Denise Mina

Book - 2002

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MYSTERY/Mina, Denise
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New York, NY : Carroll & Graf Publishers 2002, c2001.
Item Description
"A novel of crime"--Cover sub-title.
Physical Description
366 p. ; 24 cm
Main Author
Denise Mina (-)
Review by Booklist Review

This is the last installment in Mina's award-winning Garnethill trilogy, following Garnethill (1999) and Exile (2000), both of which were New York Times Notable Books. This is a supremely anticozy trilogy: the setting is rainy, cold, low-end Glasgow; the heroine's personal and psychological lives are as sloppy as her Glasgow flat (whose floor now shows a recalcitrant bloodstain from her murdered boyfriend). Resolution brings to a witches' boil all the bad blood, fears from the past, and recurrent calamities that have been brewing since Garnethill. Heroine Maureen O'Donnell must undergo a multitude of struggles, but clotting at the surface are two that threaten her life. One is the return to Glasgow of her abusive father, whose sexual abuse of Maureen as a child has led to a lifelong depression. The second is the trial of the sociopath psychologist who murdered Maureen's boyfriend. This very slick manipulator makes a convincing case that Maureen drugged him out of jealousy. Maureen, beset by the creeping damp of just trying to make ends meet, must outwit the shrink and her father or lose everything. An unflinching portrayal of evil and the kind of heroism it takes to combat it. --Connie Fletcher

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this powerful, disturbing, wrenching conclusion to the Scottish author's Garnethill trilogy (Garnethill; Exile), the sense of everydayness renders the horrors Mina's Glaswegians confront even more terrible. Forced prostitution, child sexual abuse, alcoholism, dysfunctionality of every kindall are not so much spotlighted as they are integral parts of the fabric of the characters' lives. But for Maureen O'Donnell, whose continued existence is a triumph of will, there's also a strong sense of family and friendships forged in the crucible of survival. Maureen and her friends Leslie and Kilty are as unlikely a trio of dragon-slayers as one might find. With trepidation, Maureen awaits the trial of her lover's murderer, Angus Farrell, whose evil threatens her even while he's in jail. And Maureen's abusive father, Michael, has returned to Glasgow and she fears for her sister's soon-to-be-born baby. Maureen's efforts to help an illiterate old woman fill out a legal complaint against her son lead her into more danger and ugliness. The sordidness and the seemingly insuperable odds Maureen faces make her retreat into alcoholism seem appropriate. Thanks to Mina's considerable narrative skills, the Glasgow of Paddy's flea market, Albert Hospital and the area near the bus station where street prostitutes hang out emerges in gritty clarity. The novel culminates in a startling crescendo of violence, vengeance and resolution. (June 7) Forecast: Blurbs from some big American mystery/thriller names could give this author a lift, but even with them her realistic, unglamorous characters and setting are likely to keep her out of bestseller territory. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

On the average day, Glaswegian Maureen O'Donnell is disheveled, mumbling to herself, and drunk by noon someone to ignore on the street. Mina's achievement here as in Garnethill and Exile, the first two volumes of this trilogy is to transform a trampled spirit into a person to whom attention must be paid. In this work, Maureen is coping with the aftermath of events in Exile. Not only must she testify at the trial of her boyfriend's murderer, psychologist Angus Farrell, but she must also protect her pregnant sister from their father, who has returned to town. As if that weren't enough, Maureen is approached by one of the other stall-holders at a flea market for help in suing her son. When that woman dies of an apparent heart attack, Maureen finds herself involved in trying to unravel a Poland-based prostitution ring. (Things were so much simpler in Miss Marple's day!) Once again, Mina delivers a Scottish blend of Thomas Harris, George Pelecanos, and Oprah-style reading that is uniquely her own and goes down very smoothly. For most public libraries. Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

"Everything was coming to an end," thinks Maureen O'Donnell glumly, and no wonder. As she waits for Angus Farrell, the psychologist who murdered her married lover, to come to trial, she's uneasily aware that he's smarter than her even when she's sober, and certain he's got some scheme cooked up to get off and perhaps convict her of assault for the LSD she slipped into his coffee. And Mauri can't afford to get jailed and leave the baby her sister Una is expecting to the tender mercies of their abusive father Michael and their alcoholic mother Winnie, who's still deep in denial about what Michael did to Mauri. Laboring to make the most of the few days before Una's confinement, Mauri stumbles onto another equally dysfunctional family when she reluctantly agrees to help Ella McGee, a retired prostitute who shares space at the flea market where Mauri makes money toward her crushing bill for back taxes by selling contraband cigarettes. All Ella wants is a signature on the small-claims action she's filing against the son and daughter who threw her off her job at their health club. But when Ella ends up in the hospital, badly beaten, Mauri realizes that Simon McGee is quite as dangerous, if not quite as cunning, as Angus Farrell. Mina's canvas is so broad, so teeming, and so relentlessly sordid that the biggest surprise in this final chapter in Mina's not-to-be-missed Glasgow trilogy (Garnethill, 1999; Exile, 2001) is that she can pull off the climax her title promises.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.