Cover Image: The Blood Tide

The Blood Tide

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Member Reviews

Very gritty crime thriller. The story was good but the huge amount of bad language spoilt it for me. 
Do police inspectors really talk to their teams like that?
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Scottish Police procedural featuring DS Max Craigie and his team in the Police Standards Reassurance dept who have been given a wide brief to investigate corruption within Police Scotland.
Story starts with a suicide and dives into the murky world of drug smuggling/distribution and the associated violence in that world.
Well written, fast paced with lots of twists and turns including the involvement of an old enemy.
Highly recommended.
Thanks to Harper Collins and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in return for a fair review.
4 Stars ⭐️
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DS Max Craigie and his two colleagues are now working under the auspices of the Chief Constable as they try to uncover corruption within Police Scotland. So when a friend of Max's contacts him with concerns over a recent suicide their next investigation begins, but it soon becomes clear there is far more to discover than first met the eye. As a case from the past also brings danger to those he loves and values the most, Max can only watch as things begin to disintegrate around him. 

The second Max Craigie novel continues on from where book one ended and is just as breathtaking as the first. The three main protagonists are back, along with the stunning countryside, to weave another tension filled story to keep any reader engrossed from beginning to end. Max himself is a great character and I hope there will be more outings for him and his team in the future. 

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. This is crime writing of the highest quality but to get the full impact you do need to read the previous book first.
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A new author for me, and one I'll look forward to reading again. DS Max Craigie and  his team specialise in looking into corruption signing the police find themselves drawn into a conspiracy of drug related deaths, hardened criminals, corruption in law enforcement and ultimately revenge after looking into two suspicious suicides. I couldn't put this one down.
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Three and a half stars.

A police officer witnesses a suicide, but the man who committed suicide says that he is being forced to commit suicide in order to protect his family, and he references that they have accomplices in governmental agencies and were responsible for a recent murder at a loch. The policeman is sufficiently convinced that the man is being coerced by persons unknown that he records the conversation carefully in his statement to PIRC (the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner) and calls his old friend DS Max Craigie to discuss it and invite him over for a dram while he (Max) is touring the Highlands on his holiday.

When Max arrives to see his friend however he finds him hanging from the bannisters of his home, his police notebook has disappeared, and his witness statement has no references to coercion or any other murders. As the member of a small (three person) team with the long-winded title The Police Standards Reassurance Team, Max is responsible for identifying and tackling corruption and this stinks to high heaven.

So this is a police procedural with a difference, in so far as the reader knows who committed the murders, the mystery is who is the mysterious person feeding them information. I enjoyed the pace and plot of this novel, the first I have read by Neil Lancaster. However, I did have some concerns that there seemed to be a lot of coincidences/strokes of luck where someone not only could make the necessary connection but then off-the-cuff provide chapter and verse about the person and their associates (being deliberately vague). There were at least two separate instances where that happened. Also, I still can't wrap my head around how the final 'thing' happened and how they found out. Maybe I need to reread the book ...

Overall, another Scottish detective series to add to my growing list - what is it about Scottish murder mysteries?

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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What can I say, other than is is without doubt,  one of the best books I have read this year.
No real need to add anything further.
Gripping story line, excellent characters. What more can you ask for.
Highly recommended.
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As Neil Lancaster hoped, #TheBloodTide is a "right old ripper of a story"!

An absolutely brilliant follow-up to Lancaster's debut, #DeadMansGrave, #TheBloodTide continues to show the work of DS Max Craigie and his team take down corruption at the highest levels. Intricately plotted and thought out, this novel will leave you desperately trying to cancel any plans so that you can carry on reading. 

I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Neil Lancaster, I predict big things from this writer and I feel very lucky that I have been able to read #TheBloodTide ahead of its release in February 2022. I cannot wait for the next DS Craigie instalment and to see what case he will tackle next.
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This is a superb read which should be a television series. Written by a former member of the police, it uses his inside knowledge to great effect. Max, Jane and Ross are the lead detectives responsible for bringing to justice corrupt officers. The context is the importation of drugs from Colombia and the local warfare of the drug lords as they try to take over each other’s network. The story also benefits from the author’s familiarity with the Scottish landscape which is used to good effect. It starts with the execution of importers by others wanting their business. Then it moves on from suspense to suspense. This really is a carefully conceived, well delivered riveting story. You will be hooked from page one. I strongly recommend it.
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Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy of #TheBloodTide by #NeilLancaster

This is the second book in the DS Max Craigie series and the pace has not let up. 
A rollercoaster of a book with twists and turns as Craigie  along with his team Janie and Norma and boss Ross investigate when a policeman commits suicide shortly after attending the scene of a jumper.. Craigie is convinced it was murder   As the pieces slot together they realise that the treachery runs deep within the force. A superb read. 
I would highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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One of my favorite things about reading crime fiction is getting in at the start of a new series and the DS Max Craigie series is definitely one I am going to follow. The books feel both authentic and sympathetic and Neil's love for Scotland really shines through. There is a great sense of menace here too, and the book is beautifully paced.  Highly recommended
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*4.5 stars*

The DS Max Craigie series is only at book 2, but already I’m hooked!

The Scottish setting with its descriptions of land and sea, add much to the proceedings, where this time around, we have a man who’s so terrified of someone, that he prefers to leap to his death from the Erskine Bridge, and a drugs drop that doesn’t go according to plan on the remote Loch Torridon. How the two are connected, we have yet to find out, but the reader is guaranteed an exciting storyline, just dripping with tension.

This novel is certainly for those who like their police procedural's with a sense of foreboding, as the narrative is dark, gripping and exciting. There is not only a great sense of place but also of characterisation. Neil Lancaster really understands how to create an elaborately involving story and skilfully combining the multi-layered elements to create an electrifying climax. Completely riveting!
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The Blood Tide by Neil Lancaster

Yet another great book in the DS Max Craigie series , and as the first one , a brilliant story.

DS Max Craigie along with his colleagues DI Ross Fraser and DC Jainism Calder head up the new team that was set up by the chief of police Scotland to which the small team report directly to with the sole purpose of investigating and catching corrupt police officers.
The plotline keeps you interested with a few unexpected turns in the story. Great characters including DI  Fraser and Janism Calder who all make for a great team.
Looking forward to the next one and it would also make a brilliant tv series .
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A fast paced, engaging and heart in the mouth book. Lots of different strands. There's the good guys, the bad guys, the bad good guys and... well you know what I mean 

Loved it, couldn't put it down.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I read a free advance review copy of the book. This review is voluntary, honest and my own opinion.
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I enjoyed this fast-paced, twisty thriller, and it was good to meet again the characters from Neil Lancaster's earlier book.  My only criticism is that Max and his colleagues are all a bit too god to be true, but that didn't stop me spending a whole day reading this book - more please!
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Wow!! A must for any avid crime/thriller fan!

This is the 2nd book in the DS Max Craigie Series, the first being Dead Man’s Grave which was an excellent book so I was really delighted to be picked to get a first read of the second instalment!

DS Max Craigie along with his colleagues DI Ross Fraser and DC Jainism Calder head up the new team that was set up by the chief of police Scotland to which the small team report directly to with the sole purpose of investigating and catching corrupt police officers.

When a lone fisherman disappears in a remote part of Scotland then a member of the PIRC apparently takes his own life it doesn’t take long for max and the team to start connecting the dots, and it comes apparent that a drugs gang from Liverpool are trying to move in on the territory left behind by Tam Hardie and his family after the, getting incarcerated in the last book.  When a spring of murders start to happen it’s up to max and the team to get to the bottom of it all and find the corrupt officers who are feeding the vital information to these criminals but a shock is in store for Max when a face from his past creeps up yet again! 

I really enjoyed this book from start to finish, it was easy to keep up with the story, and everything was well explained such as the policing terminology, the attention to detail regarding the surveillance, code words used etc is so well explained that it doesn’t ever get confusing - you feel like you are right there in the moment with the characters!  The introduction of Norma to the team was a great addition, she is a data analyst of sorts and has been drafted from another team to help out on the case being someone Max had worked with previous their relationship works well together in the book and it was interesting to learn more about her as the story went on! This book is very well written, but at the same time it doesn’t overload you with too much information or a confusing plot line so i found it really easy to read, and every chapter just left you wanting more! There also the personalities of each character that come through more as time goes on such as the DI and his wife troubles! 

Overall excellent Neil, fantastic book I can’t wait for the next one. I would highly recommend this book!
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DS Max Craigie and DC Janie Calder return following the exploits of Dead Man's Grave, book 1 in the Max Craigie series. Along with their boss, DI Ross Fraser, they are a small, self-contained anti-corruption task force with wide ranging scope. With Tam Hardie safely behind bars following the exploits of the first book in the series there appears to be a vacuum in the drug supply trade in Scotland. An organised crime group from Liverpool are ready to fill the void created but people with police intelligence seem determined to make the drug market their own. It's up to Max and Janie to figure who they are and where the source of the information is.

Having recently read the first book in this series the events leading up to this story were still fresh in my mind. This added to my enjoyment but this could easily be read as a standalone novel. The introduction sets a very eerie tone giving a sense of foreboding. The first of a number of scenes where your heart is in your mouth. 

As the story moves from murder, to suicide and back to murder Max's senses are constantly tingling, every branch of law enforcement is suspect apart from his own trusted little team. There is more of the intelligence gathering and analysing aspect to this story compared to the action and violence of the first book. The addition of Norma, an analyst, to the team is a great addition. Another no nonsense female who tells it like it is.

A twist about half way through really does spur you on to figure out what is happening and one or two loose ends are tied up in an extremely fitting way, however the author manages to have your stomach churning and your nerves on edge repeatedly. I really look forward to the next installment in the series.
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Thanks to Neil and NetGalley for allowing me to read The Blood Tide in advance of the publication date.
The Policing Standards Reassurance Team is a small unit staffed by DI Ross Fraser, DS Max Craigie and DC Janie Calder. Their remit is to investigate corrupt officers. 

Looking forward to 4 days off, PC Hamish Beattie is returning to Clydebank Police Station via the Erskine Bridge to sign off at the end of a busy nightshift.  Noticing a figure on the bridge, he requests backup and approaches the man who is standing on the far side of the railings.   
The terrified man tells Hamish that he is being forced to kill himself in order to protect his wife and son from an unnamed monster, one who is untouchable by the police and has killed a man in Torridon.  
Before Hamish can reach him, he has leaned forward into thin air.
The investigation is taken over by the PIRC as an officer was present during the incident. 

Concerned about what he was told, Hamish calls his friend, DS Max Craigie, who agrees to take a poke about in the files, which show that the man was Murdo Smith, an Intelligence Officer with the NCA.
When Max confirms that Jimmy McLeish, a fisherman, has been reported missing in Torridon, Max heads north to interview Leah McLeish about her missing husband, who had been seen earlier in the company of a flash Liverpudlian.

Unable to contact Hamish, Max and Janie head to Hamish’s home where they find him hanging by a rope tied to the bannister.   The SIO in charge of the investigation decides that this is a suicide, triggered by a combination of personal circumstances and the trauma of the jumper on the bridge.   Max is not convinced.

Max briefs the team and they start to quietly look deeper into the circumstances of what connects Murdo Smith to the missing fisherman.

This is a rollercoaster of a story which gains momentum with each chapter.  Having established the main characters in Dead Man’s Grave, Neil has carried them through into this book. 

The use of technology throughout the book must have taken a lot of research.  Many of the methods used were legal, some appeared a tad questionable, and the rest, well I don’t think we want to know. 

Neil’s description of the talking heads at the multi-agency meeting is superb. It sounds like they had all attended the course on how to never use 1 word when you can use 10. 

To summarise, a great second book in the series. I look forward to more stories based on Max, not forgetting Nutmeg, the cockapoo.
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Thanks to Harper Collins through Net Galley for granting me this wonderful advance reader copy.
The book will be available in 2022, so don't miss it. Start with book 1 now.

I had already enjoyed the first book of this series this summer and felt certain I would like more of DS Max Craigie. The characters are alive with admirable or loathesome characteristics, the setting is Scotland with artful descriptions of landscape, sea, and uncomfortable police station war rooms where the work gets done, and the crimes are brutal in the battle over drug running/domination.
The police work is driven and intense as the team Craigie is a member of struggle to discover who within their own ranks is assisting the drug runners with tipoffs.

A very good Scottish "crime thriller," a term I normally avoid, but that is how the publisher is describing this fine book. It is action packed and impossible to put down.
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Such an excellent read. I cannot praise it highly enough.very difficult to put down although I did not want to get to the end. I feel quite bereft now i have finished it..So many layers to peel back in the storyline. Very well written with som excellent descriptions, you could have almost been there. Great to see the old team back together, although this could also be a ‘standalone’ for anyone who has not read the previous two books.. looking forward to the next one already.
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Brilliant from start to finish!!!!! One of only a handful of five star books I've read this year!!
The characters are engaging, the plot fast paced and twisted and the Scottish humour is perfect.
I can't wait for the next instalment!
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