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 Review

Tam Hardie is the head of Scotland’s most notorious crime family. But he is an old man who has only been given a few months left to live. So when he goes missing, his three sons, including serious hard man Tam Hardie Jnr are understandably worried. Then a body turns up miles from anywhere in a deserted cemetery, buried in an ancient grave with a strange marking that simply says: ‘This grave can never be opened’. So what does it all mean?

Turns out it’s a blood feud dating back 200 years between the Hardies and the Leitch family and Tam Jnr – now just Tam – is never going to let it go. No-one crosses the Hardies and remains alive.

In the meantime ex-Met detective Max Craigie and his sidekick, the slightly odd university graduate Janie Calder, nicknamed Fast-Track Fannie, are sent to investigate the crime scene. But it’s not just the Hardie’s crimes they uncover. When evidence goes missing and Max is prevented from investigating too deeply, he realises that he has uncovered corruption in Scotland’s police force going up to the highest level. The point is – who can he trust if anyone? Apart from his faithful dog Nutmeg of course.

This is a great book which investigates a crime family who virtually run the underbelly of the country, together with an investigation into police corruption reminiscent of Line of Duty but not quite so complicated. ‘Mother of God’ – I highly recommend it for fans of a good crime thriller. Let’s hope it makes it to TV very soon. It will make a brilliant series with Richard Madden as Max of course. And Waffle doggy as Nutmeg.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, the author and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read, and to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Neil was born in Liverpool in the 1960s. He recently left the Metropolitan Police where he served for over twenty-five years, predominantly as a detective, leading and conducting investigations into some of the most serious criminals across the UK and beyond.

Neil acted as a surveillance and covert policing specialist, using all types of techniques to arrest and prosecute drug dealers, human traffickers, fraudsters, and murderers. During his career, he successfully prosecuted several wealthy and corrupt members of the legal profession who were involved in organised immigration crime. These prosecutions led to jail sentences, multi-million pound asset confiscations and disbarments.

Since retiring from the Metropolitan Police, Neil has relocated to the Scottish Highlands with his wife and son, where he mixes freelance investigations with writing. 

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