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Garnethill (Garnethill #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  5,383 Ratings  ·  470 Reviews
Garnethill, by Mina, Denise
Paperback, 402 pages
Published September 20th 2007 by Back Bay Books (first published May 1st 1998)
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Wow. Just wow. This is enough to make you use some silly acronym like WTF when you’re rather more someone who would just like to use the explicit phrase. It was all going so well, I was thinking Wow just wow in an awesome way & then I got to the literal last page of this book & my head kind of exploded.

If you're not into spoilers for this book, I am going to tell you what the last page says, so you know, consider yourself warned if you continue reading my fist-shaking fury.

“’Far be it fr
Karin Slaughter
Nov 14, 2013 Karin Slaughter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that made me fall in love with Denise Mina. She's a terrific social commentator and does all the things good crime fiction should always do: talk about characters and how their lives are changed for the better or worse by acts of violence.
Rob Kitchin
I had mixed feelings about Garnethill. Mina is clearly a skilled writer and the story is well plotted, with some nice twists and tension points, and is particularly strong on characterization. It also has a nice sense of place and contextualisation with respect to incest, abuse, family feuds, friendship and mental health issues. The full complexity of Maureen as a character shines through. My problem was with Maureen, however. If there is a difficult path, she seems to take it. The story is set ...more
Tim The Enchanter
A Solid First Effort - 3 Stars

Having read some of Denise Mina's later works, I know her a good writer with vibrant characters. Knowing this was her first novel, I lowered my expectation. While I thought it was a good novel, it was by no means great. The story had sturdy bones but it was not always well fleshed out.

Plot Summary

After a drunken night with a friend, Maureen O'Donnell stumbles home and passes out on her bed. In the morning, she awakes to find her boyfriend, dead and tied up in
May 04, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came upon the Garnethill series by Denise Mina as a suggestion from my carpool buddy. I had just finished reading Tana French's trilogy starting with In the Woods (fantastic!). I'm not typically a mystery/crime drama fan, but the Garnethill Series books are FANTASTIC! So good, and enjoyed my reading experience so much, I am working my way through ALL of Denise Mina's books (currently reading The Dead Hour).

What the heck is going on in Glasgow?! I want to go there, visit so badly, but I'm afrai
Leonardo Etcheto
An interesting book, but I found I had very little empathy for the main character Maureen. Mostly because I was constantly saying " For pete's sake don't do that!". My main problem is that she basically lies to the police all the time while she does her own investigation. Her rationale is to keep traumatized rape victims from being further traumatized by police questioning, but the end result is dead people that should have lived, and a crappy "revenge". A real mess.
The general milieu is prett
Marianne Williams
Garnet Hill is the first book in a trilogy, it won the John Creasey Award for Best First Crime Novel. The story is set in Glasgow and Millport, Scotland. A woman named Maureen O'Donnell finds a body in her living room, it is Douglas Brady, her married boyfriend. Maureen is a child abuse survivor and had spent time in a psychiatric hospital. The police suspect her and her drug dealing brother; Liam. Maureen launches her own investigation to clear her name and begins to question who her real frien ...more
Nancy Oakes
Garnethill is a good example of a first novel in series that works and works well.

The main character in this story is a young woman, Maureen O'Donnell. Set in Glasgow, Scotland, the back story finds Maureen in a mental hospital for a nervous breakdown (for reasons explained but which I will not go into here), and as this story opens, she's home again, with a job and in an affair with a married therapist named Douglas. Maureen didn't know he was married until just recently, and has decided to br
James Thane
Nov 18, 2011 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maureen O'Donnell, the daughter of a severely dysfunctional family, has recently left the psychiatric hospital where she has been treated as a victim of sexual abuse. She lives in Garnethill, a suburb of Glasgow, and begins an affair with one of the therapists at the hospital, Douglas Brady.

One night after working at her dead-end job, Maureen goes out with a girlfriend and gets seriously drunk. She stumbles home and falls into bed, failing to notice that her boyfriend, Douglas, has been brutall
Dorothyanne Brown
I could not put this book down.
Denise Mina's first book is wonderfully dark, has all the grittiness of a Glasgow alleyway, ties in a dysfunctional and abusive family dynamic that plays into the story effectively and adds tension. Maureen is a tremendously likeable character, flawed and damaged but good at heart, and we are cheering for her throughout the book, hoping against hope things work out and she figures out the crime before she gets locked away.
My heart broke a bit at the end, as th
Apr 12, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book proved to me that my newly found love for Denise Mina's books is not just because I fell in love with the Paddy meehan" character in the first book of mina's I discovered.
Again, Mina created true, strong characters we care about. The number of main and supporting characters she's able to not only create and involve in the story but is also able to capture our emotion for is impressive. Another strong female lead in this series. Looking forward to the next 2 books.
Apr 30, 2010 Bondama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Denise Mina is a true treasure of a discovery. Her books are primarily set in or around Glasgow, and remind me very much of Ian Rankin's Rebus series. Her protagonists are all female, most of them of the Irish minority in Glasgow, poor, and heavy drinkers. They do seem to have a gift for finding themselves in incredibly awkward situations. But Mina has an wonderful gift for characterization. Every person in these books lives and breathes authenticity. I do love these books!!
Hardcover Hearts
Aug 11, 2008 Hardcover Hearts rated it really liked it
I found this book and the main character really engaging. I was turned onto it from an NPR interview with the author, where she talks about using Glasgow as an inspiration for her work.

This is a straight forward murder mystery with a unique protagonist- an ex-mental patient. She has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her father, and some members of her family, specifically her mother and a sister, refuse to believe her and that sets off a breakdown. It also throws all of her future dealings
Aug 11, 2008 Gillian marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I was listening to NPR (for Brits - this is the radio equilavlent of the BBC) on my way into work when they interviwed the author. Her special interest is life/ crime/ mental health in Glasgow. Considering my Anthropology disseration was based on the scape-goating of minorities who are labelled with mental disorders this subject really appeals to me. The author was very likeable and it was so enjoyable to hear a voice from home. All I've got to do is find the book/ order it at the libary - yup I ...more
Carol Hunter
Apr 11, 2010 Carol Hunter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read so many mysteries that it takes a lot for me to rate one higher than 3 stars, however, this Scottish mystery "is a cut above the rest."
Maureen, the protagonist, is very messed up from sexual abuse, very poor therapy and an extremely disfunctional family. Even though I got frustrated with her many mistakes, she does rise above everything in her path. I'm really enjoying atypical crime solvers lately. (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.)
Jan 19, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic mystery with a very satisfying ending! Poor girl who's the heroine, though, has a terrible time of it - she gets drunk with her best friend one night, planning to break up with her married boyfriend, and wakes up the next morning hungover in her bed to find her married boyfriend she was planning to dump murdered in her living room. And she's the number one suspect. She overcomes some personal psychological problems and family drama to solve the mystery. There's at least two more book ...more
Apr 14, 2009 Tricia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first 250 pages of this book could've been edited down by at least 100 pages. There were events included that offered little in the way of character or plot development. Once the denouement began, things picked up and motivations were clearly understood, but then the actions taken by the main character toward the end seem silly. I'm glad this book is over.
Mar 12, 2008 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
I read this one back in '98 when it first came out and it was my favorite mystery of the year. Gritty and realistic and set in Glasgow, Scotland. I just re-read this for a book group and found new things to appreciate. Very solid mystery with all the clues laid out and an appealing, if very flawed, protagonist in Maureen.
Mike Gabor
Jun 10, 2013 Mike Gabor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in a trilogy, the others being Exile, and Resolution. Maureen is a very interesting character. She suffers from mental problems caused by being abused by her father. Her two sisters Maria and Una, and her alcoholic mother Winnie do not believe that she was abused. Her only family member that supports her is her brother Liam, who is a drug dealer. Her interactions with her family in this book can be quite sad and also funny at times.

At the beginning of the book Maureen has
3.5 rounded down to 3.

I told a friend earlier that I was having a hard time articulating a review for this book because I liked it, but didn't really like it. I just sort of feel "meh" overall about it, I guess.

There were aspects I liked quite a lot: I always enjoy a mystery, and this is a good one; I quite like that the protagonist isn't entirely likable--she reads much more "real" that way; the book has an excellent sense of place--I've never been to Glasgow, but while reading this book, I alm
Aug 13, 2008 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Maureen O'Donnell is just about to end her affair with Douglas Brady, her therapist boyfriend, he is found murdered and tied up in her flat. She is the prime suspect, despite her alibi during the time period estimated.

An incest survivor, Maureen has been a patient at a psychiatric hospital. Her experiences have made her less than credible, but then others seemingly have set out to frame her as well.

With no other option, Maureen and her pal Leslie set out to uncover the identity of the kille
Oct 05, 2009 Mommalibrarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are like me you may be a little disturbed by the Scottish slang and the coarse nature of the protagonist. Some examples of the slang:
flicking the vickies at her
like a five bob rocket
couldn't be arsed responding
d'ye fancy
I'll just dog it
havering around
sad old wanker
such a great crack . . . when Lynn told a story
let's get really pissed
have a cigarette I could blag
because he was mental and a good laugh
free-range bollocks

Read on the story does become absorbing and the characters grow on you.
martha Boyle
Nov 13, 2009 martha Boyle rated it really liked it
Wow. A really unique voice among mystery authors. I am so glad I found Mina--her mystery is fine, but it's the characters that keep you going. The main character is damaged,realistic...the setting is Scotland, but gritty Scotland. Why are the Scottish such dark writers? Why is Scotland the most fascinating and beautiful country I've visited?
I really liked this book and plan to read the next two in the trilogy.
Rebecca McNutt
Garnethill reminded me very much of the 2003 film Gothika, and though I liked it I found the "evil asylum" trope to be rather outdated by this point. That setting works in some cases where books/films take place in previous time periods, but in this day and age the looming stone towers and electroshock therapy seems out of place for a story taking place in the early 2000's.
Mar 02, 2011 Ardene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dcpl, mystery, 2011, ireland
This gritty mystery is set in working class Ireland and is told from the point of view of a young woman who wakes up after a night out drinking with a friend to find her married lover has been tied up and murdered in her living room. Well written and plotted with a bittersweet ending.
Lukasz Pruski
Aug 18, 2012 Lukasz Pruski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read in recent years. Great writing. Great plot. Great depth of observation of mental illness. I will review is some depth when I reread the book.
Jan 24, 2012 debra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dark but really like much of what she writes.
Gaynor Torrance
Mar 20, 2017 Gaynor Torrance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I've wanted to read for quite a while now and it didn't disappoint. It was an easy read, compelling, gritty and bleak.
Apr 01, 2017 marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this. Funny, with great characters. Complex enough to keep you guessing until the end, but not too clever for its own good. 1 of 3, will be definitely reading more..
Garnethill is a book that was chosen as a group read for my Kindle English Mystery Book Club on Goodreads. I have never read anything by this author, Denise Mina before this book. Probably should be 3.5 stars, but since that wasn't a possibility I gave it a 3.

Garnethill is about an incest survivor who wakes up and finds her married boyfriend murdered in her living room. She was institutionalized briefly in the past and the book is as much about her attempt to hold onto her sanity as it is solvin
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Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father's job as an Engineer, the family followed the north sea oil boom of the seventies around Europe
She left school at sixteen and did a number of poorly paid jobs, including working in a meat factory, as a bar maid, kitchen porter and cook.
Eventually she settled in auxiliary nursing for geriatric and terminal care patients.
At twenty one sh
More about Denise Mina...

Other Books in the Series

Garnethill (3 books)
  • Exile (Garnethill, #2)
  • Resolution (Garnethill, #3)

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