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The Blood-Dimmed Tide (2004)

by Rennie Airth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: John Madden (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5752641,711 (3.71)54
Fiction. Mystery. HTML:"Unnerving... from [a] richly textured background, Airth draws a vivid cast of full-bodied characters and a plot that satisfies."??The New York Times Book Review
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 thrill… (more)
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» See also 54 mentions

English (20)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
The Blood-Dimmed Tide. (John Madden, Book 2). Rennie Airth. 2006. Some years have passed. John has married Dr. Helen Blackwell and retired from Scotland Yard. They have two lovely children and he is a “gentleman’ farmer. Much to Helen’s dismay, he is drawn into a sickening case involving the murder-rape of young girls. Suspense builds as the psychotic murderer remains elusive, but eventually they identify a possible suspect and are able to find him. In addition to being a fine suspenseful story, the book is filled with information about British life between the two world wars and it provides a beautiful picture of a loving family. What I liked is the picture of family friends developing healthy relationships with the Madden children. These books are much more than mysteries. There are only 5 in the series, and I have to force myself to “save” them and not read the next 3 all at once. ( )
  judithrs | Oct 12, 2021 |
I enjoyed the first volume in this series but not this one. Both were a bit slow paced and overly detailed for my liking, especially about the sensitivities around Scotland Yard taking over a crime investigation from the local, rural police, but I wasn't too bothered by that in the first volume as it was quite suspenseful and the character of the detective, John Madden, was interesting. Now, in The Blood-Dimmed Tide it is 11 years later (1932). Why let a good detective sit on the shelf for 11 years?? Anyway, he is married now with two kids and has taken up farming, having resigned from Scotland Yard. What is the point of side-lining him like this?? His wife does not want him anywhere near crime investigations. So, as a result, he is only on the periphery until near the end. This means we are stuck with a few quite boring Scotland Yard fuddie-duddies and a young local police man for the bulk of the book. For me, the plot was too convoluted and slow paced. Also, I have to confess that I find it hard to enjoy a crime novel involving the rape and murder of children, but this is more about me than the book. On the positive side, this author really knows how to create suspense as he did late in this one. Too bad there was so little suspense until about 80% through the book. ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
Good book, well written. The subject matter was too creepy for my tastes. Will not get any others from this author. ( )
  Omegawega | Apr 1, 2018 |
This is the second in Airth’s series of John Madden mysteries. "The Blood-Dimmed Tide" takes place a decade later than the first book in the series. Madden is no longer in the police force and is now a farmer. The search for a girl in which Madden discovers the body brings him in on the periphery of the case. And he keeps getting deeper and deeper into it although he and the police, who are relying on him, try to keep his involvement from his wife. Sussing out killers seems to be his calling in spite of trying to deny that side of himself.

As I was once again pulled into the suspense of the hunt for a killer, I realized what makes these mysteries so compelling. The author makes even the people who die well rounded characters with hopes and aspirations and ties to the people around. You just don’t know who will survive because the people that are written so you care about them, will not all make it to the end of the story. I hope that the Madden series continues for a long run
  Familyhistorian | Nov 14, 2015 |
This is a book that I would wish to give more than 5 stars if it was possible. It is that good! This second book in the Inspector John Madden series is set in 1932, which is is some 14 years later than the first book in the series. John Madden has left the police force, married his physician wife Helen who we met in book one, and has a son and daughter of his own. He owns and operates a farm in south England in the Surrey area. Life is good for John and his family and Helen in particular, is very happy to have him away from the police and Scotland Yard. But John is thrust back into that life when he discovers the battered body of a young girl. In spite of Helen's best efforts John Madden is drawn into the manhunt for this particularly cold-blooded, sadistic killer. The search involves John's old colleagues from the yard to examine crimes in Europe in Germany and Switzerland as they try to track the history of their man. Airth's skills as an author are many and varied, and his method of writing is bold, clear and brilliant. His plots unfold with precision and scrupulous detail. This is a powerful series that really grabs its readers. My only objection is the length of the timelines of these books. The plots of each book have several years in between. I don't want this series to end quickly. I want lots and lots of books about John Madden. ( )
  Romonko | Oct 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Airth, Rennieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bortolussi, S.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reyes, Jesse MarinoffCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned."
W. B. Yeats from The Second Coming
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Only chance brought the Maddens to Brookham that day.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Fiction. Mystery. HTML:"Unnerving... from [a] richly textured background, Airth draws a vivid cast of full-bodied characters and a plot that satisfies."??The New York Times Book Review
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 thrill

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