Cover Image: The Blood Tide

The Blood Tide

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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this novel. This is the second book featuring DS Max Craigie, following Dead Man's Grave. Though The Blood Tide includes some references to the previous book it can be read alone - as indeed I did being new to the books of Neil Lancaster.  DS Craigie is more of an action hero type than I am used to - probably about as far from e.g. Rebus as it is possible to get but the story line is non-stop and a very good read. Craigie's old pal Bruce Ferguson plays a fundamental role in the book and is well realised as are the other supporting characters. Right I'm off to read the first book in the series & any others by Neil Lancaster I can lay my hands on.
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The second in the  DS Max Craigie series and better than the first and that was fantastic, gripping with great characters.
I received this book from HQ digital via Netgalley for a review.
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My first read by this author,  and was hooked in immediately.   Loved the story line, the characters, and could easily imagine the scenery.   Would thoroughly recommend to others.
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A man jumps from a bridge, so terrified something might happen to him and his family, that death is preferable. The police officer who witnesses is killed, but it is staged to look like a suicide. On the other side of Scotland a fisherman vanishes without trace, leaving behind a wife and accounts of living above his means as a fisherman.

Enter DS Max Craigie and his Police Standards Reassurance Team. Max has found evidence that links all the victims. It is also personal, as the dead police officer is an old friend. But if Max and the team can’t figure out what exactly is going on, then there will be more bodies. Possibly even their own. Meanwhile a prison break further complicates things for Max, and directly puts his life in real danger.

This book was a very enjoyable read. The pace was well maintained, with great characters, and a good switch between the different cast of people in the story. As the book unwinds, pulling us further into a tale of drug dealing, networks, cartels, and corruption, you can really feel the sense of urgency from Max and the team to solve this one, with minimal bloodshed. I don’t want to say any more, as it will give too much away, but I would definitely recommend this one. I will be looking out for the next in the series for sure!

*I received this copy from NetGalley for review but all opinions are my own
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Fantastic!  I was hooked on this story from the very first chapter.  Easy to follow, short chapters, realistic dialogue.  A gripping plot which, I am relieved to say, didn’t follow the usual jeopardy formula.  Loved it and now want more!! 

Thank you HQ Stories and NetGalley for introducing me to Neil Lancaster’s work.
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I’ve heard many good things about this book and author, so glad I could give this a try. 

It had a good storyline and I liked the line of duty feel! Bent coppers! What could be better!? … good ones ha! The characters were a nice mix. 

It was an interesting read and I could really picture the action in my head. 

Personally, there was too much dialogue for me, I found it hard to keep up sometimes as there’s quite a few characters in the book. But it’s just personal preference! 

Thank you Netgalley for this opportunity.
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Excellent story, enjoyed reading it, hard to put down, as I never knew what was coming next!!!!! There is some deft ploting here, definitely one of the better police procedurals I have read this  year, so if you want a really good long read, I thoroughly recommend this book.
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I have, as yet, not read the first book featuring the main character DS Max Craigie but I will do so now! I really enjoyed The Blood Tide where the author provides a tale of pace and tension, a gripping read.
Highly recommended.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers Harper Collins for this ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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DS Max Craigie returns in this book but still with baggage from the previous one and, indeed, some of the characters from that reappear. It's not necessary to read both but it gives a better understanding to Max. Bodies pile up and evidence goes missing giving Max and the Police Standards Reassurance Team a hard job to find out what is going on. Is there a traitor in their ranks? There is some pretty gruesome goings on and that loses a point from me. Banter between the team is ok but not as sharp as it might be, but I do love the problems with the tropical heating in their basement "suite" - makes a change from the more typical, in my life, arctic conditions! I also love the Heads of Teams/Inter Agency meetings. Oh dear, oh so realistic, there should always be a Ross in there. There are several threads that become intertwined which complicates matters as they seem a bit isolated at first but the intelligence gathering and thoughts of the main characters bring them together neatly. Descriptions of the Scottish countryside are spot on - I'm sitting looking out at some of those grey dreich skies at the moment. Thanks to NetGalley and HQ Digital for an advance copy n exchange for my honest review.
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This is the second book featuring the newly formed Police Standards Reassurance team, with the lead character DS Max Craigie.  Both books are very enjoyable police procedurals, the narrative is exciting and fast paced and very good characterisation with likeable characters, who interact well as a Team.

The book starts with the story of an experienced police officer, PC Hamish Beatie trying to talk down a man who’s so terrified, he feels his only option is to commit suicide by jumping from the Erskine Bridge.  DS Max Craigie gets involved when Hamish, who is on old friend, contacts him to raise his concerns of potential corruption at a high level.  The story gets darker with a several key players involved in a drugs drop, getting killed.   

Gangster, Tam Hardie also features and doesn’t let being incarcerated stop him from planning to take revenge on Max and those close to him.  There is a surprise twist part way through the story and although you know who is responsible for the killings at the start of the story, there are still plenty of twists and turns to keep you gripped right to the end.
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I was delighted to be offered this, the second book in the series with Max and his team and, wow it didn’t disappoint.   It had me up until the wee hours, but I just didn’t want it to end it was that exciting.  

It starts off with a suicide and a fisherman that goes missing.  Max discovers the  two are linked somehow, and it reeks of corruption at a very high level.  What follows is an investigation that one of Max’s old adversaries is involved in, one very dangerous criminal Hardie.  The team are kept very small to ensure no leaks are made, and only a few know what’s really going on. However, someone, somewhere is still leaking information, and although Hardie is behind bars, he’s still a threat.  

I always say, and I read a lot of crime, but the most exciting books come from ex policemen or people in similar jobs, they really know what goes on and know how to thrill the reader.  

My thanks to Neil, the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC.
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Max is back in this deliciously dark sequel where old and new characters and remote Scottish settings immerse you in a world where Max needs all the help he can get to fight the bad guys and keep it together to battle through more police drama ultimately pitting him once again against the supervillain he put away in the first book.
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This was the first Neil Lancaster book that I have read and I cannot wait to read more, am already a big fan. This was an enthralling story from start to finish a real page turner. No long boring tedious story setting we were into the action from page one with no let up. Great characters and enjoyed the banter between Max Craigie and his colleagues and the climatic ending. I have no hesitation in recommending this excellent crime thriller.
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If fast pace and plenty of action is what you are looking for, this book has it in spades. We begin with a smuggling operation that goes wrong, then the bodies pile up as it becomes apparent that there is something rotten at the heart of the police force. We have drug barons at war, cocaine addicts, criminals operating while doing time, and more. If that’s not enough, there are strained marriages and personal vendettas to add spice; and a final twist that up-ends everything you thought was happening.

All good; but I found myself wishing Lancaster would slow down a little. There’s hardly time for the tension to build before there’s another shoot-out. There is a Scottish flavour but I could have done with a bit more description and atmosphere. The writing is concise but at times mundane.

Still, it whiled away a few otherwise dull hours on a transatlantic flight so no complaints; it is a page turner and once started, you will not put it down.
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I have to say this seemed like a true story from the start. Fantastically written with plenty of twists and turns. The police certainly had their work cut out with the drug smugglers and crooked cops, prisoners and wardens. The chases around Scotland were interesting as I could imagine them, knowing a lot of these places. Fabulous teamwork throughout. I don’t like giving spoilers, suffice to say the twist at the end was the icing on the cake!
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This book had great reviews, and the Scottish setting appealed to me. This was a book I was keen to read. There is a great plot in here, but sadly it moved too slowly for me, and I gave up about one third in. Not the page-turner I had hoped for., but maybe I'm just impatient and maybe the plot thickens. There is a lot of graphic violence too.
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This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I have to confess, I didn’t realise until I’d started this one that it was the second in a series.

Whilst I have no doubt I would have found it easier to gel with the characters had I read the first, understanding this one and engaging with the story isn’t dependent on having started at the beginning. As always though, I would highly recommend doing so if you have the chance – it’s just common sense.

For me, I found this far too much of a slow-burner with a lot of seemingly unrelated events occurring at once.  I struggled to retain any interest in any of the story lines, and at times, it felt like overkill, to pad out the book, rather than adding to the overall plot.

I really struggled with a lot of the dialogue – the exchanges felt very forced, and uncomfortable to read at times, and it really put me off.  I admit, I had to skim-read on more than a handful of occasions.  As a result, I didn’t really “get” any of the characters, and found it really hard to get behind them or care about the ultimate outcome.

All in all, this is not a bad story – just one that doesn’t work for me.  I hold my hands up and accept that is just personal taste.
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This is the second book in the Max Craigie, and I have to confess I hadn't read the first one but absolutely didn't stop me from enjoying this book.

The book opens with a drug run in the wild of Scotland which ends in the disappearance of a local fisherman,, from there we go to a bridge where PC Hamish Beatle is coming to the end of his shift but finds a man threatening to jump. his last words trouble Hamish so much he phones his old friend DS Craigie. 

A few days later Hamish is also found dead, yet another apparent suicide, and strangely his notebook has gone missing as well. 

All threads seem to lead back to Tam Hardie a drug lord and gangster, but he is in prison serving a very long sentence. 

This was an absolutely thrilling story, great characters, loved the way they were fleshed out, could not put the book down, and look forward to the next one.

Highly recommended
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My thanks to HQ Digital, Neil Lancaster and Netgalley.
I truly wasn't expecting much from this story. I had heard it was a police procedural, "kind of." Also, the banter. Eh? I'll be honest and say that for me, I've been spoiled by Stuart McBrides books. That man has got the banter down!
So, this wasn't quite up to snuff at the beginning for me. But, it turned out to be a long, dark ride to some  depths that I never would have thought. 
Personally, I freaking loved it, and totally understood those depths! I've already bought the first book in this series. I've every intention of sticking around for more. Great storytelling. Also, I've a dang.soft spot for Caithness. That coastline is wicked!
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'The Blood Tide' is the second novel in the DS Max Craigie series by Neil Lancaster. This is a series of Scottish crime thrillers and the first that I have read in the series. While the books could probably be read as a standalone, there are many frequent references in 'The Blood Tide' to the first book and this is a give away to the ending of the previous novel so best to read the series in order.
Now, onto the storyline. The book opens with a police officer witnessing a suicide of a drugs squad officer. DS Max Craigie and his team are called in to investigate but are soon stonewalled at every turn. With a raising bodycount and political pressure, Max knows that they do not have long to resolve the case.
The story moves at a rapid pace and keeps up the level of intrigue to the end.
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