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The End of the Wasp Season

(Alex Morrow #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  5,531 ratings  ·  599 reviews
When a notorious millionaire banker hangs himself, his death attracts no sympathy. But the legacy of a lifetime of selfishness is widespread, and the carnage most acute among those he ought to be protecting: his family.

Meanwhile, in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow, a young woman is found savagely murdered. The community is stunned by what appears to be a vicious, random attac
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 26th 2011 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Susan Kuchinskas Not at all. She briefly provides the bits of background necessary in a very deft way. I started with the second book and highly enjoyed it!
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Lisa Powell
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Community Reviews

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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,531 ratings  ·  599 reviews

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Nigel Bird
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A young woman is awoken in the home of her recently departed mother by a couple of teenage boys who seem to have a bone to pick with her. Though it soon becomes clear that they are picking the wrong bone, the woman finds herself in grave danger and makes her bid for freedom. Sadly for her, she doesn’t make it and the boys lose control as they stamp out all of her facial features.

DS Alex Morrow is sent along to investigate. What the reader picks up from the early encounters with Morrow is that sh
Jul 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel I gave this book a fair chance. First time I tried to read it had to put it down and read another book where I could follow the plot. Came back to it, had to put it down, read reviews by other readers, then tried again. Now if I construct enough two-word sentences you might get a sense of the rhythm of the book. Is it the planned intent of author to present helter/skelter thinking and actions or lack thereof without framework of reason? I had nothing to hold on to here.
Maybe the character
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it

We never doubted that she would catch him. She being DS Alex Morrow of the Glasgow polis and him being Thomas, one of two culprits known to us from the beginning of the novel. In fact, we meet Thomas first, see him and his friend Squeak as they kill and follow Thomas and his thoughts in the days after.

Two stories: that of the Scottish woman detective and that of the young son of a wealthy and powerful man, Thomas who is also the killer. The book begins with the funeral of DS Morr
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Denise Mina gives a blow-by-blow analysis of who the victims of the UK's financial crisis are, from the perspective of a pregnant detective in Glasgow who grew up in difficult circumstances. The difference between Mina's excellent book and say OR THE BULL KILLS YOU is that Mina includes relevant psychological details rather than writing a relatively superficial film treatment. Here DI Morrow has a hard time getting her staff to take seriously the grisly murder of a call girl; as she doggedly pur ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: criminal-mystery
This book is what I would call an intelligent police procedural. It is not a "who done it," rather, a "why done it," as the criminals' identities are known to the reader from the start. They are portrayed as three dimensional characters, not slavering, psychopathic rabid dogs, but people with past, present, and future lives. And while the author does not seek sympathy for them from the reader, her humanizing them makes it difficult not to empathize with them, though never as a reason to excuse t ...more
With great quotes on the cover from Ian Rankin and The Guardian promising an exciting read, I was looking forward to reading The End of the Wasp Season. However, I came away disappointed.

The book starts off with the thrill of moments leading up to the kill. The first chapter is tense and gripping, but I thought the story lost it’s grip from there. I couldn’t make up my mind… There were times when I thought the story was going slow and I didn’t find it engaging, but then at other times I found my
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was grumpy about the first book in this series (see my review) and probably only picked this one up at the library because Jenny Davidson mentioned it in her blog. How delightful, then, to read this dark but never dour, complex work. The book uses the financial crisis to good effect. (I suspect we will get a lot of good crime fiction out of that mess, at least.) It's got a much better plot than the previous text. But what really makes it so terrific is the presentation, via the protagonist, no ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every other book which I have previously read and rated 5* ought to be forthwith down-graded to a 3* in order to put this amazing novel into a class of its own!
This novel is extremely impressive and powerful on many levels.... Graphically (wasps), symbolically, as a psychological study, as a comment on social behaviour, on relationships both professinal and familial. Interest is compounded by the contrasts and comparisons highlighted in the characters from different geographical regions where ev
The reader is present at the extremely suspenseful opening scene of this book which culminates in a brutal murder. We know who “did it” and watch while Scottish Detective Alex Morrow, female and pregnant with twins, patiently reconstructs the crime. The disturbing “why” of the crime is at the crux of this novel and Mina reveals this by developing strong, complex characters and exposing the psychological motivations behind their actions. (Fathers do not come off particularly well in this book).

Nov 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
Sarah Erroll is brutally murderd by gawky teenage boys after recognizing one of them. Her life comes under a microscope: her questionable lifestyle, and care for her deceased mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. DS Alex Morrow os celed to sort things out, and there are many suspects, including a school friend of hers, who was the mother's primary caretaker. One of the boys, Thomas Anderson, is told that his father Lars has hung himself, to avoid responsibiilty for his sleazy business d ...more
Selva Subramanian
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whenever I feel a reading slump, I pick a murder mystery. This book was among the best crime books recommended in a blog and it was also a Gold dagger award nominee. And I got a cheap copy on Amazon. That would explain why I would suddenly pick a Scottish author out of nowhere - just in case you are interested :)

The murder happens in chapter 1 and the murderers are known to the reader in chapter 2. And the story tracks in alternate chapters what is happening with the killer and how the police is
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery

I'm an admirer of Denise Mina's writing, and I wish I could have given this larger praise, but I felt the ending was a bit anticlimactic and not quite as shocking as I think she meant it to be.

In this novel, Glasgow detective Alex Morrow is pregnant and faced with the brutal slaying of a young woman in her recently deceased mother's house. Her face has been obliterated by someone stomping on her, and bloody tennis shoe footprints abound. In the home's kitchen, police discovered several hundred t
In Glasgow, a young woman, still grieving the death of her mother only a few short months previously, is brutally murdered, seemingly at random. DS Alex Morrow who is five months pregnant with twins, is called in to investigate the murder, and even the hardened cops have trouble coping with the horror of Sarah’s last few minutes.

With the investigation bringing up more questions than answers, Alex is discovering a tangled web of lies that are becoming harder to untangle! Her own past is threateni
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Denise Mina's second novel with the central character, Alex Morrow. If you enjoy police procedural novels then this book is for you. I enjoyed the storyline and I felt more of a connection to Alex Morrow. The book could've been shortened just a bit. Other than that it was a really great read.
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second in the Alex Morrow series, THE END OF THE WASP SEASON is a book that it would be possible to read before the earlier. The opening chapters of the book introduces the reader to the three women at the centre of this story - DS Alex Morrow, Kay Murray who worked for Sarah Erroll and Sarah herself, 24 years old, murdered in a house that she rarely used.

Somehow, however, the focus of the book seems to be Lars Anderson, millionaire banker, disgraced financier, suicide hanging himself from a
Mary Gramlich
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
09/11 - Little, Brown & Company - Hardcover, 400 pages

By burying your past, do we resolve present issues and our future relationships?

Detective Inspector Alex Morrow has a suicide, murder, and pregnant with twins to contend with, which is all in a day’s work for this woman. She is a sharp and articulate member of the police force that never lets any detail, regardless of how small get past her even when they involve old haunts and ghosts from her own
Eva Hudson
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you're looking for cliffhangers and jaw-dropping twists of plot, this may not be the book for you. If, however, you enjoy discovering the whydunnit rather than the who, and appreciate being guided on that journey by a skilled and talented writer, then you won't be disappointed by Denise Mina's The End of the Wasp Season.

The novel opens with the brutal murder of a young woman in an old-money suburb of Glasgow. So brutal that DI Alex Morrow's usually hardened team of cops can't even bear to loo
Daphne Atkeson
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
WOW...that's all I can say. A reviewer wrote that if you never read crime fiction, Denise Mina will change your mind. They're correct. I've read her first book--GARNET HILL--and now this current one. Still the same powerful writing, deep characterization, taut pace, etc. No signs of her dialing it in which happens, IMHO, to a large number of successful crime/mystery/thriller writers.

Straight through to the ending it was solid, dense, compelling, with an unexpected twist. She made me care about a
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What could be bad: a police procedural about rich kids gone bad, a secret prostitute and an evil rich man. Brilliant.
Jo Hurst
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This months book club offering was probably more like 3.5 stars. Having been reading Agatha Christie recently I found it hard to go from simply written complicated plots to complicated writing of a simple plot. This is a police procedural story set in Glasgow with a little flutter down in Kent. It’s a simple murder with no mystery as right from the beginning we pretty much know who has done what and pretty much why really. The story sounds more interesting than it is and the attempt at office po ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jet-lagged, Sarah Erroll lays down for an afternoon nap. She is woken by an unfamiliar sound and groggily climbs out of bed to face two teenage boys entering her bedroom. It's a mistake, Sarah knows that. They have the wrong house. But it's too late.

Detective Inspector Alex Morrow is in charge of the gruesome murder investigation. Pregnant with twins, dealing with a rebellion in the squad room, and dodging the psychologist working on her nephew's case are all distractions, but Morrow has laser v
Daniel Sevitt
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: part-of-a-series
The second Alex Morrow is a nasty little policier filled with brutal violence, police bullying, parental bullying, sex work and mental illness. Morrow manages the case while pregnant with twins and wrestling with her own family’s history of violence and uncertainty. It’s good stuff and Morrow is the real thing.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
A very dark read with not much to redeem it.I'm a fan of Mina but this one was very hard to finish.IMO the Garnett Hill trilogy remains her best work.
Jack Heath
Synopsis: in a suburb of Glasgow, a woman is found murdered. Random? DI Alex Morrow, pregnant with twins, soon discovers a tangled web of lies.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional mystery, great characters, not a single wrong note.
When Denise Mina’s Gods and Beasts won the 2013 Theakstons Old Peculier crime novel, I have to admit, I had never heard of her. I had fallen in love, that year, with Peter May’s Lewis Man, and was somewhat peeved he didn’t win. And though I’d watched BBC Scotland’s excellent dramatisation of Field of Blood, I hadn’t made the connection with Mina.

So once I discovered that her previous novel, The End of the Wasp Season, had also won the award in 2012, I thought it was high time I found out what th
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In an upscale suburb of Glasgow, a young woman named Sarah Erroll has returned from a trip. She is asleep when she hears a noise. And then two young men enter her room, and from that moment on, everything about her life spins out of control.

In another part of the city, a woman named Kay is admiring a lovely bowl and thinking of its history. She is a house cleaner, so the loveliness of it is not a regular part of her life. A single mother of four kids, she struggles to make ends meet.

Pregnant wit
Dec 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: shelf-awareness
Tartan noir fans rejoice! Denise Mina (Still Midnight) returns to gritty Glasgow with the second installment in her Alex Morrow series.

A young woman wakes up in the middle of the night to find two strange teen boys in her bedroom; she tries to escape but, in a case of mistaken identity, the boys brutally murder her. Det. Sgt. Alex Morrow arrives to investigate, but the crime baffles her, as does the large amount of cash found under the victim's dining room table. Meanwhile, the lead perpetrator
Aug 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
This story is well written but...First, I personally do not like it when I feel an author writes a story around a point of view that they are trying to make. Like the whole point of the story is a vehicle for them to "preach" there point of view. I thought that this book was as twisted as its characters. It almost seems to me that the author is attempting to make abusers seems like victims, all except for Thomas and Ella's dad. The cops hate a victim and wont care about justice for the victim be ...more
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, mina
In the Garnethill series, Denise Mina was able to conduct a tight suspense story and sew a raw, down-to-earth sensibility into the seams and cracks. This is a newer series and, though it got off to a slightly bumpy start in the previous book it wasn't fatal, and really only because it needed to set the stage for the characters, the procedure, the tone.

In this installment, the author has got her groove back. Here we have a rotating-point-of-view story that has its criminal element and its persona
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Favorite Mystery/Thrillers of 2011? 1 27 Jan 04, 2012 09:55AM  

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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

Other books in the series

Alex Morrow (5 books)
  • Still Midnight (Alex Morrow #1)
  • Gods and Beasts (Alex Morrow, #3)
  • The Red Road (Alex Morrow #4)
  • Blood Salt Water (Alex Morrow, #5)
“Kay got off the bus at the Squinty Bridge and walked across the river to Broomielaw. A brisk wind streamed across the river from the broad plane of Govan, rising up the boom of the flats. Even in the deep doorway, it lifted the tail of her coat and blew her hair up over her ears. Cars passed quickly, anticipating the motorway five hundred yards away. Kay told herself that this was a mistake but she pressed the buzzer anyway.” 0 likes
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