Jen's Reviews > Exile

Exile by Denise Mina
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's review
Jan 03, 12

bookshelves: mystery-crime-detective, psychological, thrillers
Read from December 12 to 28, 2011

I love Denise Mina. She writes mysteries wrapped in squalor and drama and tied up with a little crazy bow. They're usually set in Scotland, which furthers my delight (I'm SUCH an Anglophile...). And if you like that sort of thing, Exile is even more bleak and psychological than the first book in this particular series.

Maureen, our heroine, is recovering from the death of her psychologist/lover, the return of her child-rapist father to Glasgow, her family's unwillingness to accept her hatred and fear of her father, and also her last encounter with a psychopath now safe(ish)ly locked away in jail. She's at a very low point, crying all the time with no prompting and contemplating suicide, so when her friend Leslie asks for her help in investigating the disappearance of a woman from the battered women's shelter Leslie manages, Maureen is actually kind of grateful for the distraction. Her investigation leads her all over Glasgow and London as she puts herself in ever-more-dangerous situations - purportedly to try and find the truth, but clearly also engaging in self-destructive behavior. In the end, she's rewarded with a little bit of peace and a renewed friendship with Leslie. There's one more book in this series, and while I may need some time to recover from the utter bleakness and depression in this book, I won't be able to stay away in the end. Because Mina just writes so well and so true...and because I'm a sucker for a damaged soul.
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