Cover Image: The Blood Tide

The Blood Tide

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DS Max Craigie is an ex-military who served in Afghanistan. He is now working for the Scottish Police Service as part of Police Standards Reassurance operating out of Tulliallan, after leaving the London Met under a cloud. He and DC Janie Calder, along with the boss, DI Ross Fraser are a good small team.

This is an amazing and riveting crime thriller with fantastic characterisation and it completely blew me away. The author certainly has a talent for blindsiding twists and deviously complex characters. In a multilayered story that details past and present, Max is back with his wife, Kate who has arrived from London and of course their dog, called Nutmeg.

As Neil Lancaster expertly shows off his skill the reader is treated to a wonderfully oppressive, fast-paced thriller. The tale incorporates danger, ruthlessness, power, revenge, corruption, drugs and brutality, all culminating in a rip-roaring and high octane ending. I was hooked from the opening chapter and mesmerised throughout. I recommend The Blood Tide very highly. Roll on book three - The Night Watch.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from HQ Digital via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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2nd book in the series of DS Max Craigie Scottish Crime Thrillers, but the first one I read, and to be honest I didn’t even know it was the 2nd until after I was done!
Love the characters! An officer sees a man about to jump off a bridge and manages to chat with him but to no avail, at the sound of sirens the man jumps. The officer keeps playing the conversation in his head and feels something is off, he calls Max and tells him about his suspicions. Once Max starts taking just curious look things start apart and more bodies start piling up.
And nice fast paced read, with enjoyable characters – I will have to find book 1
Thanks to NetGalley and HQ Digital for an early read

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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 Erskine 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…
This is the second outing for Max & a very well written book with strong characters, a fast paced story. Lively banter, wonderful descriptions, lots of danger & I was hooked. I hadn’t read the first book but have now bought it & look forward to more in the series. There were twists & turns many of which I didn’t see coming, it’s gritty, it’s somewhat dark & it’s darned good
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

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If you’ve read my reviews before, you’ll know I love Scottish crime books. So, how on earth did I miss the first in this series? Fear not, it can be read as a standalone as anything you need to know is recapped to keep you up to speed.

What a fantastic read! At times, I really was holding my breath as I wanted to see where Max, Janie & Ross would be taken next in their hunt to expose police corruption.

I’m not going to recap the story, you can read the blurb but suffice it to say, this is a belter of a book. I cannot wait for the next one but hopefully it won’t come out too soon to enable me to read the first one. If I could more than highly recommend I would do so.

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I loved the first book in this new DS Max Craigie series, and The Blood Tide is even better because now we have a relationship with the characters! We know who’s a pain in the backside; we know whose heart is always in the right place, and we know who we can trust...or do we?

If you have read the first in the series, you will be familiar with what Max and his small team do, basically searching out dodgy law enforcement guys and making sure they are brought to justice, whilst solving the crimes at the same time. The Blood Tide is gritty, dark and often violent, so if you don’t like dead bodies, then it’s probably not for you!

Throughout a lot of the book, I found myself thinking that he or she had turned into one of the bad guys, and the author kept me guessing with every turn of the page. Was it safe to let this character have the information they are being given or not? I found myself muttering out loud sometimes when I voiced my opinions and often cringed when some of the scary and bad things were happening. This is why Neil Lancaster is such a talented author, he puts his readers in the situations and they live the scenario along with the characters.

Dead Man’s Grave is the first in the series, and no, you don’t need to read that first, but it will give you a better insight and introduction to the characters if you do. If I were you, I’d definitely add both to your TBR list.

Thank you to NetGalley and HQ Digital for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of The Blood Tide by Neil Lancaster.

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Everything started with a suicide, the good police officer could not believe that a young man jumping to kill himself was voluntary but pressured by someone. He will ask for help from his friend D.S. Max Craigie, who as soon as he starts investigating discovers that this is not an isolated case and that someone is killing people in the world of drugs. Who and why now?
I have to say that I am a little biased with this book, I loved all the mystery and investigation done by D.S. Max Craigie but I didn’t like the vengeance part of the story. I can understand that this is a series and you need a closure for the previous book. But the case was so interesting and full that for me, this was unnecessary.
I loved how the author shows us the two sides of the police, the corrupt and the ones fighting against corruption. To make us remember that there are always two sides everywhere and the fight is not easy, who to trust when you are investigating your own co-workers?
This had been a quick read, you can’t stop turning pages till you discover what really happened. The characters are real with feelings and emotions that you could relate too, possibly that’s why I liked this book so much, it’s addictive!
I hope this will not be the last book of the “D.S. Max Craigie” series, he is really good!
Ready to discover “The Blood Tide”?

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I loved Neil Lancaster's Dead Man's Grave, the first book in the Max Craigie series, so couldn't wait to read The Blood Tide. Did I enjoy it? Oh yes I did! Was it as good as the first? was even better!! Once again Neil has given us a fast paced and exciting Scottish crime thriller that keeps up its breakneck speed to the very end. His characters are so well rounded and oh so believable. (I just adore Nutmeg)
I won't retell the story, I'll just strongly recommend that you read it. Take my word for it you will not be disappointed.
Many thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an arc of this fantastic book - can't wait for the next one.

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I’m only sorry I didn’t start this series sooner – it’s a cracking read!

Two isolated incidents seem to be just that until DS Max Craigie joins the dots; a fisherman has vanished in the west of Scotland and a young man jumps to his death from a bridge in Glasgow. Max knows he needs to find out why both of these happened or more will follow. But this investigation isn’t straightforward and, as cracks begin to appear and Max’s loved ones are threatened, the last thing he needs is for the imprisoned man from his last case to be involved.

What a terrific read! I freely admit to having a penchant for books set in Scotland and this is definitely one of the best I’ve come across. The characters are wonderfully crafted and the story is gripping all the way. I was never quite sure exactly where it was heading and was surprised more than once! An absolutely excellent read by an author I most definitely recommend. No doubt about it, this is a solid five star read.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

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This was a fast paced action read and although it was the 2nd in the series it read as a stand alone. It reminded me of Line of Duty which I love . This was a brilliant book and I would happily read more in the future. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

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Night on a beach on the Northwest coast of Scotland. A small boat with an outboard drives onto the sand close to a truck, and the man on board removes a large package of cocaine. He is met by two men, neither being Macca, the one he expects to meet. Loading the package onto the truck at their request, he sees Macca’s body. Neither is ever found. The two men, Davie and Cal, are on a mission to steal the drugs and destroy the business of Scally, Liverpool based runner of a large county lines operation which he is extending into Scotland now that Tam Hardie, the previous kingpin, is now in Saughton Prison, courtesy of DS Max Craigie. Max, who is part of a small covert team investigating police corruption, enters this tale when he is contacted by PC Hamish Beattie, a friend and colleague, who has just failed to talk down a suicide and is concerned by the man’s final remarks, which implied he had been driven to it by police officers. When Craigie finds Hamish dead, and his notes on the dead man’s final words missing, he and his team begin an investigation which exposes a network stretching from Colombia to the highest level within Police Scotland, and leaves a string of deaths in its wake.
Although this is clearly a sequel and references events from the previous book (Dead Man’s Grave), it works perfectly well as a standalone. The plot is intricate, switching direction deftly as it moves along, ensuring that the reader always has that ‘what next’ feeling. It moves at a fast pace but not at the expense of detail, including extensive technical detail, – we are always clear about what is proceeding, even when it comes as a surprise. I have a slight quibble with the range of highly specialist external support to which Craigie has access – levels of expertise which are beyond any available to the force – because it would have been much harder to solve the case if this had not been available. The dénouements, there are more than one, are all logical and well-constructed – especially the last one.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with a draft proof copy for the purpose of this review.

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Another fantastic novel featuring Max Craigie and his police investigation colleagues. Following on from Dead Man's Grave, Tam Hardie is now in prison but still able to reach those on the outside. Men are going missing and there are some suspicious suicides which look set to disturb Max's new home tranquility with his wife and dog. There is corruption at the heart of the police system but where...? Lancaster's characters are alive on the page and his sense of drama and suspense is superb. The plot twists and turns most unexpectedly.

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Thank you to the author, HQ Digital and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second in a series, but the first one I've read. This fast-paced, atmospheric and dark police procedural is gripping. Unusual in that we get an insider's view into the criminal's side of things and not just the police - and the bodies pile up. The tight-knit connections between the small group of police investigating corruption within the ranks were very well done, each of the distinct personalities came across well and their functioning as a unit too. Although I found it hard to get into at first, due to the many characters introduced within a short space of time, once I got going I found it impossible to put down.

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Another fantastic instalment of the Max Craigie series. Really enjoyed revisiting the full gang again and getting to find out more about their story. Can’t wait for the next!

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From Good Reads:
This is very much a continuation of the first and, like the first, is a bit of a tartan Line of Duty.
A real action packed, edge of the seat page turner - hugely entertaining and full of twists and turns.
Max Craigie is a fantastic lead character and his developing team adds to the package.
More please.

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I am still not sure if I really enjoyed this book after finishing it?

It starts well with an evening meeting of dodgy types at a remote, dark part of the Scottish coast: Someone has a package in his small boat, intent of dropping it off but has to remove the bundle into a vehicle with a dead body in it!

In an apparent, unconnected event an experienced cop is directed to a suicidal man on a city bridge.

This is a police procedural book with elements of a possible police conspiracy and gangsters.

Whilst the end of the book is excellent, I struggled in the middle of it.

Thanks to HQ Digital for the chance to read and review..

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"The room fell silent. Corrupt law-enforcement agents committing multiples murders and intercepting drug importation into a Scottish sea loch. 'Whoever this is, they've access to intelligence at the highest level. They not only know who's bringing in the drugs, they know where it's coming in. They knew when and where, and they were there to intercept it. That' s intelligence coming in from covert and secure channels, which is tightly controlled and not widely disseminated. Someone at a senior level is at the centre of this,' said Max.

The newly created Policing and Standards Reassurance Team (ha!) have a wide-ranging remit, to root out and remove corruption within Police Scotland that others can't. Boss DI Ross Fraser, DS Max Craigie and DC Janie Calder work well as a team, with a nose for corruption. The suicide of a National Crime Agent, shortly followed by murder of the police officer on scene (a friend of Max's), made to look like suicide, attract the team's attention. When a familiar enemy rears his ugly head, the team become determined to weed out more rogues in Police Scotland.

The second DI Craigie and DS Calder, Scottish police procedural picks up where rhe first book, Dead Man's Grave, left off, with their newly created anti-corruption team. The premise is explained, so can be read alone, but I think you'll get more from it if you read the first one before this. Max and Janie are likeable, flawed but real and engaging, Ross less so (suspect he's not meant to be!) and the criminal characters are also well fleshed out. Pacy and tense with twists and turns, the plot moves fast and there is plenty of action. I can see the Line of Duty comparisons, but actually prefer Max and Janie to Steve and Kate. Well worth a read, it's excellent.

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A rip riding rollercoaster of a story, that covers almost every area north of Liverpool.

Drug runners from Colombia, importing coccaine via some of the quieter lochs on the Scottish Coast. Needless to say, following two ‘dissapearances’ the interest of the Police are peaked.

Two apparent suicides, and an internal investigation. Leads the plot.

I can thoroughly recommend this as a crime thriller, and I devoured it in about 4/5 hours. Not wanting to give anything away, I really was not expecting how this climaxed.

Status: Completed.

Rating: 4.6/5.0

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This book surprised me!

It starts with a clandestine meeting of shady types at a remote part of the Scottish coast: someone’s dropping something off, someone’s picking it up, & someone’s missing. The next scene is a tense stand-off between a lone cop and a suicidal man on a city bridge.

What follows is a very solid police procedural; in trying to discover how the above 2 events are connected, we delve into the world of gangsters and a possible conspiracy in the ranks of the Scottish police. Whilst the 1st half of the book reads smoothly, it feels a bit dry – we’re told about emotions rather than shown them, and it lacks what I love in a mystery/thriller: a mood. It’s a plot-driven book, but as such, it’s fast-paced and reads quickly.

Later in the novel, when I started realising it’s also a story of an obsession and revenge, my interest was piqued! The suspense keeps getting ramped up, the stakes get higher and higher, the action scenes are lively and gripping, and the book turns into a page turner! I didn’t see some of the twists coming at all, either.

I also love how well researched it was, in terms of the procedures; it felt realistic and only after finishing did I discover the author is an ex-policeman. What did need a bit of a suspension of disbelief were the very technologically advanced intel-gathering possibilities, but I might not be up-to-date. The one thing I found annoying is that out of the several police/NCA members lending their skills and acumen to the investigation, each is presented as the absolute best in their field, which in such a limited location seemed a bit of a stretch
All in all, The Blood Tide was a tense and captivating ride, with a fantastic final twist and a satisfying ending.

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I got quite into this. The plot was good if a wee bit predictable, but I liked the patter and the suspicions I had over this character and that one. Easy to read, easy to follow, entertaining.

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Neil Lancaster writes a brilliant police procedural. The Blood Tide picks up where Dead Man's Grave finished but it is easily read as a standalone. Police officers, Max, Janey and Ross are back investigating a suicide, a disappearance and a possible link to the murky underworlds of the drug trade and police corruption.

There is great dialogue and banter between the characters in this fast paced thriller with action all the way. It is really well plotted and full of insider knowledge which makes it feel really authentic. I really enjoyed it.

Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ Stories for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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