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The Blood-Dimmed Tide
Synopses & Reviews
With The New York Times Notable Book, River of Darkness, Rennie Airth established himself as a formidable master of suspense. Now, in The Blood-Dimmed Tide, Airth returns with a macabre tale, filled with fascinating historical detail, of the social struggles of post World War I Britain and the looming menace of Hitlers Germany.
It is 1932, and former Inspector John Madden leads a quiet life in rural England with his wife and children until a young village girl is savagely murdered. The crime catapults Madden into the grisly world of a brutal killer. Along with his former colleagues at Scotland Yard, Madden soon finds himself enlisting the help of the British secret service and the German police. Together they use the burgeoning science of criminal psychology in order to grasp the workings of the twisted mind of a cunning, sophisticated murderer but can Madden prevent him from killing again?
"The many admirers of Airth's impressive debut, River of Darkness (1999), which was an Edgar finalist, will relish his gripping second police procedural, set in 1932. The brilliant Scotland Yard inspector John Madden has retired to the countryside and built himself a new life and a new family, but his tranquil, pedestrian existence is shattered when he stumbles on the battered corpse of a young girl. Despite himself and the importunings of his wife, Helen, Madden is drawn into the police inquiry and quickly challenges the official theory that a passing vagrant is responsible. Evidence soon surfaces that the killing is one of a series that spans several countries, and the trail gets murkier when a major suspect proves to be linked to international espionage. The political ramifications of the murders, which may complicate British-German relations on the eve of the Nazis' rise to power, only add to the challenges the police face in preventing another death. While the plot structure may be a little too similar to its predecessor for some, Airth's full-blooded characters and convincing evocation of rural 1930s England will have most eager for a shorter wait for his next book. Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Too many thrillers use a gruesome death merely as a way to explore police procedure....Tide rises above the rest of the pack." Detroit Free Press
"This is an agreeably old-fashioned novel, somewhat slow-paced, with close attention to place, character and detail. But as the story expands...it grows darker and more edgy, more akin to Graham Greene's late-'30s thrillers." Washington Post
"[T]here's more to Airth's agenda than turning out a sensational thriller about a mad-dog killer....he composes images of innocence that capture all that is at stake and will soon be lost..." The New York Times
A curiously rare sense of common decency helps make this more than just another mystery....Extremely well-wrought, remarkable for its uncommon understanding that its characters are in the end just human, for better and worse." Kirkus Reviews
The author of The New York Times Notable Book River of Darkness returns with a macabre tale of the social struggles of post-World War I Britain and the looming menace of Hitler's Germany. When a young girl is savagely murdered in rural English village, the crime catapults former Inspector John Madden into the grisly world of a brutal killer.
Inspector John Madden—who debuted in River of Darkness—returns in a gripping postWorld War II murder mystery
On a quiet afternoon in 1947, retired bank manager Oswald Gibson is shot in the head while fishing. In Scotland, a respectable family doctor is killed in the same
manner—and with the same gun. What is the connection? Scotland Yards Detective Inspector Billy Styles and local detective Vic Chivers are baffled until a letter from
Gibson is discovered that might shed some light on the case—a letter concerning former Scotland Yard detective John Madden. Despite Maddens legendary memory, he has no recollection of meeting Gibson or any idea of what their relationship might have been. Madden is happily retired from police work, but agrees to help his former protégé Styles and the clues they uncover only deepen the mystery. When a third man is killed in a similar fashion, Madden and Styles find themselves in a race against time to find the killer before another man ends up dead.
A smart, intricately plotted mystery, this is the fourth title in the critically acclaimed and much loved John Madden series.
With the publication of the New York Times Notable Book River of Darkness, Rennie Airth established himself as a master of suspense. The Blood-Dimmed Tide, set in 1932, marks the return of the beloved Inspector John Madden, whose discovery of a young girl's mutilated corpse near his home in rural England brings him out of retirement despite his wife's misgivings. Soon he finds himself chasing a killer whose horrific crime could have implications far afield in a Europe threatened by the rise of Hitler. A riveting, atmospheric, multilayered mystery, this intense and intelligent tale more than delivers on the promise of Rennie Airth's first thriller.
About the Author
Rennie Airth was born in South Africa and worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters for many years. River of Darkness was inspired by a scrapbook about his uncle, a soldier killed in World War I.
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