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The Blood-Dimmed Tide (John Madden #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,915 Ratings  ·  195 Reviews
It is 1932 and Inspector John Madden’s retirement is brought to an abrupt end when he discovers the mutilated body of a young girl.With the help of his Scotland Yard colleagues, Madden soon realizes that the killer’s trail leads far beyond his village.Madden finds himself enlisting the help of the British Secret Service and the German police in his search—but can they stop ...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published 2004 by Macmillan
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Antony No,but if you don't you can always read the first one second and pick up all the background. Of course you know that he lives to take part in a second…moreNo,but if you don't you can always read the first one second and pick up all the background. Of course you know that he lives to take part in a second novel, but it is still a book worth reading.(less)
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Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in the original John Madden trilogy: River of Darkness, The Blood-Dimmed Tide and The Dead of Winter. With a fourth book, The Reckoning, out soon, it seemed a good opportunity to re-visit the original novels, which I enjoyed when they were first released.

The Blood Dimmed Tide is set in 1932 and John Madden has since married Dr Helen Blackwell, who he met in the first book. Having left the police force, Madden is now a country gentleman – enjoying farming and fatherhood and hav
E.C. Ambrose
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I so enjoyed the author's first novel, The Dead of Winter, that I jotted his name on a paper and stuck it to my bulletin board to keep an eye on him. This second John Madden mystery/thriller took so long to appear that I had stopped looking--but I pounced the moment I saw it, and will look forward to finding the third as well.

I said "mystery/thriller" above, but it's really a thriller. In a writers' workshop years ago, I heard the distinction made that, in the thriller, you know who the villain
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A big letdown after River of Darkness. John Madden has resigned from Scotland Yard, and is a farmer living with his wife and two children. A young girl is brutally murdered nearby, and Madden becomes involved in the hunt for the killer. Mr. Airth has the difficult task of building his book around the hero, Madden, when he's not even in law enforcement any more. Too much of the early going involves the fencing and power struggle among the three major Scotland Yard figures handling the case. That ...more
Anne Fontaine
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this second of Rennie Airth's books, almost ten years have passed and England is on the brink of World War II. The intriguing John Madden retired from Scotland Yard soon after the events of the first book to become not only a farmer but a father, having had two children with his wife, Dr. Helen Blackwell Madden. They live in the same house where she grew up (and where she was living in the first book) and, while the villagers are aware of Madden's previous profession, he has integrated comple ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
What an excellent series! I have only two modest complaints. There are apparently four books total so far, (this was the second) but each sequel takes place roughly ten years after the last. At that rate, the total number of entries is going to be limited by the advancing age of John Madden, a most remarkable hero who, by my reckoning, will be in his late 50's at least by the fourth book. Madden retired from Scotland Yard after the first book to marry, raise a family, and farm. I guess there hav ...more
Shirley Schwartz
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 ver ...more
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE BLOOD-DIMMED TIDE. (2004). Rennie Airth. ***1/2.
This was my introduction to Mr. Airth, his third novel. His first one, “River of Darkness,” was nominated for an Edgar Award. The series revolves around Inspector John Madden, a currently retired former member of Scotland Yard. The subtitle of the book tells us that the story is set in “early 1930s England.” In reality, it could just as well have been 1930s Egypt, as long as you didn’t see any pyramids in the distance. It’s all set in the count
Brian Steele
I've read quite a bit of mystery genre fiction lately. I'll be honest, most of it sucks in that cliched, pseudo-romance manner. After hearing Airth name mentioned a few times, I discovered his book in my store a gave it a try - I was captivated after only a few pages.

The style in which he draws the reader into 1932 England in amazing and realistic, a prose that's lean and biting. I love historical fiction, and seeing how these characters deal with a sexual sadist killer with such raw fear was br
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rennie Airth does it again. It took me a bit longer to get into this second book about retired Scotland Yard inspector, John Madden, but the well-written plot soon becomes just as engrossing. Though Madden is retired, he becomes involved in a case when he discovers the body of a young girl. There are recognizable characters from Airth's first book, and it's like meeting old friends. Madden's part is limited, but his former associates use every chance they can to pick his brain. When they think t ...more
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Rennie Airth was born in South Africa and has worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters. The first novel in his John Madden trilogy, River of Darkness, was published in 1999 to huge critical acclaim, was shortlisted for four crime fiction awards and won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in France. The sensational sequel was The Blood-Dimmed Tide, and The Dead of Winter forms the final pa ...more
More about Rennie Airth...

Other Books in the Series

John Madden (5 books)
  • River of Darkness (John Madden, #1)
  • The Dead of Winter (John Madden, #3)
  • The Reckoning (John Madden, #4)
  • The Death of Kings (John Madden, #5)
“Generally speaking, psychiatry is concerned with the treatment of neuroses, with patients who are aware of their illness and wish to be cured. Dr. Franz Weiss” 1 likes
“The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned   W. B. Yeats ‘The Second Coming” 1 likes
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