Winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2012.
One of our Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012.
Barry Forshaw on Denise Mina and P. M. Hubbard...
The parallels between the vivid and strikingly written novels of Scotland’s Denise Mina and her distinctive predecessor P.M. Hubbard lie in both writers’ remarkable use of language, burnished to a sheen that propels their work into territory well above simple genre imperatives. Mina’s prize-winning The End of the Wasp Season is a signature book, as is Hubbard’s taut novel The Tower.
Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger 2011.
In this stunning new novel DS Alex Morrow discovers that nothing is sacred, even human life...The End of the Wasp Season is an accomplished, compelling and multi-layered novel, which traces the damaging consequences of one man's selfish actions in a world ravaged by recession and questioning everything it previously held sacred.
Simon Theakston, executive director of T&R Theakston, described the novel as “a great example of "tartan noir". “Denise Mina is a fantastically talented writer and The End of the Wasp Season is a thoroughly deserving winner,” he said. “It was a very tough decision this year as all the books on the shortlist were outstanding in different ways but I’m delighted to be able to hand the trophy to Denise, the first woman to have won since 2008, for this hugely atmospheric and haunting book.”
CWA Judges’ comments: 'A complex exploration of the economic motives which link a murder in Glasgow and a suicide in suburban England; Mina’s pregnant police detective’s own complicated personal background and career history give her a rare depth of character and understanding as she leads her team’s investigation into the disturbing undercurrents and repercussions of economic recession.'
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The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina
When wealthy Sarah Erroll dies a violent death at her home in a posh part of Glasgow, the local community is stunned by what appears to be a truly gratuitous act.
Heavily pregnant with desperately wanted twins, DS Alex Morrow is called in to investigate and soon discovers that there is more to Sarah's murder than it first seems. On the other side of town, Thomas Anderson is called into the headmaster's office at his boarding school to be told that his tyrannical father - a banker responsible for the loss of many livelihoods in the recession - has committed suicide by hanging himself from the old oak tree on the lawn of their home. Thomas returns to the family home to find his mother and sister in a state of numb shock. The head of the household is dead, yet their initial reaction is not that of grief, but relief. As Alex Morrow slowly unravels the connections between the two cases, she faces her greatest challenge yet as her work and home lives collide with potentially disastrous consequences.
‘Perceptive and insightful at both ends of the social scale, Mina eschews cliffhangers and plot twists – here, pathos provides the fuel for real suspense. Marvellous’ — Guardian
About the Author
Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father's job as an engineer, her family moved twenty-one times in eighteen years from Paris to the Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen.
After leaving school at sixteen and a run of poorly paid jobs, she went on to study Law at Glasgow University and researched a PhD thesis at Strathclyde. Misusing her grant, she stayed at home and wrote her first novel, Garnethill, which was published in 1998 and won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasy Dagger for best first crime novel.
Since 1998 she has written seven further novels, including The End of the Wasp Season which won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2012. She also writes comics and in 2006 wrote her first play, 'Ida Tamson'. As well as all of this she writes short stories and is a regular contributor to TV and radio...
Her latest book, Gods and Beasts, is out in paperback in March 2013.
Maxim Jakubowski's view on ALEX MORROW...
A Glasgow cop with a nose for social injustice and the dark side of society, DS Alex Morrow is introduced in STILL MIDNIGHT by Scottish author Denise Mina, whose previous series featured investigative journalist Paddie Meehan and social worker Maureen O’Donnell. Realistic and bleak investigations with a strong footing in today’s reality are Mina’s forte in all her books.
Geoffrey Chaucer died 1400: Widely regarded as the "father of English poetry". His Canterbury Tales is one of the most highly esteemed, and incredibly funny (and bawdy) works in the English language. Read The Cantebuty Tales