The Dark Tide

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Pub Date 12 May 2022 | Archive Date 15 May 2022


Bestselling phenomenon Simon McCleave is back with a gripping, atmospheric new crime thriller series set on the Isle of Anglesey.

Will there be blood in the water?

Three years ago, DCI Laura Hart was the top Hostage and Crisis Negotiator for the Greater Manchester Police. Then her husband was kidnapped. Despite her best efforts to reason with the criminals, he was brutally murdered.

Now living on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, Laura is slowly healing. Then she gets a call: armed drug dealers have seized a tourist boat – and her ten-year-old son Jake is on board. There’s no other negotiator available, and the police need her to step up.

With the life of a loved one yet again on the line and memories of the last time she failed still searingly fresh, Laura is living her worst nightmare. Can she lay to rest the ghosts of her past in time to save her son?

An atmospheric, edge-of-your-seat read that’s perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Ann Cleeves and Elly Griffiths.

Readers love Simon McCleave!

‘The fact that I've already pre-ordered the next book in this series says it all really.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘If you've never read Simon’s books, take the chance and find yourself a new go-to writer.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Good action with unpredictable twists and turns to keep you from putting down the book.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Thanks, Simon, for another great book- please keep ‘em coming!!!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Not enjoyed a book more for years! A real page-turner.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Bestselling phenomenon Simon McCleave is back with a gripping, atmospheric new crime thriller series set on the Isle of Anglesey.

Will there be blood in the...

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ISBN 9780008524838

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Average rating from 44 members

Featured Reviews

On Anglesey, it seems like just another early summer day.

The boats are out at Beaumaris. There's a school trip off to Puffin Island.

But it's not.....

It's about as far from normal as it can possibly get.

Former police officer and hostage negotiator Laura is about to have a very bad day indeed.....


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Great book! This book was awesome! I already went and downloaded the first book in this author other series! I can't wait for more! Thus book had suspense, intrigue, action, and great police work! It also left off leading to the next book! Can't wait! I definitely recommend reading this book and series! It was well worth reading! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book. This was an excellent read.
Thoroughly recommended.

Looking forward to the next in the series.
Great description of the location.
It made me want to visit North Wales

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As a big fan of Simon's books, I was delighted to be chosen for a pre=read of his new series The Anglesey Crime Thriller.

When DCI Laura Hart's husband PC Sam Hart is murdered in action during a hostage negotiation whilst she was working for Greater Manchester police her world crumbled, Feeling as though she failed her husband because she was unable to reason with the criminals. Laura gave up the job she loved as the most sought after hostage negotiator in the force, and moved back to Anglesey with her two children.

Laura has set up her own business delivering training courses on hostage negotiation, and one day during a training session she receives a call - there is a hostage situation on a tour boat and her 10 year old son is aboard along with his teacher and class mates. The police need Laura's help to negotiate with the gang - but can Laura put her demons to one side and once again become a negotiator to save her son?

I really enjoyed this book, the characters are realistic and relatable, and the plot is easy to follow. With Simon's books there is always two stories, the one of the main characters along with the crime in which the plot of the main story is about which gives more depths to the characters.

I like the fact that this book leads on to let us know there will be another one coming!

Thank you for letting me pre-read this, it was fantastic!

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This book was sent to me electronically for review from Netgalley. Secrets from the past…a lost husband…tragedy…a son to be rescued…negotiating…criminals and the law…themes running through this novel written by an ingenious author…the protagonist is talented at her job…she doesn’t want to do it again but needs must. Enjoy this book.

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A fast paced thriller which grabs you and takes you along for the ride. Simon McCLeave certainly knows how to ramp up the tension! A great read which sets the foundations for a promising new series.

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Superlative, Atmospheric….
The first in the Anglesey Series of mysteries is off to an explosive start. We meet Laura, a negotiator struggling with the past, who is given a life or death assignment. Armed dealers have seized a tourist boat on the waters. Her son is on board. She has no option but to act fast. With a well crafted and credible cast of characters, an immersive storyline and a solid sense of place this grips from the start. Twists and turns aplenty sit within a well paced, exciting narrative. A superlative and atmospheric thriller.

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Wales, land of Druids, Arthur legends, and Viking settlements. It’s here that Laura Hart, - with a background in hostage & crises negotiation- , moves back to after the death of her husband Sam, who died in a hostage situation three years prior.
It’s in beautiful Beaumaris that Laura and her children Jake and Rosie try to build a new life; each trying to cope with this loss: son Jake has become quiet and withdrawn, and Laura finds comfort in talking to her husband like before.
Their quiet life comes to an end, when a drug drop in a country line drug supply from Liverpool to Anglesey goes terribly wrong. Panicked, the three scousers capture a boot with a school class on their way to Puffin island for a school outing and take its passengers hostage.

Simon McCleave, best known for his DI Hunter crime thrillers, has written a gripping and sublieme crime thriller, with lots and lots of exciting historical background information about Anglesey and Beaumaris, topped with plenty of room for action and exciting storylines.
The story switches back and forth from a hostage situation in 2018 in Manchester and 2021 at Anglesey, where each time, a little more information is given, but never too much though, so it remains a guess at what and how things could have gone so wrong in 2018.
Nail biting excitement to the very last page. Already being a fan of the Hunter series, and familiar with his writing, I was looking forward to this one, and it didn’t disappoint, on the contrary, it more than lived up to all my high expectations.

***** 5 stars.

* Publication date: May 12, 2022*

I would like to thank Netgalley and the author for this ARC. This opinion is my own.

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A fast paced thriller that really is a rollercoaster of a read. The tension is on full throttle and this book has everything. Bent coppers, a hostage situation and a chase by land, sea and air to save her son. This author has another hit series on his hands and I can't wait to read more in the next instalment of the Anglesey Crime Thriller series. Loved it!!!!
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.

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This is a wild ride of enjoyment. From the first page you are swept up in action and intrigue. The plot and characters are addictive.This is the first book in what will be a must read series

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Avon Books UK for an advance copy of The Dark Tide, the first novel to feature former Greater Manchester Police negotiator Laura Hart, now a businesswoman on Anglesey.

Laura is still grieving the loss of her husband Sam, held hostage and killed by a criminal gang, when a county lines drugs delivery goes wrong and the couriers hijack a tour boat. Laura’s eleven year old son, Jake, is on board and becomes a hostage. Laura must reprise her old role of hostage negotiator and keep her cool to save her son.

The Dark Tide is a mixed bag with good and bad points. The story is good, being tense and exciting, but the execution leaves something to be desired for me and my taste.

The novel is mostly set in the present and is told from various points of view. I’m not overly keen on alternating narratives as I feel that it is distracting to have to change your perspective on events and the novel loses a bit of momentum. In this case it’s not so bad as it gives the reader a wider view of events and it probably wouldn’t work as a chase novel without the comparison between the hunters and the hunted. Unfortunately that is not the only distraction from the main event. The novel flashes back intermittently to Laura’s life just after Sam’s death and her quest to understand events. This is obviously going to be a thread as the novel ends on a cliffhanger about it. The novel also has whole chunks where Laura talks to Sam about her life and decisions. Obviously it’s grief, but doesn’t chime with her budding romance. To me it’s padding and takes away from the genuine tension in the main plot.

The main plot is the hostage rescue. This is tense due to the instability and violence of the hostage takers coupled with Laura’s stress about her son. It is also dramatic and cinematic with helicopters, boats and car chases in the mix. It also gives the reader a strong idea of location and makes Anglesey seem like a beautiful spot for a holiday.

I have rated The Dark Tide at 4* for the excitement of the main plot line, despite feeling that it could do with a declutter.

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Following a personal tragedy from her time as a police officer in Manchester Laura leaves the police force and moves back to Anglesey with her children. However growing events are to put her family at risk once more and take her right back into the thick of police action whether she likes it or not.

What starts out quite gently as a quiet day in Beaumaris on the peaceful island of Anglesey, where a class of children, involving Laura’s son, are about to go on a boat trip to Puffin Island to look at the wildlife, soon descends into life threatening situations.

This book quickly grabs you as you can almost feel, see and smell what is about to happen to all those on the boat trip following a drugs drop that goes wrong. Suddenly events unravel and you just cannot put the book down as a rollercoaster ride of tension, intrigue and suspense unfolds as the pages turn. I love the way Simon kept this tension up throughout the rest of the book and made me having to keep turning those pages into the early morning.

This is a great start to a series, that has an underlying story alongside the main storyline linking back to events in Manchester. Loving the characters central to the story, and most definitely could not have a better setting, think I need to book a trip to North Wales! I strongly recommend this series to others and now wait impatiently for the next book in the series which has been well set up by the ending to this book.

Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for a review copy of the book in exchange for a fair, open and honest review.

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Wow, what an absolutely fantastic book. I have read the first series Simon McCleave wrote with DI Ruth Hunter and rated the whole series highly. So, when I saw he had a new series out based in my home town I jumped at the chance to review on Netgalley.

What can I say, I could not put this book down, people say this a lot but with this book I mean I was reading it every chance I got, while drying my hair, cooking tea, walking the dog! Everywhere!! I was so fast paced, gripping, heart wrenching

Throughout the book there are references to the area and local facts which I found fascinating and enjoyed once again seeing Welsh words in Simon's books. I love that he's bringing people's attention to our beautiful part of the world. His historical facts and knowledge of local areas and events has been very well researched, and there were I good few things I didn't know!

All in all this is a suberb book which has set the scene for what looks like a fantastic series to come.

I'm only sad that I have come to the end!!!!

Thank you to Netgalley, Avon Books Uk, and Simon McCleave for an advance copy in return for an open and honest review.

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DCI Laura Hart was the top Hostage and Crisis Negotiator for the Greater Manchester Police. Her then husband was kidnapped and then brutally murdered. She's living now on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales. She gets a call that armed drug dealers have seized a tourist boat and her ten-year-old son Jake is on board. Laura is living her worst nightmare with the life of a loved one yet again on the line. Can she lay to rest the ghosts of her past in time to save her son? This is the first book of the Anglesey Series. It has a well crafted set of characters and a plot that is cleverly written. The twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end. If you love action thrillers then you will love this one. I would like to thank NetGalley and Avon Books UK for a copy for an honest review.

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Why had I not read any books by this author before? I prefer to read from the beginning of a series so when this new book appeared I thought I would give it a go. The author weaves a tale with verve, plenty of intrigue and a satisfying conclusion. Off to work my way through the back catalogue!

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The dark tide by Simon McCleave

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5 out of 5)

Firstly thank you so much @avonbooks, the author and netgally for this advance copy.

I’m not normally one for police crime books or thrillers but wow ! This was phenomenal.
I could not put it down!!

The writing is superb, every character came perfectly to life , every scene was described vividly, the entire story came completely to life for me and I can’t wait until the next book in the series is released! I certainly will be pre ordering the next book as soon as I can !!

This book didn’t feel like your usual thriller / police crime book , it had so much depth and heart . It was a story of families, loss, loyalty and love with a little bit of sexual tension thrown in too which is never a bad thing.

It’s very easy to read with short chapters, I also listened to a third of the book as an audiobook and although I’m not always a fan of audio books the narrator for this one was fantastic and made the story full of suspense and tension.
This would make a perfect series for Netflix or tv crime drama as it’s packed with emotion and excitement.

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If it is a tension-filled, high octane crime thriller you are looking for then look no further!

With sympathetic characterization, and an engrossing plot this would make a stellar action/suspense thriller movie.

Flashbacks to the day of Laura Hart's husband's death, gave valuable background to her character.

The unpredictable, unstable, and unhinged personality of the head villain, made the dire hostage situation very tense. The slow start picked up exponentially with boat chases and car chases, all the while fearing for the hostages well-being.

The growing attraction between Laura and Gareth was a welcome addition to the story, but I really didn't like how Laura dwelt on this at times when she she was highly stressed and fearing for her son's life. This seemed unrealistic to me - there is a time and place for everything.

A crime thriller with exciting adventure scenes, "A Dark Tide" will no doubt be enjoyed by many readers of both sexes. I for one, will definitely put book two of this series on my TBR list.

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A drug gig goes terrible wrong , and it turns into a hostage situation. The culprits were not ready for this, and everything seems to go wrong. Very in-depth story filled with triggers and emotion. I always enjoy reading books when it gets personal for one of the main characters. How could it not get personal on a small island like Anglesey?

There is both darkness and hope in this book. It could have been a bit shorter though. I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the series!

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This is certainly a police thriller. Full of tension and drama leading to a breakneck conclusion.

I read this book in one day as I was totally hooked. I loved the short chapters and the story being told from different points of view.

This is the first book I've read by this author but I enjoyed this so much I'm going to read his other series.

Looking forward to the next book.

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Enjoyable unusual police procedural with the main character a hostage negotiator who left the police after her husband’s tragic death in a raid that went wrong. After moving to Anglesey with her daughter and young son she is rebuilding her life when a drug delivery to the beach with the police ready to make arrests a young boy falls into the sea and they’re spotted by the smugglers. Her son is on a school trip to a local island by boat when the smugglers take over the pleasure craft . Things keep going wrong and eventually the smugglers take her son and his teacher hostage and a frantic chase then takes up the rest of the story. The story of her husband’s sad demise is interspersed in the tale and just when we get a happy denouement there’s a shock twist thus setting the scene for more adventures. Good stuff!

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Laura left the police and moved her children Jake and Rosie back to Wales after the tragic death of her husband. They're rebuilding their lives and then....Jake is on a tour boat taken by a gangster bent on, well, just bent. Laura may no longer be police but she's the best hostage negotiator around so she's called in. This one will have you on the edge of your seat as Laura works to free Jake and the other children and the bad guys do their best to be bad guys. Thanks to netgalley for the arc. A good read that will keep you turning the pages.

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The island of Anglesey, hijacking, drugs, general mayhem and sheer excitement set the scene for a new series featuring former DI Laura Hart. With two main threads to the book, in 2018 when Laura was a Hostage and Crisis Negotiator running a drug busting operation until everything went wrong and police officer husband Sam was killed. And 3 years later when Laura has quit the force and moved to Anglesey with her son and daughter and Elvis the dog. Great writing, good uncomplicated plot and this is a very enjoyable, well paced read.

Briefly, Laura is running a company giving courses on crisis management when she gets a call to say drug smugglers have taken over a local ferry with kids on board including Laura’s son Jake. When she is asked to help negotiate with the smugglers she is reliving the events that led to her husbands death. Laura is still talking to Sam as if he is still alive, what will he have to say about it?

I enjoyed the authors descriptions of the area and insight into local legends and superstitions; there is also a nod to the supernatural. There was more and more information given about the 2018 story as the book moved on with twists and turns and an ending that leaves us with an unresolved issue that is clearly leading on to book 2, which I await eagerly ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Excellent second installment of this series. DCI Laura Hart has to relive a chilling scenario, well paced with plenty of twist along the way.
Thanks to Netgalley and Avon books for this ARC book for a review.

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First thing first I adore the cover to this book it really caught my eye. This book was intense but enjoyable. I really look forward to more of this author works in the future

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Dealing with one hostage situation involving a loved one is more than enough, but being faced with two is downright irritating! Laura Hughes faces the impossible decision of whether to dust off her hostage negotiator boots and try to save her young son, having already lost her husband a few years previously.

The Dark Tide is a great read, with multiple timelines and a gripping hostage situation played out in detail. It's not just your straightforward drama though, readers also follow Laura's personal story and the interaction with her deceased husband. This gives the story an added edge and means that you really engage with the main characters. I couldn't put it down, and then bam, you're nearly at the end! I can't wait to read the next installment.

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Well written, compelling and suspenseful. It is full of twists and unpredictability that kept me guessing until the end, I loved it

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Three years ago DCI Laura Hart was a hostage negotiator with the Greater Manchester Police. That is until her husband, Sam, was killed during a raid on a drug warehouse where he was being held as a hostage, a raid Laura was attending. Now she has left the police and moved back to the island of Anglesey in Wales with her two children where she runs her own business and is trying to get over her grief. However, when a gang from Liverpool bringing drugs into Anglesey seize a tourist boat with a class of school children on board and with no one else available, Laura is called in to act as a hostage negotiator once again.

This is a fairly slow developing story but once it builds it is really suspenseful with boat chases, car chases, helicopters and a very unstable, irrational gang leader. Lots of unexpected twists where you really didn't know what the gang were going to do next led to a very tense read. The novel unfolds in two threads, one describing the events leading up to and after Sam's death and the other the current events. It seems that the gang who killed Sam were tipped off about the raid in a conspiracy and the end of the novel suggests this is likely to continue in the next book. However, this thread did seem to slow down the build up of the main plot. I liked the main characters (although now Laura has a romantic interest it might be time for her to spend less time talking to Sam's ghost) and would be keen to read the next book in this series.

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This is a fantastic start to a new crime series, set in Anglesey. I loved the character of Laura, widowed after her police officer husband was killed in the line of duty whilst they lived in Manchester. Laura was also a police officer but resigned and relocated with her two children.. After a slow start, there is plenty pace and tension, which rapidly mounts when Laura's son is abducted whilst on a school boat trip. The local descriptions transported me right to beautiful Wales and I was genuinely sorry when I reached that teaser of an ending! A very promising new series from the author. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.

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