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3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,706 ratings  ·  212 reviews
A powerful new stand-alone novel from Scotland’s princess of crime -- author of the acclaimed Garnethill trilogy.

Lachlan Harriot is in a state of shock. His wife Susie has been convicted of the murder of serial killer Andrew Gow, a prisoner in her care. Unless Harriot can come up with grounds for an appeal, Susie will be given a life sentence, depriving her of her home, he
Paperback, 362 pages
Published August 4th 2003 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2002)
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I will say up-front that this was not my favorite Denise Mina book. I prefer her more straightforward mystery stories. This book is written in an interesting manner, though - it's the diary of a husband whose wife is currently in prison for murder. She is a psychiatrist, and she was accused and convicted of killing a serial killer she was treating while he was in prison. She swears she didn't do it, and her husband believes her. His diary reveals all of this thoughts - anger, confusion, changing ...more
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2.5 (it was ok). The book jacket made it sound much more exciting. That's all. Moving on :)
Craig Sisterson
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, scottish
Twenty years ago, a young Scottish author burst onto the crime writing scene with GARNETHILL, a tale where incest survivor and former psychiatric patient Maureen O'Donnell finds herself the prime suspect for the murder of her boyfriend, a therapist. From those earliest authorial days - award-winning ones at that - Mina developed a reputation for insightfully blending the psychological and sociological into character-centric crime tales.

GARNETHILL grew into a trilogy starring O'Donnell, and Mina
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, united-kingdom
In another classic example of reader blindsightedness (okay so that's probably not a word), I'd filed SANCTUM somewhere at the back of the bookcase and promptly forgot it was there. Such a relief to unearth it during a recent tidy up and to move it straight to the top of the reading pile. Interestingly, as I sat down to write up this mini-review I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck rising slightly as I think about Lachlan in particular again.

Originally published in 2002, if you've not rea
Bookmarks Magazine

Deception marks a departure from Mina's earlier work, award-winning crime novels set in the dark underbelly of Glasgow. Most critics agree that her use of the "unreliable narrator" is masterful. She slowly reveals that all is not as it seems; even self-deception abounds. As Mina peels away the onion, the househusband with tenacious loyalty to his convicted wife has his own questionable agenda. Deception keeps you guessing, yet manages to be much more than a mere whodunit, thanks to Mina's strong

Babs Olujare
Mar 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
excuse typos as it was typed on phone: This book bored the heck out of me and i stopped 80% of the way through. I literally could not waste any more minutes of my life and it was pure torture. I swear, all Lachie did the whole book was complain, sit, and eat.

His character was unlikeable and a waste of a human specimen. I have never read anything from this author before but I think that this may be my last as well.
Cleo Bannister
Susie Harriot, a forensic psychologist has just been found guilty of murdering a serial killer in her care, Andrew Gow. Susie’s husband Lachlan (Lachie) believes her when she says she is innocent. What we read is Lachie’s recently discovered diary or notes on the case. Lachie having been convinced that she would be found innocent now becomes obsessive, trying to understand his wife’s relationship with Andrew Gow and he is in his element when he finds the notes she wrote about Andrew Gow when she ...more
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Kirsty Darbyshire

After the superb Garnethill trilogy I couldn't wait to see what Denise Mina would come up with next and I had my fingers, toes and every other extremity I could find crossed that I wouldn't be disappointed by Sanctum.

On some levels this book explores the same areas as the previous books, we're still in Glasgow and we're still dealing with the mental health system one way or another. But this is a very different style of book than before.

This book is written as the diary of Lachlan Harriot, an u

Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a loyal husband and father searches through his wife's personal computer files and papers, he is trying to find evidence of her innocence in the case against her. A case that has resulted in her conviction for the murder of her alleged serial-killer patient and his wife.

So what is the story of Dr. Susie Harriot, and will Lachlan Harriot find what he needs for her appeal?

Sorting through the morass of these files, however, will lead Lachlan to unexpected secrets, twisted truths, and will fina
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Mina takes us on a ride with the seemingly good-intentioned and apparently at some point wronged husband, Lachlan. Although I had occasional inklings of What Really Happened, I wasn't sure till the last chapter, and that's how a great mystery should be written! Loved the ups and downs and meanderings of Lachlan's mind, and wondering if so and so was involved, or not, or someone else, or not, or, or, or... great read and although the crimes have a gruesome commonality, we don't have to revisi ...more
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I liked this book but didn't love it. I liked that it was different than other mysteries I've read and not the usual police procedural or detective (amateur or professional) novel. I liked that the story involved a forensic psychologist. I liked that the ending was ultimately satisfying. I just didn't like that it took so long to get there and I didn't like the narrator at all, which made it a little difficult to read. I have another of Mina's books to read and I'll try another for sure.
Usually I try to steer clear of any books with the words serial killer in the description but I am very glad I made an exception for this audio. Great psychological suspense with memorable characters this was extremely well written and the narration by Richard Matthews, with some help from Donada Peters, was top notch.
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very slow, very dull.
உளவியலை மையப பாரவையாகக கொணட குறறபபுனைவுகளில (psychological crime fiction) பொதுவாக இரணடு முககியப பாணிகள இருககும. மிகவும இருணமையான மனம கொணடு, மிகவும புததிசாலிததனமாகக குரூரச செயலகள புரியும ஒரு ஆசாமி (arch villian), அவனைப பின தொடரும நுடப புததியும, விடாப பிடிவாதமும, நீதி தேடுவதில ஏனோ அககறை கொணடவருமான காவல துறை அதிகாரி, இவரகளுககிடையே நடககும ஆடு புலி ஆடடம எனபது ஒரு பாணி. தொடர கொலைகள நடககும நாவலகளில இநதப பாணியை அதிகம பாரககலாம (Val McDermid இன டோனி ஹில நாவலகள). இனனொரு பாணியில காவல துறையின பஙகு முககியமாக ...more
Lukasz Pruski
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"She lets out a sigh so small, so intimate, it makes me want to cry. It's as if she's brushing her lips past my ear, a small breath easing from my throat, past the palate, brushing between her lips, and out. She takes in a tiny rasping breath to compensate before she carries on, and when she does, her voice has changed. "

What a phenomenal writer Denise Mina is! It's been quite some time since I last reviewed her novel Blood Salt Water . And I still am due the re-read and re-review of her master
Elizabeth Diedrich
I'm so disappointed because this book had so much potential. For about 250 pages I couldn't wait to be done reading. I was tired of Lachlan feeling so sorry for himself all the time; he never took control of his own life and allowed Susie to walk all over him, even when she was imprisoned for murder and was disloyal. It was infuriating to read and led to a disconnect with the characters. It wasn't until the book was wrapping up that it actually got good. If the last 50 pages were drawn out to ma ...more
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
Close to brilliant. In the prologue, Mina introduces the following chapters as "complete and unabridged transcripts of diaries" that were found on an old computer's hard drive. The diarist is a 29-year-old Lachlan Harriot, a trained doctor who has chosen the role of the stay-at-home dad while his ambitious wife Susie devotes herself to her career as psychiatrist. Yet they have a cleaning lady, a succession of au pairs - some with their own agenda - and little Margie is marched off to a nursery e ...more
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deception by Denise Mina is described as “a masterly psychological web of people on the edge and the devils that lie beneath their apparent respectability.” (Guardian)

I picked up the book in a remainder bin based on the blurb which tells the story of Lachlan Harriot whose pyschiatrist wife, Susie, has just been convicted of the murders of Andrew Gow, recently released serial killer, and his new bride, Donna. Lachlan spends time in his wife’s private office going through her files and trying to p
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Enjoy Crime Stories
This book was recommended to me very strongly. I guess I'm not unhappy that I read it or anything, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the person who recommended it to me did.

I liked that the book was told in journal entries. It gave a really deep persepective, but I felt that it didn't serve the story very well as a whole. The story was a mystery and, in the end, the mystery was quite frankly unsolved and that made me really mad. What is the point of a mystery if you never know the answer?

Aug 07, 2011 added it
I love Denise Mina. She is a great mystery writer and knows how to create characters that ring true. I love that all her books are set in Scotland. This is quite a different book for her, the main character is Lachlan, the husband of Dr. Susie Harriot. Susie is in prison for the murder of 2 people - one being a serial killer. And Lachlan is trying find a way to appeal her sentence, raise their toddler daughter, keep the live-in nanny and cope with various uninvited relatives who keep dropping in ...more
Not my cup of tea. Actually one of the worst books that I have read. I struggled to get through this book. I was so looking forward to it but was disappointed.

It was S L O W! Plus is was just weird & creepy, and not in a good way. I like some creepy novels, but this was not that kind of creepy. The only thing I can say good about it is that there were some surprises at the end of the book. But even the unexpected was overshadowed by the long, drawn out story.
Nov 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
I was really disappointed by Deception. The last Mina book I read was The End of the Wasp Season, and it was really good, right up to the end. The end was just okay. This one followed the same pattern, except the end wasn't just unsatisfying, it was down right ridiculous. It was confusing and rushed and depended on a deus ex machina from outta nowhere. Not recommended.
Thomas Strömquist
A little stand-alone gem in-between the first sensational Garnethill trilogy and the later Paddy Meehan- and Alex Morrow-series. When the main protagonists sets out determined to prove his wife, a criminal psychiatrist, innocent of killing a sentenced serial killer, he soon finds very disturbing things about her. Told in journal form, a different but still not to be missed Denise Mina book.
I didn't really like this book but I thought it was excellent. It was well amazingly well-written. The characters, although consistently unpleasant and unappealing, were marvelously created. I really wanted to stop reading but was totally engrossed in how it played out!
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Good, but not as good as her other books. The main character was not at all sympathetic. I found most of the characters to be annoying. I kept thinking the author had a specific reason to write such annoying characters but I never saw a payoff for that choice.
Dec 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery readers
OK, I accidentally read this one twice, but I liked it so much I didn't care. I remembered about 1/3 of the way through. Great twist at the end.
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her use of the unreliable narrator is extremely well-done, but the book lacks sufficient build-up to a climactic ending. I thought it ended with a fizzle.
Dec 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eh. Not my favorite.
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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
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