Denise Mina Exile (Garnethill 2)

ISBN 13: 9781409150633

Exile (Garnethill 2)

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9781409150633: Exile (Garnethill 2)
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From the two-time winner of the THEAKSTONS OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR AWARD - a Scottish crime novel with a difference.

The last time Maureen O'Donnell saw Ann Harris, she was in the Glasgow Women's Shelter smelling of a long binge on cheap drink.

A month later Ann's mutilated body, stitched into a mattress, is washed up on the banks of the Thames.

No-one seems to care what happened to her, and Maureen is the only person who thinks Ann's husband is innocent. But solving Ann's murder comes as light relief. Maureen's father is back in Glasgow, her best friend is sloping about like a nervous spy, and then there's Angus, Maureen's old therapist, who's twice as bright as she is and making her play a dangerous game with the police.

In the long tradition of Scots in trouble, Maureen runs away to London where she becomes embroiled in a seedy world of deceit and violence. Alone in a strange city, Maureen starts to piece together Ann's final days. But time is not on her side, and Maureen needs just 12 hours, just 12, to put things right, and she doesn't care what it costs...

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Review:

Exile is every bit as atmospheric and idiosyncratic as Mina's earlier novel, Garnethill but with an increased sharpness in characterisation that makes for a highly compelling read. The Glasgow setting of this piece is rendered with a gritty authority that might not please the Scottish Tourist Board, but is perfect for the reader. Mina's protagonist Maureen O'Donnell is working in the Glasgow Women's Shelter when she encounters Anne Harris, suffering from two broken ribs and fighting the effects of a crippling descent into alcoholism. A fortnight later, Anne's body turns up in the river, grotesquely mutilated and embedded in a mattress. Is Anne's husband the murderer, as he so clearly seems to be? Maureen and her friend Leslie try to penetrate the indifference surrounding Anne's death, but Leslie is curiously close-mouthed about what she knows. Attempting to escape from the turmoil of her own life, Maureen travels to London, but she is soon immersed in a dangerous world of violence and drug abuse.

Utilising the classic structure of the thriller (the investigator in danger of encountering the same fate as the victim) Mina brings a level of compassion and understanding to her grim tale that ensures a remarkable experience for the reader. She is unblushing in confronting the darker side of life, and her conflicted heroine is satisfyingly embroiled in the revelations she is forced to confront. The final effect of this idiosyncratic and dark thriller is both life-affirming and exhilarating, and though we may all soon need a holiday from the dark alleys of Scotland, it isn't time yet.

--Barry Forshaw

Review:

Head and shoulders above the superficial gangster glamour of much contemporary British crime fiction (Val McDermid)

Confirms Mina's place in the premier division... atmospheric, intense and full of the disturbing flavour of inner-city lowlife (GUARDIAN)

Mina, a feisty new crime-writing voice, carves a taut, humane whodunit into Glasgow's impassive face (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780316016803: Exile

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Publisher: Back Bay Books, 2007
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