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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
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.
A stylishly written, highly suspenseful murder mystery set in Glasgow with a cast of tough characters and a fantastic protagonist, Maureen, who her enemies find out it has been ill-advised to pick on. Winner of the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger 1998. The award-winning debut novel from Scotland's queen of crime. Garnethill series:1. Garnethill2. Exile3. Resolution
'Denise Mina is set to carve a niche for herself as the crown princess of crime' Val McDermid Garnethill series:1. Garnethill2. Exile3. Resolution
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.
A respected forensic psychiatrist is convicted of the gruesome murder of a serial killer ... but is she innocent?
As Paddy pursues the dark and brutal truth, it could make her career - or end her life...
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.
July 2013 Book of the Month. Once again Denise Mina delivers a clever, complex plot driven along by hard-hitting prose and realistic and believable characters, especially DI Alex Morrow. Murder, corruption and blackmail. A fourteen year old girl, a vicious arms dealer and privileged lawyer are linked in a a two-decade-long story of power, abuse and love gone horribly wrong. Compelling reading. 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.
Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'Crime & Thriller of the Year' 2012. A Glasgow post office one week before Christmas. Martin Pavel cowers on the floor, his eyes locked on those of a terrified child. Above them a masked gunman wields an AK47 while the boy's grandfather calmly volunteers to help the robber gather the money. Then the old man stands passively, hands by his sides, while the gunman raises the barrel and shoots him to shreds. Recently returned to work after the birth of her twins, DS Alex Morrow is called in to head the investigation. Why did the grandfather offer his help? Was it a moment of madness, a noble act of self-sacrifice, or did the old man and his killer share a dark past? Morrow's enquiries lead her to the door of Kenny Gallagher, a politician fighting for his political life - and his marriage - after he's publicly accused of having an affair with a young employee. And unknown to Morrow a temptation too great to resist leads two of her colleagues, DCs Leonard and Wilder, to make a rash decision and leaves them at the mercy of a ruthless blackmailer.
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.'
Gritty, atmospheric of time and place with characters that have a real edge to them are the hallmarks of Denise Mina's Garnethill series that began with Garnethill and continues here in Exile. Exile is a dark thrillerwith dark undertones but it is an ultimately uplifting story.The third Resolution is just as good. Garnethill series:1. Garnethill2. Exile3. Resolution
Sticks and stones will break your bones... A powerfully gripping thriller from 'one of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years' Ian Rankin. A 2-part TV adaptation of The Field of Blood is due to be shown on BBC1 at the end of August 2011. Click here to find out more.
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.
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. Lovereading view... One of Lovereading's favourite authors, Ian Rankin, describes Denise Mina as "one of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years". Although she has written several novels she has yet to get that big break, but we are hoping that Still Midnight will bring her the recognition she deserves. It certainly kept us gripped.
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. 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.'
'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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
*Featured in The Times top ten crime novels of the decade* 'This book is so, so good. Forensic, beautiful and gripping' Graham Norton 'A masterpiece by the woman who may be Britain's finest living crime novelist' Daily Telegraph 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? 'Extraordinary' Guardian 'Absorbing... this is a bravura performance, a true original' Ian Rankin 'Revisits a dark episode in Glasgow's past... Mina navigates the uneasy territory between fact and fiction with consummate grace' Val McDermid
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.
A Washington Post Best Book of the YearA standalone psychological thriller from the acclaimed author of the Alex Morrow novels that exposes the dark hearts of the guilty...and the innocent.William Watt's wife, daughter, and sister-in-law are dead, slaughtered in their own home in a brutal crime that scandalized Glasgow. Despite an ironclad alibi, police zero in on Watt as the primary suspect, but he maintains his innocence. Distraught and desperate to clear his name, Watt puts out a bounty for information that will lead him to the real killer. Peter Manuel claims he knows the truth that will set Watt free and has information that only the killer would know. It won't come cheap. Manuel is an infamous career criminal, a degenerate liar who can't be trusted and will say, or do, anything to make a buck. But Manuel has something that Watt wants, which makes him the perfect target for Manuel's consummate con. Watt agrees to sit down with Manuel and before they know it, one drink has turned into an epic, forgotten night of carousing across the city's bars and clubs that exposes the thin line between a good yarn and the truth. The next time the unlikely pair meets is across the witness stand in court--where Manuel is on trial for the murder of Watt's family. Manuel calls Watt to the stand to testify about the long, shady night they shared together. And the shocking testimony that Manuel coaxes out of Watt threatens to expose the dark hearts of the guilty...and the innocent. Based on true events, THE LONG DROP is an explosive, unsettling novel about guilt, innocence and the power of a good story to hide the difference.
Random House presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Long Drop by Denise Mina, read by David Monteath.William Watt wants answers about his family's murder. Peter Manuel has them. But Peter Manuel is a liar.William Watt is an ordinary businessman, a fool, a social climber.Peter Manuel is a famous liar, a rapist, a criminal. He claims he can get hold of the gun used to murder Watt's family.One December night in 1957, Watt meets Manuel in a Glasgow bar to find out what he knows.Based on true events, The Long Drop is an extraordinarily unsettling, evocative and compelling novel from a writer at the height of her powers.
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).