Tuesday 12 July 2011

Garnethill - Denise Mina

Maureen is quite vulnerable. She's just starting to pull her life together after time spent in a mental hospital. Still haunted by the sexual abuse of her childhood and having to suffer through her families many problems. Much of which she is blamed for. So when she wakes up one morning to find her therapist boyfriend murdered she is hardly in a place to handle it. Determined to prove her innocence she starts her own investigation. She soon discovers that the real victims are others like herself who have little voice. Now she has to uncover who the murderer is for their sake as well as her own.

I met the author of this book a few years ago and she is a lovely and very intelligent lady. Although I wasn't a crime reader at the time it was always at the back of my mind to read this. Scottish authors are famous for writing crime and out of the handful I have read (all of which I have enjoyed) this one is the best. For a change it's from the point of view of a victim rather than one sole police man. It makes you feel that much more desperate for the truth to be revealed whilst reading. You have more of an emotional involvement.

Maureen was my favourite character at first but she grew on me quickly along with her best friend Leslie and her drug dealing brother. Whilst her brother is a drug dealer you love him for supporting Maureen in a family that refuses to believe her. The police come across as unhelpful at first but that soon changes and some of them stand out as characters too. It has great suspense. Even when you have worked out who the murderer is and that Maureen is trying to flush him out you aren't sure exactly what she is going to do.

I loved the fact that it was set in Glasgow and I was therefore able to recognise quite a few places. I always enjoy that when reading books set in Scotland. It did have just enough Glasgow slang to make it authentic without being too irritating. It certainly isn't enough to put off any non-Scots.

Even without the Glasgow setting it made for a great read. There are two others in the series and those have been added to my list. Look forward to seeing what Maureen gets up to next.


  1. Great review. I know what you mean about the victim's perspective making the journey more desperate. I hadn't realized that so few mysteries are actually written from this perspective.

  2. Thank you. It definitely makes for an interesting read. The following two are from Maureen's perspective again but this time she's helping out someone she works with. Still sounds interesting though.