procedural thrillers in scottish crime fiction has ever seen. Hats off to Neil you deserve a whiskey on the rocks with this one. I would like to say thank you to Author Neil Lancaster, Publishers HQ Stories, Finn Cotton and Netgally for giving me a chance to read and review this brilliant book which I’m a huge fan of. What a series. After Dead Man’s Grave And The Blood Tide, I’m definitely pumped up about what Neil has in store next for DS Max Craigie and his team.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐💥💥💥💥💥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
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Phew!  What a ride!

Max Craig is called by an old friend about a strange aspect to a suicide, at the same time as a missing persons report comes in.

Intrigued, he begins to follow up, but what has been set in motion brings forward disturbing echoes from his past.

His team are stretched to the limit and the plot twists and turns beautifully.  The characters are well drawn, the villains being appropriately horrible and the heroes being human and appealing.

A great read and highly recommended.
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