Blood Runs Cold

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Pub Date 13 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 27 Apr 2023
HQ, HQ Digital

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Don’t miss the next book from bestselling crime writer Neil Lancaster!

Available to pre-order now!

She was taken against her will.

On her fifteenth birthday, trafficking victim Affi Smith goes for a run and never returns. With a new identity and secure home in the Scottish Highlands, she was supposed to be safe…

She escaped once.

With personal ties to Affi’s case, DS Max Craigie joins the investigation. When he discovers other trafficking victims have disappeared in exactly the same circumstances, he knows one thing for certain – there’s a leak somewhere within law enforcement.

She won’t outrun them again.

The clock is ticking… Max must catch Affi’s kidnappers and expose the mole before anyone else goes missing. Even it if means turning suspicions onto his own team…

Don’t miss the next book in the DS Max Craigie series! Fans of Ian Rankin and Marion Todd will love this utterly gripping Scottish thriller!

Praise for Neil Lancaster!

‘Think Jack Reacher fronting Line of DutyIan Rankin

‘Fast-paced, compelling, and deeply authentic’ Jane Casey

‘Neil Lancaster is so damn clever’ Marion Todd

‘A thriller writer set to blow up the bestseller lists’ C. L. Taylor

‘Deliciously dark’ Daily Mail

‘One of the very best police procedural writers in the country’ The Sun

‘A brand-new star of Tartan Noir. Superb’ Cass Green

‘Hard-edged . . . a satisfyingly complex mystery’The Times

‘I definitely have a crush on Max Craigie’ Liz Nugent

‘So true to life… Five stars for sure’ Alex Pine

‘Stylish, fast-paced and utterly unputdownable’ Woman’s Own

Don’t miss the next book from bestselling crime writer Neil Lancaster!

Available to pre-order now!

She was taken against her will.

On her fifteenth...

Available Editions

ISBN 9780008551254
PRICE £3.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 123 members

Featured Reviews

I loved the three previous Max Craigie books, the characters are fantastic and stories are really well plotted so I couldn’t wait to read this and glad to say it was as good as I’d hoped. Max and the team are continuing to clamp down on corruption within Scottish law enforcement and they stumble on their latest case by accident when Max’s wife asks him to help her look into a runaway teen whom she was helping to secure citizenship for. I loved how this story leads from a runaway teen who was trafficked to links to brothels, organised crime and more which felt how scarily real it could be for people in the law enforcement agencies to be manipulated into leaking some serious information. The main villain in this is terrifying, genuine psychopath and his fear of being linked to any crime sent him seriously spiralling out of control. I really hope we have more books in this series as the ‘policing standards reassurance team’ are such a fantastic array of characters that I can’t wait to see what their next big case is. 9/10

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DS Max Craigie #4

“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil“ is a very appropriate proverb here, as it’s awash with evil in the form of an Albanian gang linked to the Mafia Shqiptare. It all starts a few years ago when 12-year-old Albanian drug mule Afrodita, Dushku, full of fear and panic, is detained by police and ultimately thankfully taken to safety. Three years on she is living with wonderful foster parents in Easter Ross in the Scottish Highlands. She is a talented runner and is out for practice when she gets an unwelcome blast from the past. Can she outrun those out to bring her back to the bleak life she thought she had escaped?

The dynamic duo of D S. Max Craigie and DC. Janie Calder are back and you can probably hear me cheering in your neck of the woods! DI. Ross Fraser is his usual bundle of bluster and charm but he’s a good man underneath that curmudgeonly exterior. As ever, they are ably assisted by Norma. an intelligence analyst and Yorkshireman and surveillance expert Barney and are both more than “alreet“. In this latest, excellent instalment of a brilliant series whose characters work for the Police Standards Reassurance , they confront the insidious, inhuman and brutal ramifications of organised-crime in this particularly ruthless gang. The depths of the reach seems bottomless and the extent of the corruption is vast, so it’s a huge and dangerous task, which of course makes for absolutely cracking reading. The speed is Mach 1, so it’s completely immersive and one of those you are desperate to get to the truth so you gobble it up but then you slow down towards the end as you don’t want to finish the book!!

It’s terror fuelled, it’s very dark as the cruel exploitation the organised crime group are responsible for is sickening. Although the author leaves you in no doubt, it isn’t overplayed, you just get the necessary details. There is danger, malicious threats and violence, with many twists and turns. I do guess a couple of aspects but it doesn’t impair the enjoyment in anyway. It’s another belter in a belting series.

I love the way Neil Lancaster writes. His novels are always full of excitement, grit and colourful characters on both sides of the law, with a vibrant addition of Scottish vernacular, which is very “bogging“ descriptive, hen! The most expressive and funny are often uttered by Fraser! I love him! I’m eagerly anticipating number five and hope it’s not too long to wait.
This is four novels all at five stars, quite an achievement, Mr Lancaster.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to HQ for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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What can I say. This is my new favourite series they just get better and better. Full of grit, well written & amazing characters. What makes this series even better for me is references to places I know being Scottish. Amazing I’ve recommended this series to so many people who have all loved them too.

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Thank you to HQ and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

DS Max Craigie book 4
Once again, Neil Lancaster has written another fantastic Max Craigie Book!! I could not and did not want to stop reading!! It is fast paced and entertaining. Max, Janie, Norma, Barney and Ross are on the hunt for a missing Albanian girl, Affi Smith!! This book tackles a tough subject of human trafficking and organised crime and police corruption!! No spoilers but you will be surprised as much as I was when I read the entire book!! I will recommend this to my fellow book worms!!! Roll on book 5!!

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Another good police procedural from Neil Lancaster. This time with a heartbreaking story of a young Albanian girl caught up in people trafficking. The banter between the police officers provides moments of lightness and humour, as it has a few gruesome bits. Although part of a series, this book could also be read as a stand alone. I’m already looking forward to book 5!

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Thanks to HQ and Netgalley for the advance copy for review. I have read the previous books in this series from Neil Lancaster and in my opinion they get better and better. From page one the pace doesn’t slacken in this gritty novel, the characters are very real and not stereotyped. It was a brave subject to tackle and is a chilling reminder of trafficking . A great thread of black humour runs through it and also some bits that made me shudder. Fantastic.

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4.5 / 5 Stars!

First of all, massive thank you to HQ provided through Net-gallery for the opportunity to receive an online copy for an honest review. Thank for trusting me, as well as giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts.

Having read the third instalment of the DS Max Craigie and DC Jane Calder duo from Neil Lancaster at the start of this new year, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience reading the book. The introduction to the characters, relatability, senses of humour and plot lines, ticked all the right boxes for me, leaving me with more for the next instalments. I was always on the look out for when the next book would drop, so to receive an early copy, I immediately got down to reading. I love the series, characters and plot that it was a no brainier to start straight away.

And I have to say, this next instalment is a banger. I was not disappointed, but more impressed with Lancasters ability to add twists and turns in the last minute. Just when you think you’ve figured out who is responsible, the twist leaves you rooted to the spot, wanting to read more. The plot is dark, cruel and a reflection on the behind the scenes of an international organised crime, fuelled by corrupt cops. Once again Lancaster delivers on this book, which almost has the same level of intensity to the third instalments. The quality of plot, characters is consistent from the prior books.

I truly enjoyed really this book, and the team of characters that adds to the plot, in particular DI Ross Fraser, with his Scottish slang and humour. You can almost read this book as a stand-alone, as the introduction of the characters are smooth, and clear. It has been an joy reading this series and I can’t wait for the next instalment.

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This was a gritty novel and I got so involved in trying to work out who was helping the Albanians. Loved the way the author got me so involved. Although the book starts off with child trafficking it is not the key driver of the book, it follows the corruption theme.
I did find it interesting to work out some of the Scottish words though.

I was given an advance copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.

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Another fantastic book in the DS Craigie series from Neil Lancaster. A great bunch of new characters in addition to the usual ones and a storyline that has you hooked right from the off! Very highly recommended!

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Gripping plot and well drawn characters and an excellent author, what more could I ask for in a novel? Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for giving me a copy of the book.

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When 15 year old Affi is snatched and the local plod are stretched to their limits, Max Craigie and his team are quick to lend a hand to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

I loved this book from start to finish. Neil really paints a picture of not only the locations but the characters in a way that allows us to visualise the entire story as it unfolds. I love how real it feels. Neil has taken an emotionally charged subject and done an incredible job. I like the way Neil uses humour throughout the book, particularly in the dialogue as I feel this lends to the characters credibility and allows the plot to flow naturally giving moments of light in a dramatic, evocative plot.

A truly explosive book from a series and author that just keep on giving.

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A fourth outing for DS Max Craigie and DC Janie Calder and,as usual, Neil Lancaster has nailed it!

Max's wife Katie asks him to take a look at the disappearance of one of her clients, a 15 year old Albanian girl.

This leads us into the scary world of the Albanian mafia and their corrupt informers within Police Scotland

All the old favourite characters are there and it is 5 stars all the way!

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Publishing for the chance to review this book

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