Cover Image: The Blood Tide

The Blood Tide

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Member Reviews

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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This is the second novel involving Max Craigie and his small team. Here he is the lead detective investigating a seeming suicide in which a member of the drug squad jumps to his death from Erskine Bridge. Fast paced and involving forces all across Scotland this novel certainly lives up to the word" blood" in its title. So there is no spoiler in my saying the body count just keeps climbing - indeed it makes double figures! No wonder the Chief Constable takes an active interest in the case!
This never sets out to be a literary masterpiece but Lancaster certainly provides the reader with a thrilling and absorbing story filled with plenty of nail-biting moments. There's plenty to enjoy for crime novel enthusiasts.
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A cracking read that flowed with drama, tension and fear throughout. DS Max Craigie is part of a small team who investigate their own. Risks abound as first one man commits suicide then the officer who discovered him is also found dead in an apparent suicide that has alarm bells ringing in Max’s head. Discovering links to drug gangs, with the criminals always one step ahead makes for a complex and risky investigation that puts his own life and that of his family and colleagues in danger. Trusting no-one seems to be the only way forward in order to get to the bottom of who is involved in these appalling crimes. Fast paced with many levels but never too complicated that the reader is unable to follow this brilliantly conceived thriller. The characters are strong and likeable, with dark Scottish humour and banter.. I can’t wait for the next in this excellent series.
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This book takes us back to Max Craigie and police corruption.  For the uninitiated he is a Detective Sergeant in the police in Scotland.  However I would plead with anyone looking at this book to read the earlier book first.  This is a follow on story.  I really enjoyed Dead Man's Grave, both the story and the characters in it.  This one takes up the story of Max and the team's investigation into corruption among police and law enforcement from where the first one ends.

The book starts with some apparently unrelated events.  Max however sees a pattern here.  Now that he is part of a dedicated team he is not as isolated as he was in the last book.  The team and Max swing into action and the book follows the twists and turns of the case.  Once again this is looking at possible deep seated corruption within the police.  Those familiar with the first book will not find it a surprise that Max gets some help less than conventional sources!

I thoroughly enjoyed the earlier book in this series and this one did not let me down either.  The pace and tension here is well worked again.  The story does have some real twists in it which is great.  I do like Max as a character and Janie too.  I guess I didn't find Ross all that convincing by comparison but it certainly didn't spoil this.

In the end this was not quite as edgy as the first book to me but it still is a very good read.  It's an excellent cop/action read and much more satisfying than some more main stream authors produce to me. On my last review I mentioned "Line of Duty" (the TV series) and the comparison works on this one too.  Max's story is much better than Line of Duty for me.  I certainly hope I will read more in this tense series of stories. 4.5/5
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The Blood tide by Neil Lancaster is the second novel in the DS Max Craigie series and what a fantastic one it is.
Set in Scotland, we meet again DS Max Craigie of Police Standards Reassurance team. See suffering from PTSD when he served as a soldier in Helmand Province and his imprisonment in the hands of killer and gangster Tam Hardie. 
When a drug drop goes wrong and when a man commits suicide by jumping from the Erskine Bridge. His last few words that PC Hamish Beatle hears, Hamish knows something is not right. He contacts DS Max Craigie, and they start an investigation but by doing this all the people he feels close to, are in danger. Especially a few days later Hamish’s Body is found. The two incidents are linked and linked to Tam Hardie, who languishes in jail. How is he doing it?  Which also leads to corruption in the Police services.
Wow thank you HQ for a copy of Blood tide. This is another action packed, gripping, thriller from the author which I enjoyed immensely. I loved the Scottish settings of the land and the sea and the camaraderie between the team of Max, Janie and Ross and not to forget Norma with her love of Krispy Kreme.  This is realistic account of what goes on in police force and the corruption that may occur in it and the determination to catch them responsible. 
I hope there is more of this series to come. 5 stars from me.
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A fantastic follow up to Dead Mans Grave., Blood Tide is best read in sequence. As the author says it is a “great ripper of a story”. . As much an adventure as a police procedural. If you like Line of Duty you will really enjoy this. Great characters, with Scottish scenery chucked in for good measure. I read a chapter at every opportunity, look forward to the next one.. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to review.
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Once again, Neil Lancaster has produced a tightly woven, edge-of-the-seat thriller, featuring DS Max Craigie and the  Police Standards Reassurance team. It follows on from Dead Man's Grave so I would recommend reading that first. No hardship. It's also a cracking read, like this one. The pace is steady in the beginning and escalates until it's fairly hurtling along to a dynamic conclusion. Strangely enough, I found the team – Janie, Ross and Nora –   to be more fully fleshed than Craigie himself, who tended towards a bit of navel-gazing at times. He had his moments of derring-do, though, and masterminds some of the more outrageous elements of the investigation. As a passing note, the descriptions of the Scottish countryside and coastal areas are excellent and serve to enrich the book 
I'll definitely be looking forward to the third offering from this author and will recommend it to friends.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Love, love, love it!

If you like a good police procedural this is for you. The characters are natural and not over blown, the language is rich and descriptive-quite a few times I stopped and appreciated the way the author described certain things.

It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but there’s no need, it’s a perfect example of the genre and thoroughly enjoyable.
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The Blood Tide is a wonderful followup to Dead Man's Grave where we are introduced to DS Max Craigie. After reading the first book I hoped our author would continue to add to this arresting series (pun intended).

Characters from the first book appear again here so it's recommended to start with Dead Man's Grave for character development.  I'm loving the team and Max's partner Janie Calder.  There is tension, police corruption, drug deals, organzied crime and murder packed into this novel. 

Author Neil Lancaster worked with the Metropolitan Police so the plot and scenarios are very believable about how investigations work. Write about what you know, right? There is also humor in some of the banter between officers which comes across as very believable.

If you enjoy police procedurals and good mystery with thrills, this will be a series you'll enjoy.  Additonally, fans of books set in Scotland will enjoy the beauty and isolation described in the plot.

Publication date is February 23, 2022 by HQ Digital.  Genre: General Fiction, Mystery and Thriller.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book.  I was not compensated for the review, all opinions are mine.
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f you enjoy Line of Duty then this book is for you. Blood Tide is the sequel to Dead Man's Grave and features Max Craigie and the anti corruption team based in Scotland. Face paced book that makes you want to finish it in one sitting.
Thank you to NetGalley HQ and for the advance copy of this book.
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Well Neil you certainly know how to write a cliffhanger!  I couldn’t put it down. It carries on from Dead Man’s Grave. Max and Janie are still working to remove corruption in the police force and even though Tam Hardie is in prison he still manages to control his drugs network. It’s one of the most fast paced books I’ve read in a while and I could just imagine the things happening. The ending is amazing. I won’t give anything away but I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen. I almost cheered at one point. It’s a must read
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Wow! What a story! The narrative never flags, and zips along at pace. There are several completely unexpected twists which keep the reader on the edge of their seat. All too scarily believable, this tale of corruption and dodgy dealings in high places, within the police, NCA, and other crime agencies, and the efforts of Max Craigie and his small team’s efforts to get to the bottom of it all, is fascinating. Max and his colleagues are hot on the heels of an organised crime gang, who are using Scotland’s coastline to bring in large quantities of drugs. Their efforts to stop this evil trade and the untold misery it would cause all over UK, had me reading far in to the night. 
Although this is the second in the Max Craigie series, it works very well as a standalone story, with one or two brief references to what went before, making sure the reader is not left wondering. 
The characterisation of all the main protagonists is so strong and rounded, a talent which not all authors possess, but which makes a book for me. Immensely enjoyable storytelling. 
My thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my advance copy of this novel. I will read more of Neil Lancaster’s work, I am delighted  to have found such a good author.
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This sequel to Dead Man's Grave, finds DS Max Craigie working with his colleagues Ross and Janie in Police Scotland's exclusive anti corruption squad and the notorious Tam Hardie locked up serving a life sentence. 

Tam's drugs network has been taken over by a Liverpool gang under the leadership of the ruthless Scally but someone is challenging his network. 

Another great story from Neil Lancaster which ranges fast and furious over the Highlands and Islands of Northern Scotland. 

The best book I've read in ages!
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Having read book one in Neil Lancaster's new series, DS Max Craigie, I was privileged to receive an advanced copy of THE BLOOD TIDE and looking forward to reading this novel.  

Neil's writing is sharp, witty, full of Scottish humour.  I loved the characters connection within the team  which is full of laughs and witty dialogue.

I would recommend this novel.

I give a 4 star rating. 

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