Blood, salt, water A novel

Denise Mina

Book - 2015

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MYSTERY/Mina Denise
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Mina, Denise. Alex Morrow novel.
Mystery fiction
New York : Little, Brown and Company 2015.
First United States edition
Physical Description
295 pages ; 25 cm
Main Author
Denise Mina (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Detective Inspector Alex Morrow (The Red Road, 2015) is leading a fraud investigation targeting Roxanne Fuenticilla, who has recently purchased a Glasgow insurance company with suspected cocaine proceeds. Morrow has developed a reluctant fondness for mercurial, fun-loving Fuenticilla, which proves both unsettling and motivating when Fuenticilla is reported missing. Morrow's investigation is complicated by Fuenticilla's shady dealings, which guarantee that no one, from her children to her recent business contacts, is offering honest information. The trail leads Morrow to Helensburgh, an upper-crust coastal vacation spot, where an unusual murder and a slippery local crime boss warrant a closer look. At the same time, Morrow is preoccupied with conflicted feelings about her gangster half-brother, Danny, who is hospitalized after a brutal stabbing in prison. Mina's gift at unveiling the relatable quandaries, desires, and missteps that create criminals provides an irresistible hook, and series fans will appreciate the parallels between Fuenticilla's and Morrow's family betrayals. Recommend to readers who appreciate driven, conflicted female detectives like Anne Holt's Hanne Wilhelmsen, Val McDermid's Carol Jordan, and Tana French's Cassie Maddox.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2015 Booklist

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

Roxanna Fuentecilla, the suspicious character at the center of Mina's riveting sixth novel featuring Glasgow Det. Insp. Alex Morrow (after 2013's The Red Road), has been under loose surveillance. The Scottish police suspect her of shady business dealings involving her insurance agency and possibly having a hand in stealing-or laundering-£7 million. When one of Roxanna's children reports her missing and her cell phone records place her in Helensburgh, Morrow and her colleague, Det. Constable Howard McGrain, pretend to be Missing Persons officers and travel to the sleepy coastal town. Meanwhile, two Helensburgh men, Iain Fraser and Tommy Farmer, murder a woman and toss her body in the local loch. And the unexpected return of Susan Grierson, who spent 20 years in the U.S., brings back long-buried memories for Iain, not all of them comfortable. As Morrow discovers troubling evidence of Roxanna's widespread dirty dealings, more bodies turn up in Helensburgh. Morrow's incarcerated half-brother, gangster Danny McGrath, adds a wild card to an installment that exposes the bleakness of small-town Scotland as skillfully as it does the bustling mean streets of Glasgow. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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

Helensburgh is a sleepy, picturesque town hugging Scotland's coast-just the sort of place where the locals wear expensive cardigans and buy free-range eggs. But it's definitely not the type of community to endear itself to Alex Morrow, the world-weary Glasgow detective appearing in her fifth crime thriller (after The Red Road) from the always dependable Mina. Alex reluctantly travels to Helensburgh to trace the whereabouts of a corrupt businesswoman who vanished while being targeted by a national law enforcement sting. Roxanna Fuentecilla was beautiful, tempestuous, and, thanks to cell phone records, last known to have been within range of the seaside village. When the dead body that surfaces in a local lake turns out to be someone other than Roxanna, Alex realizes that the town's posh façade hides a rotten core of deceit and despair. VERDICT Supplementing procedural elements with doses of psychological suspense and wry social commentary (the vote for Scottish independence, class tension, and even the foibles of those following gluten-free diets all come under her gimlet eye), Mina delivers another atmospheric, well-crafted mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 6/21/15.]-Annabelle Mortensen, Skokie P.L., IL © Copyright 2015. 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

DI Alex Morrow, whose fifth case takes her away from the depressing world of Mina's Glasgow (The Red Road, 2014, etc.), finds life just as sordid on the shores of Loch Lomond, even for locals who aren't getting murdered. Since Roxanna Fuentecilla has already been a person of keen interest to Police Scotland, Morrow and DC Howard McGrain masquerade as Missing Persons officers so that they can snoop around when they call on Roxanna's feckless live-in, Robin Walker, when Roxanna goes AWOL from the Glasgow home she shared with him. Nothing. Before she vanished, Roxanna used her cellphone to make one last call from a field outside Helensburgh. So Morrow and McGrain abandon their plans to fly to London to interview Roxanna's highflying friend Maria Pinzn Arias and her husband, Juan, a Colombian attach, and drive instead to Helensburgh, where they find her abandoned car but no further trace of its owner. Did the Spanish-born businesswoman, who always seemed to be reaching beyond the limits of the law for a big score, disappear on her own, or did she have violent assistance? While Morrow and her bosses are focusing on the missing woman, trouble arrives in other neighborhoods of Helensburgh. Someone burns down the Sailor's Rest with its owner and his young daughter inside. Susan Grierson, a former Cub Scout leader who's long been off in America, returns to raise all sorts of hell unbecoming a woman of her years. And a corpse that's not Roxanna's floats to the top of Loch Lomond. You'd wonder what else could possibly go wrongbut that's a question Mina's fans learned long ago never to ask. Mina never stints on the criminal conspiracy or gallows humor, but some of her nightmare landscapes are molded more firmly than others. This one is sad and piercingly perceptive on small matters, but its big picture is less coherent. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.