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The Blood Tide (DS Max Craigie Scottish Crime Thrillers, Book 2)

The Blood Tide (DS Max Craigie Scottish Crime Thrillers, Book 2) by Neil Lancaster

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By Neil Lancaster

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11 reviews

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You get away with murder.
In a remote sea loch on the west coast of Scotland, a fisherman vanishes without trace. His remains are never found.

You make people disappear.
A young man jumps from a 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…

You come back for revenge.
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…

Max, Janie and Ross return in the second gripping novel in this explosive Scottish crime series.

‘Think Jack Reacher fronting Line of Duty’ Ian Rankin

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11 Jun 2022

If you are looking for a fast paced book with heaps of action then this is the one for you. This is the second book in the series which features DS Max Craigie of Police Scotland’s Policing Standards Reassurance Team. However it was very easy to follow the different characters who were all relatable and likeable. The author’s knowledge of the police system was excellent as was was his description of the beautiful Scottish scenery.
A real page turner which I couldn’t put down. I look forward to reading the next instalment.

08 Jun 2022


What a corker of a book. It was a wonderfully written "who dun it" set mostly in the Scottish north east. It was fun to read and had many twists and turns that kept me gluedfor hours. I enjoyed the lack of crimes being mostly against women as a lot of police procedurals seem to have been recently. I would recommend it to anyone. I will be on the look out for the next chapter in this Max Craigie detective series.

01 Jun 2022

The story was good - fast paced with not a dead female in sight, and none of the deaths attributed to sexual perversion! A refreshing change.

I enjoyed it but felt it could have been improved with a little bit of judicious editing. The dialogue was, for me, often too lengthy for its contribution to the book, which would be improved were it to be reduced. I think the issue is that, having been in the environment about which he is writing, the author is trying to replicate the banter and comradeship found in such workplaces.
The writing seemed to lack a little polish, as if it were an early novel; I was a little surprised that he had written 4 previous books. I would still read more of his work, the premise of the plot is very believable and the procedures feel very authentic. There are no sudden twists which link apparently unconnected themes together to give a lightbulb moment and no brilliant but tortured protagonists, just what comes over as solid police work (with perhaps just a little bit of artistic licence).
Fast paced, quite well written and believable.
I enjoyed this book but wish I’d read book #1 in the series because I think it would be good.
The book was tightly plotted and held my interest. The characters could have been a little more rounded out especially the lesser ones like Norma who were very two dimensional but on the whole it was well worth a read and I’d happily read another of his.
Liked the short chapters: but didn’t feel they were too short.

The number of characters at the start was confusing but did become acceptable as you progressed.
Police procedures were good and interesting, as was the plot.
Reviewed by Penistone Library Readers' Group

24 May 2022


This is the second book in a Scottish Crime Series starring DS Max Craigie. Max spots a possible link between two seemingly unrelated incidents – a fisherman disappears without trace from a remote Scottish sea loch and a young man jumps to his death from the Erskine bridge. The deeper he digs, the more apparent it becomes that he is right and that there is a whole lot more going on behind the scenes than he had bargained for.

Very good, if quite complex Scottish crime novel. Great characters, locations and plot. Max Craigie is a well-developed character who is likeable. It is fast-paced and gripping with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Both the characters and the plot are well developed and the Scottish locations are stunning, made more poignant by the fact that I recognised some of them.
In many ways this book is a bloodbath and there are a lot of dead bodies. For someone like me who is not keen on violence, this hardly sounds like ideal reading material. Yet the violence is not overworked for dramatic effect and seems entirely in keeping with the storyline – it is to the author’s credit that I had no problem at all with it.

Although this book is the second in a series, it works perfectly well as a stand-alone entity. However, I have no doubt that I would have learnt more about the characters involved and their backgrounds had I read them in order.

As crime novels go, this is a pretty good one and is likely to appeal to most aficionados of the genre. I will certainly be looking out for more by this author.

22 May 2022

Oundle Crime

This gets a definite thumbs-up from Oundle Crime. It’s a terrific novel set in Scotland, with a fast-moving story that grips you from the first chapter. Harper Collins was kind enough to give us copies to review and only two of our ten readers gave it less than 4.5 Stars, and they both admit to not liking police procedurals.

At the heart of the story is a real sense of menace, and although it’s a complicated plot with lots of characters it’s an absolute page-turner. Lancaster makes it easy to relate to the characters – both good and bad – because we're introduced to them with their thoughts and get to know them well as the plot develops. The reader can feel the thrill of the drug dealer about to get a new delivery, as much as the tension of the police investigating and the highs and lows felt by the various individuals involved. The Scottish locations are described vividly and bring realism to many of the incidents; and technology and mobile phones (which are central to the plot) inject extra pace into the investigation.

Reading this left our book group wanting more, and some of us have gone on to buy the first book to feature Max Cragie (Dead Man’s Grave) and it's being loaned between our group. It won’t be long before all of us will be up to date and we're already looking forward to reading Book 3 in the series.

22 May 2022

St Regulus SM

An exciting detective story that grips the reader from its opening chapter. It is packed with adventure and full of twists and turns. My concerns about reading a second book in a series were unfounded, as it works well as a standalone novel. I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading the author's other work.

21 May 2022


A great detective novel with a easy to follow plot.
D.S max Craigie and his team work to uncover major corruption at the highest level within the police force as well as who is trying to take over north east Scotland's drug trade from a former criminal called Hardie who Craigie put in jail and it soon becomes apparent that the two are linked.
The plot continues to thicken when Hardie is helped to escape from prison ultimately leading to the downfall of the corrupt police officer.
I would definitely read more books by this author.

16 May 2022


Enjoyed this book a lot. There are so many crime novels that it can be hard to differentiate - whilst this was in some respects the same formula, the technical insights and robust narrative on policing and crime gave it a noticeable edge. Additionally the characters were well developed and credible. This is a very human, emotionally rich crime novel with some great Scottish settings. Definitely would recommend

15 May 2022


Firstly, I would like to thank Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book. It also happened to be one recommended to read by my Book Club.

This the second book featuring DI Max Craigie and I enjoyed this as much as the first. I think it certainly helped that I had read the previous one in terms of “knowing” the characters and their backgrounds, as apart from the main character there are others mentioned from the earlier book. I also appreciated that it is mainly set in Scotland and recognise the places mentioned. This is crime fiction at its best and I can’t wait until the next one.

15 May 2022

Cheryl doc

I loved the characters in this book and the flow of the story. I got to a point halfway through though, that I needed to know did Nutmeg survive before reading on, as so many of the characters I liked were being murdered and their loved ones were being targeted for torture or murder. I am pleased to say I was convinced to finish the book and felt happy at the unexpected ending.
I think I will stick to romantic books from now on though as my heart can not stand the strain of worrying about the fate of the well written characters.

07 May 2022


I really enjoyed this, and would read another in the Max Craigie series I think. It was plot-heavy, but in a good way, and certainly held my attention. It was not so much a whodunnit, as a what on earth’s going to happen next?! Centred around a big drugs importation, and corruption at the highest level, with lots of ‘police procedural’ thrown in, it was a good light read.

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