#BookReview: THE BRUTAL TIDE by Kate Rhodes @K_RhodesWriter @simonschusterUK

Publication: 27th October 2022 – Simon & Schuster UK

DI Ben Kitto made many enemies in his time working as an undercover officer for the Met police, none more ruthless and calculating than gang leader Craig Travis.

Travis has longed to make Kitto pay for his role in getting him convicted – and that day has finally arrived. Now, a dark and twisted killer is heading for the Scilly Isles, one who has waited a long time for revenge.

With Kitto busy investigating the discovery of a body on the islands and distracted by the imminent arrival of his first child, his defences are down. He has so much to lose.

And Travis will stop at nothing to take it all from him.



I started reading the Ben Kitto series since the first book, Hell Bay, came out and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them, loving the small island setting, the small community vibe, and the well-developed characters.

The Brutal Tide is the sixth book in this series whose protagonist is DI Ben Kitto. Born and raised in Bryher, one of the smallest Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast, he returned to the island after a career in London. In this new novel, one of his old cases from London risks ruining the normal life he’s created for himself in Bryher. 

Craig Travis was one of the most dangerous gangsters in London and it was thanks to Ben’s undercover work that he was captured and sent to jail. Now, he’s dying of cancer, but he’s determined to take his enemies down with him, sending a dangerous killer after the people who betrayed him and sent him to jail, including Ben Kitto. 

In the meantime, on Bryher, bones are found buried in a building site and stolen before they can be properly examined. Searching for the identity of both the victim and the killer, Ben locks down the island, hoping to stop a killer from leaving and another from arriving. But can he stop a killer looking for revenge?

The Brutal Tide is another fantastic addiction to this series. I love the suspense and the twists. One would think that on an island with a couple of hundreds of people it would be easy to find the killer. But there are so many layers to the case and a series of possible suspects that it’s not at all easy to figure out the truth. I loved how the story is split between Ben’s investigation and the killer’s path of revenge for Craig Travis, making it difficult to put it down (I read it in one day!).

The character of Ben Kitto is wonderful. On the personal side, he is looking forward to fatherhood, although he and his girlfriend can’t seem to agree on baby names. On the professional side, he’s still haunted from his work in London, he often clashes with his arrogant superior, and he’s forced to suspect people he considers friends.

The Brutal Tide is a gripping and exciting read with a few twisty mysteries and rising suspense. I really enjoy this series and I am already looking forward to the next book!

A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster UK and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Kate Rhodes is an acclaimed crime novelist and an award-winning poet. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, the writer and film-maker, Dave Pescod. She visited the Scilly Isles every year as a child which gave her the idea for this new series. She is one of the founders of the Killer Women writing group.

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