August 8, 2021

Dead Man’s Grave

Dead Man’s Grave (DS Max Craigie Scottish Crime Thrillers, #1)

by Neil Lancaster

Published July 16, 2021
by HQ Digital

Rating: 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Police Procedural

From the Publisher:

This grave can never be opened.
The head of Scotland’s most powerful crime family is brutally murdered, his body dumped inside an ancient grave in a remote cemetery.

This murder can never be forgotten.
Detectives Max Craigie and Janie Calder arrive at the scene, a small town where everyone has secrets to hide. They soon realise this murder is part of a blood feud between two Scottish families that stretches back to the 1800s. One thing’s for certain: it might be the latest killing, but it won’t be the last…

This killer can never be caught.
As the body count rises, the investigation uncovers large-scale corruption at the heart of the Scottish Police Service. Now Max and Janie must turn against their closest colleagues – to solve a case that could cost them far more than just their lives…

My Thoughts:

Fans of police procedurals will love Dead Man’s Grave. In addition to a generations-long blood feud, one side of which is a powerful Scottish crime family, Detective Max Craigie has to deal with what looks like widespread corruption in Police Scotland. The frequent use of Scottish terms/slang gave the book an air of authenticity and I had no problem figuring out the meaning of the terms by the context. The main character is well drawn and likable. He is dealing with PTSD from his time serving in Afghanistan. His partner in this investigation is a younger female detective, Janie, who has to put up with sexism in the police department (not from Max himself). The villains were appropriately villainous and the descriptions of the Scottish Highlands were enticing. I did find some of the events fairly predictable, however.

Thank you to NetGalley and HQ Digital, as well as Pigeonhole, for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.