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The second entry of an excellent series

  • Feb 11, 2010
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Rating:
+4
Exile is the second installment of Denise Mina’s Garnethill trilogy, which begins with Garnethill and ends with Resolution (which I have not yet read).  If you do not read Garnethill prior to this book, you will be a bit lost, both in terms of characters, and in terms of the main character’s (Maureen O’Donnell) background. And this is critical. These are excellent books, and I most highly recommend them.

As the action begins, Maureen, who works at a battered women’s shelter, is drawn into the disappearance of Ann Harris, a resident of the place, who told everyone that her husband Jimmy constantly beat and abused her. Quickly she learns that the London police have discovered a disfigured body wearing a piece of Ann's jewelry, and that they are out to find her killer. Maureen meets up with Jimmy and realizes that he’s just a quiet man trying to take care of four small children and wasn’t involved in Ann’s disappearance.  However, if she doesn’t figure out what happened to Ann, more than likely it will be Jimmy that’s off to prison.  Her desire to help Jimmy sets her on a very dangerous path where she will meet up with some very rough characters who aren’t so happy that a foreigner has come asking questions.

But aside from the crime element, Maureen as a person is worth the reading time alone. She’s got a lot on her shoulders and struggles inwardly with her past as well as her extremely dysfunctional family. Now she’s got new worries that pick up where the first book (Garnethill) left off.  I really enjoy her character and I’m really sad there are only three books about her. I also enjoy Denise Mina’s writing…it is excellent, and not just in the sense that she’s a good writer of crime fiction. She can write, and after I finish this trilogy I will be reading anything I can of hers.

Highly recommended, but as noted above, please do start with the first in the series.  On to the third book, and very soon.  If you like UK crime fiction and strong women characters, you will really like this book. This is no ordinary “mystery” series by any stretch of the imagination.
The second entry of an excellent series

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More Exile (Denise Mina book) reviews
review by . May 28, 2010
 You actually don't need the first one to read this -- you should read it, of course, but if you accidentally pick this book up on a plane and start reading (like I did) you'll soon be in the grips of it, and soon figure out what it going on. Mina is just really, really good. Not too much pretense going on here, just good writing.
review by . January 11, 2009
Exile
With prose as brisk as the biting winds of Glasgow in January ("The morning dragged on like a stranger's funeral."), Mina plunges into the second of her Maureen O'Donnell trilogy (Garnethill, Resolution). Barely recovered from a married boyfriend's brutal slaying in her apartment by therapist Angus Farrell, years of hazy memories of abuse by her father finally validated, Maureen wants nothing more than to have a normal life. But her alcoholic mother, Winnie, refuses to acknowledge her daughter's …
About the reviewer
Nancy Oakes ()
Ranked #413
Hi! I'm a very avid reader and book collector and I love to cook. Aside from my family, reading and cooking are my two passions in life. I'm here on Lunch.com because I am looking for people with similar … more
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Books, Fiction, Mystery, Denise Mina, Uk Crime Fiction

Details

ISBN-10: 0316016802 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780316016803 (pbk.)
Author: Denise Mina
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Date Published: October 10, 2007
Format: Includes a reading group guide. Includes an excerpt from Denise Mina's Resolution, the concluding novel in her Garnethill trilogy.
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