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...
In 2014 she was inducted into the CWA Hall of Fame.
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.
Author photo © Neil Davidson
At once historically evocative and infused with the rapier-sharp universality of basic drives and emotions (love, lust, envy and revenge), Denise Mina’s Rizzio is an immensely engaging novella. Wise, inventive and un-put-down-able, it’s a riveting read-in-one-sitting road-trip through a shadowy episode in Scottish history. It’s 1566 and Mary, Queen of Scots, is six months pregnant, unaware that her Palace of Holyrood is surrounded by an army intent on murdering her private secretary and confidante, handsome, charismatic David Rizzio. And all this was arranged by Mary’s husband, Lord Darnley who, intoxicated, relishes “thinking about how sorry they’ll all be when he is king, they’ll all be sorry then. He’ll see they are". Recounting the events of a fateful, bloody night, Mina’s present tense narrative is delivered with verve, taut dexterity and atmosphere, with a powerfully palpable sense of mounting tension.
When Margo goes in search of her birth mother for the first time, she meets her aunt, Nikki, instead. Margo learns that her mother, Susan, was a sex worker murdered soon after Margo's adoption. To this day, Susan's killer has never been found. Nikki asks Margo for help. She has received threatening and haunting letters from the murderer, for decades. She is determined to find him, but she can't do it alone... A brilliant, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching new thriller about identity and the value of a life, from the award-winning author of The Long Drop and Conviction.
Salt water lifts blood. Only salt water. Loch Lomond is a mile deep but the woman's body surfaced anyway. Found bludgeoned and dumped in the water, she now haunts Iain Fraser, the man who put her there. She trusted him and now that misplaced trust is gnawing through Iain's chest. He thinks it will kill him. Nearby Helensburgh is an idyllic Victorian town. One-time home to a quarter of all the millionaires in Britain, it is quaint, sleepy and chocolate-box pretty. But the real town is shot through with deception, lies and vested interests. As tensions rise and the police seek a killer, the conflicts that lurk beneath Helensburgh's calm waters threaten to explode. All Iain Fraser has to do is keep on lying.
Winner of the the 2013 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. March 2013 Book of the Month. The recent winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award with The End of the Wasp Season is back with a dark tale of corruption, cover-up and murder among Glasgow’s criminal underworld and the city’s politicians. Full of twists and turns it is a stunning and accomplished piece of crime fiction. Denise Mina said of her 2013 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award:“I’m really quite flabbergasted. This was such a hard book. I really love this book and it means a lot other people appreciate it as it could have crashed and burned. I’m so delighted and so glad to have another gigantic ostentatious award in the shape of a Theakstons beer barrel that I don’t have room for on my mantelpiece!” Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'Crime & Thriller of the Year' 2012.
Shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2014. February 2014 Book of the Month. The fourth DI Alex Morrow mystery. It is believed that Denise Mina is doing for Glasgow what Rebus did for Edinburgh. Certainly she creates a city full of corruption where the high and the low get sucked into dark crimes. Covering two periods, 1997 and today, with some brilliant characters, this is excellent police procedural stuff, dark, clever, atmospheric and well plotted. Denise Mina will be appearing at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (17-20 July 2014). Click here to find out more and to book tickets. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Red Road a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'The Red Road, displays many of the familiar strengths Mina-addicts will love: a smart and determined yet conflicted central character, an unusual and intriguing hook, some casually thrown-in one-liners and an ability to have the reader desperate to turn the page.' - Daniel Webb. Scroll down to read more reviews.
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.'
Just look at the reviews for this author. Her peers love her, the press love her, have you heard of her? Well, it is time you did. She writes about Glasgow low-life, gritty and atmospheric. This concerns a kidnapping that backfires, a seemingly baffled family unable to raise the ransom and a murky underworld. Beyond the crime and detection it explores the nuances of relationships between parent and child, siblings, colleagues, captor and captive. It is dark, big in plot and deep in human drama. Comparison: Ian Rankin, Tony Black, Alex Gray.
A BODY IS FOUND ON THE BANKS OF THE THAMES. MAUREEN O'DONNELL NOW HAS TWELVE HOURS TO CATCH A KILLER... The last time Maureen O'Donnell saw Ann Harris, she was staying in the Glasgow Women's Shelter, drunk and with two broken ribs. A month later, Ann's mutilated body 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. With her personal life in turmoil, she runs away to London and starts to piece together Ann's final days. But time is not on her side. Maureen needs twelve hours to put things right, and she doesn't care what it costs... 'Confirms Mina's place in the premier division...Atmospheric [and] intense' Guardian *Don't miss Denise Mina's most recent thriller, the Costa 2020 shortlisted, THE LESS DEAD*
'The most exciting crime writer to have emerged in Britain for years' Ian Rankin GIRLFRIEND. WITNESS. MURDERER? When psychiatric patient Maureen O'Donnell finds her boyfriend dead in her living room, she is thrown into a difficult situation. Glasgow police view her as both a suspect and an unstable witness - and even her mother is convinced of her involvement. Feeling betrayed by friends and family, Maureen begins to doubt her own version of events. Panic-stricken, she sets out in pursuit of the truth and soon picks up a horrifying trail of deception and suppressed scandal. Then a second body is discovered. Maureen realises that unless she gets to the killer first, her life is in danger... 'One of the most original voices in crime fiction' Daily Mail With an introduction by VAL McDERMID ________________ *Don't miss Denise Mina's most recent thriller, the Costa 2020 shortlisted, THE LESS DEAD*
A FAMILY DIVIDED. A SECRET THAT COULD KILL. 'Denise Mina is proving to be one of the finest crime writers of her generation' Daily Express Maureen O'Donnell is facing the darkest episode in her life. The psychologist who murdered her boyfriend is up for trial, with Maureen as the reluctant star witness, and her abusive father has arrived back in Glasgow. On top of it all, she has become embroiled in someone else's family feud. When an elderly market stallholder dies after a brutal beating, Maureen suspects the woman's son. She soon discovers that his health club is a front for a far less respectable establishment. As her court appearance approaches, Maureen is under threat once again, and this time she has very few protectors...
The first novel in the addictive Paddy Meehan series, from award-winning author Denise Mina. 'The most exciting crime writer to have emerged in Britain for years' Ian Rankin In Glasgow, a child goes missing, taken from the front garden of his home. The investigation leads the police to the doors of two young boys. Paddy Meehan has just started work at a local newspaper where she dreams of becoming an investigative journalist. Although everyone around her believes the boys acted on their own, she is certain there is more to it and begins to ask awkward questions. But Paddy's investigation has repercussions she never anticipated. Shunned by those closest to her, she finds herself dangerously alone.
PERFECT WIFE. PERFECT KILLER? 'A masterly psychological web of people on the edge and the devils that lie beneath their apparent respectability. Engrossing' Guardian Susie Harriot, a respected psychiatrist, has been convicted of the brutal murder of a serial killer in her care. It looks certain that she will be given a life sentence, depriving her of her home, her family and her two-year-old daughter. Susie's husband, Lachlan, is convinced she is innocent and is desperate to prove it. Each night, he climbs the stairs to her study and goes through her papers - her case notes, her interviews, and the press cuttings from the trial. But the more Lachlan discovers, the more he suspects that his wife has been hiding a dark secret.
Discover the second novel in the pulse-racing Paddy Meehan series, from award-winning author Denise Mina. 'Mina can chill your blood and break your heart in the same sentence' Mark Billingham Journalist Paddy Meehan is called to a domestic dispute in a wealthy Glasgow suburb. The woman bleeding from a head injury doesn't want any help and the well-dressed man beside her assures Paddy that everything is fine. But when she is given a GBP50 note to keep quiet, she becomes suspicious. The next morning, the woman is dead. Paddy has found the story she has been waiting for, yet she will lose all credibility if word gets out about her bribe. To make matters worse, the police who attended the scene are twisting the evidence. Only Paddy cares enough to pursue a dark truth that could make her career - or get her killed. 'Splendidly written... Magnificently readable' The Times
'Denise Mina is the cream of the crop, an author who pushes the crime novel in new and exciting directions and never fails to deliver.' IAN RANKIN When Margo goes in search of her birth mother for the first time, she meets her aunt, Nikki, instead. Margo learns that her mother, Susan, was a sex worker murdered soon after Margo's adoption. To this day, Susan's killer has never been found. Nikki asks Margo for help. She has received threatening and haunting letters from the murderer, for decades. She is determined to find him, but she can't do it alone... A brilliant, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching new thriller about identity and the value of a life, from the award-winning author of The Long Drop and Conviction. PRAISE FOR DENISE MINA: 'You won't be able to put Conviction down' Reese Witherspoon 'Unsettling, evocative and staggeringly good' Daily Express 'A masterpiece by the woman who may be Britain's finest living crime novelist' Daily Telegraph 'An atmospheric recreation of a vanished Glasgow...and a compelling exploration of the warped criminal mind' The Times on The Long Drop: Top Ten Crime Novels of the Decade
EVERYBODY LOVES A MURDER MYSTERY . . . UNTIL THEY HAVE A STARRING ROLE. *A REESE WITHERSPOON BOOK CLUB PICK* 'Denise Mina is the cream of the crop, an author who pushes the crime novel in new and exciting directions' Ian Rankin It's just a normal morning when Anna's husband announces that he's leaving her for her best friend and taking their two daughters with him. With her safe, comfortable world shattered, Anna distracts herself with someone else's story: a true-crime podcast. That is until she recognises the name of one of the victims and becomes convinced that only she knows what really happened. With nothing left to lose, she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, Anna's past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall. 'If you loved Killing Eve, you'll devour Conviction' Erin Kelly 'Such a delight: playful, fast-paced, and entirely compulsive' Ann Cleeves 'A dark star of a novel, blazingly intense, up-to-the-minute fresh, and exciting as all hell' A. J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window _______________________ *Don't miss Denise Mina's most recent thriller, the Costa 2020 shortlisted, THE LESS DEAD*
Read the third novel in the Paddy Meehan series, from award-winning author Denise Mina. 'One of the most original voices in crime fiction' Daily Mail Paddy Meehan finally has it all: a flat of her own in Glasgow and a job as one of Scotland's leading newspaper columnists. Then the police knock on her door. Her former lover Terry has been found in a ditch, shot through the head. Even though they had split up months before, Terry has left her everything, including a house in Ayrshire and boxes of notebooks. As Paddy digs deeper into his murder, it soon becomes clear that the secret he was about to expose is worth killing for. And that she is next in line.
The titular Hellblazer, Constantine is a working-class occult detective and con man stationed in London. He is known for his endless cynicism, deadpan snarking, ruthless cunning and constant chain-smoking. Constantine discovers he's cursed with empathy for his fellow man as the multi-layered tale races forward. Seeking the origin of the Empathy curse, Constantine and Chris roll into Glasgow in search of Steve Evans, a massively powerful magician who is waiting for Constantine. Meanwhile John finds out that there has been a connection between himself and Chris before they even met. Written by award-winning novelist Denise Mina (Garnethill, Deception, Field of Blood) and illustrated by Leonardo Manco and Christiano Cucina JOHN CONSTANTINE, HELLBLAZER VOL. 19: RED RIGHT HAND is the next installment of the critically acclaimed series. Collects issues #216-229.
'A masterpiece by the woman who may be Britain's finest living crime novelist' Daily Telegraph 'Absorbing... this is a bravura performance, a true original' Ian Rankin Glasgow, 1957. It is a December night and William Watt is desperate. His family has been murdered and he needs to find out who killed them. He arrives at a bar to meet Peter Manuel, who claims he can get hold of the gun that was used. But Watt soon realises that this infamous criminal will not give up information easily. Inspired by true events, The Long Drop follows Watt and Manuel along back streets and into smoky pubs, and on to the courtroom where the murder trial takes place. Can Manuel really be trusted to tell the truth? And how far will Watt go to get what he wants? **A TIMES TOP 10 CRIME NOVEL OF THE DECADE** __________________ Praise for THE LONG DROP: 'Extraordinary' Guardian 'This book is so, so good. Forensic, beautiful and gripping' Graham Norton 'Revisits a dark episode in Glasgow's past... Mina navigates the uneasy territory between fact and fiction with consummate grace' Val McDermid *Don't miss Denise Mina's most recent thriller, the Costa 2020 shortlisted, THE LESS DEAD*
A stand-alone true crime thriller from the acclaimed author of the Alex Morrow novels that exposes the dark hearts of the guilty . . . and the innocent.True story: 1958, Glasgow. Peter Manuel broke into a suburban villa in Glasgow and murdered three members of the Watt family. William Watt, the father, a successful businessman and entrepreneur, was arrested and jailed for the crime, but the police couldnt find enough evidence to charge him and he was released. Watt was determined to clear his own name and let it be known that he would pay for information. Peter Manuel contacted him and offered to help. The two men met in a bar and spent the next twelve hours drinking together.No one knows what happened that night.When Manuel was finally arrested weeks later on another murder charge, he represented himself in what the newspapers called the trial of the century.The Long Drop is Denise Minas reimagining of the mysterious night Peter Manuel and William Watt spent together, intercut with the transcripted trial. Through a careful reconstruction of events, Minas riveting prose attempts to make sense of one of the most baffling and intriguing true crime cases in legal history.
Detective Alex Morrow discovers that the darkest secrets never stay buried as she investigates the criminal underbelly of a seemingly tranquil seaside town.For reasons she can't quite explain, Alex Morrow is addicted to watching surveillance footage of Roxanna Fuentecilla--a gorgeous Spanish mother of two, in a tempestuous relationship with her boyfriend, who recently relocated to Glasgow under mysterious circumstances. She is also Morrow's prime suspect in an investigation that resembles a soap opera, filled with glamorous jetsetters and enough money to interest the highest levels of law enforcement. Until Roxanna vanishes. Morrow traces Roxanna's steps to Helensburgh, a sleepy, picturesque seaside community. But behind the idyllic Victorian homes and quaint storefronts, darkness lurks. Home to a man with blood on his hands who is haunted by guilt, a mysterious woman with ulterior motives back in town for the first time in decades, a sexually frustrated restaurateur looking to blow off steam, and a crew of vicious small-time gangsters blindly following orders, it's a town ruled by base instincts where no one is quite what they seem. And it's the perfect place to get rid of someone. When she uncovers an unsettling connection to Roxanna's job back in Glasgow, Morrow suspects that her missing person is more than a white-collar criminal on the lam--she may also be a victim caught up in a sophisticated conspiracy that stretches far beyond Helensburgh and is more personal than Morrow ever imagined. As the truth rises to the surface and the conflicts that lie beneath Helensburgh's calm waters threaten to explode, Morrow must find Roxanna before any hope of solving the case disappears with her. A gripping tale of greed, power, and vengeance, Blood, Salt, Water is a masterful crime novel from Denise Mina that confirms her reputation as "e;one of the genre's brights stars"e; (George Pelecanos).
It's been seven years since Else visited her tiny hometown on an isolated island off the coast of Scotland. She fled the island after years of bullying at the hands of the few other residents, but now that her mother has passed away, Else has no choice but to return. And when her old tormentor, Karen Little, hands her a book that holds a particular power over her, the cruelties of the past have Else seeing red.