Book review: Dead Tide by Fiona McIntosh

Friday, January 6, 2023 Permalink

Dead Tide by Fiona McIntosh is the fourth in the popular DCI Jack Hawksworth series and when it opens Jack is lecturing at University while recovering from injuries resulting from his last outing.

He very much stumbles across the case he pursues in this book, one which takes him from Scotland Yard to Australia where the majority of this book is set.

Book review: Dead Tide by Fiona McIntoshDead Tide
by Fiona McIntosh
Series: DCI Jack Hawksworth #4
Published by Penguin Random House Australia
on 17/01/2023
Source: Penguin Random House Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 1761046470
Pages: 384

Detective Superintendent Jack Hawksworth of Scotland Yard has headed up three major serial operations and in each of these cases it seems he has lost a part of himself. He is burnt out and taken a shift sideways for a while, taking on a low-profile role of desk investigator out of London that’s looking into whether a global crime scam exists.

But when a number of young women start returning home ill and dying after travels in Europe, Jack uncovers a shocking black-market operation, with links that lead him all the way to a crime syndicate in South Australia.

We’re reminded that Jack is a charismatic man, though very unlucky in love. I’ve commented in previous reviews that I really like that McIntosh moves away from the belligerent relationships we so often see between (even senior) police officers and their bosses. Jack’s mentor and long-time boss retires in this book and he’s got a new boss… to whom he puts forward his proposal that he travel to Australia. I felt it was a bit of a reach – going from impregnated girls in Europe to Australian baby markets (and legitimate fertility clinics) but Jack’s new boss buys it.

South Australians will undoubtedly appreciate that McIntosh sets this in Adelaide and Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula and her familiarity with the place and landscape and reflection of their beauty probably makes up for the comments about the frequency and severity of serious crimes in that part of Australia ( 😉 ).

This would be a good read for bookclubs, as – other than some murders to cover up the trafficking of ‘human biomaterials’ – there’s some discussion about whether, what the ‘group’ we meet here are doing, is wrong or unethical. If not legal. And – in reality – if it wasn’t for some of the shoddy work of the doctors harvesting the eggs from young desperate women (coinciding with disgruntled employees of the syndicate) then this would probably have continued undiscovered.

Jack has a lot of luck here in his pursuit of the case but it’s hard to begrudge him that. I very much liked a twist that McIntosh throws in – when we think we know everything – which bumped this from a 3.5 star read to a 4 star one. I also appreciated – as I mentioned – that there’s a bit of an ethical dilemma and readers may find themselves pondering their own beliefs about the ends outweighing the means. #orsomething

Dead Tide by Fiona McIntosh was published in Australia by Penguin Books and will be available from 17 January 2023.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 


Comments are closed.