The Blood Tide (DS Max Craigie) by Neil Lancaster

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The Blood Tide (DS Max Craigie) by Neil Lancaster

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's the second book in the series and does give away quite a bit about the series starter. You might be better reading them in order but it's still a good read even if you haven't read the first book.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: February 2022
Publisher: HQ Digital
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008518462

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Loch Torridon is the back of beyond: there's not even any light pollution which is why it was the perfect place to land illegal deliveries of drugs. Jimmy McLeish thought that he was onto a nice little earner, only to find that Macca, the man he thought he was working with, is dead. His remains would never be found. The delivery is hijacked by Davie and Callum. As the story progresses we'll get to know them quite well.

Back in Glasgow, PC Hamish Beattie is just about at the end of his shift when he spots a man preparing to jump off Erskine Bridge. He's not the first and it certainly won't be the last but Murdo Smith has a bit of a story to tell before he jumps. It's a tale of corruption at the highest levels in law enforcement. Hamish tells his story to Lenny Farquharson, the lead Police Investigations Review Commission investigator. Hamish has 28 years' experience under his belt and assumes that the statement he's made will cause some ripples. When it doesn't he calls his old pall, DS Max Craigie.

Craigie works with DI Ross Fraser and DC Janie Calder: their job is to track down corruption in the police force and there's no way that they're going to be able to resist these leads. It's not long before Craigie ties the two cases together - and realises that it all comes back to his arch-nemesis, Tam Hardie. Hardie might be doing life in Saughton Jail but he's still pulling a lot of strings and running a business that's worth millions from his cell.

A warning won't go amiss here: you'd be better reading the first book in the series before The Blood Tide. You might not find out exactly who did what but you're going to know where some of the main players end up. Having said that, you could read The Blood Tide and enjoy it for the great story that it is. And it is a rollicking read: from the moment you start reading the pace never lets up: you'll have to remind yourself to breathe.

The characterisation is good. It helps that Neil Lancaster has been in the business: when he talks about the law enforcers and the criminals (occasionally, they're the same thing...) what he says feels authentic - and rather frightening. The plot has a ring of truth about it too. The ending is a cracker - and I can't wait to see what DS Craigie gets up to next. I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.

Neil Lancaster's DS Max Craigie novels in chronological order

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