Jacqueline's Reviews > Exile

Exile by Denise Mina
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's review
Jan 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read from February 11 to 13, 2012

The second book in the Garnethill trilogy. This story finds Maureen O'Donnell still reeling from the news that her abusive father is living in Glasgow again, and she is on the outs with her family, excluding ex-dealer brother Liam. A woman named Ann is killed, seems that Ann was married to Jimmy, a cousin of Maureen's friend Leslie. Ann was supposedly beaten by Jimmy, and had been staying in the woman's shelter run by Leslie when she disappears, only to later be found dead in London. Maureen is desperate to take her mind off of her own troubles and becomes involved in assisting Leslie find out what happened to Ann. In the process, Maureen becomes sympathetic to Jimmy and the four young children Ann left benind, and finds herself tracing Ann's last days to discover what happened. The journey takes her to some of the seedier parts of London, with some very questionable people. Maureen sometimes lacks good sense and trudges head long into situations most people would avoid, but she is a realistic portrait of an adult battling an abusive past, and while she drinks too much (self-medicating sometimes being an offshoot of past abuse) and smoking so much it makes the reader's own throat hurt (I think if I took a drink every time she "lit a fag" I would have been drunk long before the book ended) you find yourself rooting for her and hoping she stays alive long enough to solve the mystery. It was a great book with enough twists to keep you interested, and Mina is great at atmosphere and bringing her characters to life.

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