Member Reviews

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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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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