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It’s just a normal morning when Anna's husband announces that he's leaving her for her best friend and taking their two daughters with him.

With her safe, comfortable world shattered, Anna distracts herself with someone else's story: a true-crime podcast. That is until she recognises the name of one of the victims and becomes convinced that only she knows what really happened.

With nothing left to lose, she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, Anna's past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

Conviction is the compelling and unique new thriller from multiple award-winner and author of The Long Drop, Denise Mina.

376 pages, Hardcover

First published May 16, 2019

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About the author

Denise Mina

126 books2,176 followers
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 she passed exams, got into study Law at Glasgow University and went on to research a PhD thesis at Strathclyde University on the ascription of mental illness to female offenders, teaching criminology and criminal law in the mean time.
Misusing her grant she stayed at home and wrote a novel, 'Garnethill' when she was supposed to be studying instead.

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5 stars
7,271 (16%)
4 stars
16,623 (37%)
3 stars
15,160 (33%)
2 stars
4,499 (10%)
1 star
1,171 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,355 reviews
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,607 reviews24.8k followers
May 6, 2019
If there is only one crime thriller book you read this year, make sure it is this one from the award winning Scottish writer, Denise Mina. This is a markedly different read from her previous works, it has a lightness of touch, is darkly humorous, relevant in our contemporary world of #MeToo, and utterly riveting. The well to do Anna McDonald is married to lawyer, Hamish, and has two young daughters, Jess and Lizzie. Anna is a true crime podcast obsessive, her latest one is entitled Death and the Dana, produced by Trina Keany. The Dana is a sunken yacht in the Bay of Biscay in which a murdered family, a father and his daughter and son, 21 year old Violetta and 16 year old Mark died, a tragic event shrouded in mystery and secrets. The Dana has a history of ghosts and tragedies that have sealed its reputation as a cursed vessel. On a morning that is to shatter her life apart, Anna is engaged in the everyday preparations for her family when her best friend, Estelle arrives. Hamish has a packed suitcase, he is leaving her for Estelle, taking Jess and Lizzie with him.

It soon becomes clear Anna has a troubled hidden past that has required her to live under the radar with a new identity. As Anna drowns in her overwhelming misery, she can focus only on the podcast, shocked when she recognises a name, a man she briefly knew when working at Skibo Castle, a man she is certain is a good person. To her surprise, Fin Cohen, Estelle's washed out ex-rock star husband, turns up on her doorstep. Fin is jittery and volatile, suffering from an anorexia that descended on him amidst his failure to handle his sudden meteoric fame and celebrity. Fin's appearance gives Anna a reason to rise above the mire of her personal horrors. Fin and Anna take off on a odd couple odyssey in which Fin becomes caught up in the unfolding crime podcast which has the two of them working together to solve the mystery behind the sunken Dana. However, social media and Fin's fame on Twitter threatens to expose Anna's traumatic past, bringing with it deadly dangers as they visit Skibo Castle, London, and go to the coastal resort of Saint Martin in France and Venice in Italy.

Denisa Mina writes a vividly beguiling, edgy, and all consuming crime read of the highest order that just grabs you from the beginning and never once lets you go until you get to the very last page. In Anna, Mina creates what she refers to as an amazing woman, and she is right. Anna is one of the huge numbers of women who have survived the kind of abuse, assault and trauma which society deems can only mean what happened to them was not so bad without once acknowledging that these women are truly amazing to have come through the darkest and most soul destroying of experiences. There is a wonderful host of characters that inhabit the novel, from Fin, Adam, the drug addict and an unforgettable gangster on a train. All in all, this is a stellar novel that any crime fiction and thriller fan is likely to adore. An absolute must read that comes highly recommended! Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC.
Profile Image for Holly.
1,431 reviews990 followers
January 15, 2020
Spoiler alert, but whatever: Why not throw a triple-murder mystery, an anorexic man, a couple of assassins, a gang rape (in reference, not directly), a couple of people with hidden identities, some more murders, and two podcasts, into a single book? Oh and the ending makes no sense. Actually, the entire book makes no sense if you think too much about any of it. I could go into it in detail but I'm really not in the mood. So just know I do NOT recommend this book. At all.
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
816 reviews1,873 followers
June 28, 2019

Anna McDonald, is an ordinary wife, mom, and pod-cast junkie. One day her life gets turned upside-down when her latest episode titled "Death and the Dana" hits a little too close to home.

Anna decides to investigate the unsolved crime herself. The crime involves a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean and multiple murders and a name that Anna recognizes. Someone from her past. What an interesting angle!

I was immersed in the first half of the book. The suspense and the yacht mystery were both strange and intriguing.  As her search for the truth expands, her past starts to surface and things get complex. This is where I felt the story became somewhat bogged down. I was losing interest (sadly).  I wasn't able stay fully engaged during the second half.

There is a crime, some unsavory characters, and a haunted ship. I do feel like many would enjoy this type of double mystery, although it did fall a bit short for me.

Thanks so much to NG/Pub for my review copy. Out May 16, 2019
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,754 reviews1,617 followers
July 8, 2019
I was sucked into this story from the beginning. This is just the second book that I have read by the author but I will definitely read more. The book is set partly in Glasgow. Anna McDonald's husband has just left her for her best friend and he has taken their children with him. Anna loves to listen to true crime podcasts. Apart from Glasgow, we also travel to Fort William and lle de Re in France. Anna's life is complex, I don't want to say more than that as it would contain spoilers. This is a story with an original plot that flips back to the past to let us know some background details. The story got even better when she hit the road with Fin. The story is a bit dark and scary, with stories within stories. A well written and thought out plot. I loved it.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House Uk, Vintage Publishing and the author Denise Mina for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cheyne Nomura.
471 reviews3 followers
December 15, 2019
Meh. Read this because it’s Reese’s Book Club pick. I must say, her picks are getting worse and worse. I long for the choices that harken back to Little Fires Everywhere, The Last Mrs. Parrish, and Where the Crawdads Sing.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,071 reviews3,616 followers
May 30, 2019
This was a delightfully surprising read for me. I know what a talented author Denise Mina is, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been shocked at just how much I enjoyed her latest work.
This book had my full, undivided attention from cover to cover!

Anna finds her inner peace reading. (Sound familiar?)
Her other guilty pleasure is listening to true crime podcasts. Her latest favorite is called Death and the Dana. A yacht sinks, drowning a man named Leon along with his 2 children.
Wait a minute.
Did Anna hear that correctly? Leon? It couldn’t possibly be the same Leon from her past. (or could it?) She’s instantly sucked into the podcast as her past begins to re-surface.

Can Anna uncover the truth behind the tragic death of her friend and his children? And what fragile parts of her own life threaten to be exposed as a result?

Denise Mina has a true gift, delivering a mesmerizing tale that’ll keep you flying through the pages right to the end. The characters are vivid, real and very human. I felt I was along for the ride with Annie in her quest for the truth.
The story unfolds from Anna’s POV with the addition of the pod-casts that add such amazing depth. Highly recommend!

A buddy read with Susanne!

Thank you to NetGalley, Mulholland Books and Denise Mina for an ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
May 15, 2019
3.5 Stars* (rounded down).

Not your average thriller!

A woman obsessed with podcasts starts investigating a man she once knew who is the star of one. Talk about an intriguing premise!

Anna McDonald is a married woman who believes she is happily married when her husband takes off with her best friend and her children. With her life left in tatters, she starts investigating a man whose family is featured on a podcast. All were murdered at sea, on the Dana, a sunken yacht in the Bay of Biscay. The podcast accuses many and that crime is shrouded in secrecy and mayhem. The Dana had a history. Cursed they said.

Soon Anna takes off on a journey trying to uncover mystery of the “Death and the Dana.” Fin Cohen, her former best friend’s jilted ex-husband, goes along for the ride. What transpires between the two is quite humorous. Fin is a complete hoot and is a character you will be sure to love.

Conviction is a wholly different type of novel in the suspense genre. My favorite parts of this book are the interactions between the characters (Anna, Fin and another character named Adam) v. the chapters featuring the actual podcasts (which I think are on the slower side). What I find intriguing is how the author, Denise Mina, intertwines the storylines – which at first, seem quite impossible and then, well, are absolutely seamless.

If you are looking for an interesting take on a thriller, all I can say is, this is it!

This was a buddy read with Kaceey! Glad we shared in this read together.

Thank you to NetGalley, Mulholland Books and Denise Mina for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 5.15.19.
Will be published on Amazon on 6.18.19
Profile Image for Danielle.
809 reviews403 followers
February 24, 2021
This was too much, way over the top, very messy in my opinion. 😖 One homicide mystery would be plenty, let’s throw in like 5 other random mysteries on top of that. 😳 As one more random thing got thrown on top, I kept thinking of Jim Gaffigan joking that he was drowning in a pool and someone handed him another baby.... yep.... this book is like having 5 kids. 🤷🏼‍♀️
Profile Image for Ceecee.
1,977 reviews1,510 followers
May 2, 2020
Anna McDonald settles down early one morning with a coffee and a podcast and realises that she has met the man at the centre of the unfolding drama. Leon Parker and his two children died on board the yacht Dana which has been the subject of much speculation over the years. This revelation unsettles Anna but things get progressively worse for her shortly after starting to listen to the podcast, unravelling the comfortable life she has enjoyed over the last few years. The Dana Mystery is connected to a traumatic event in Anna’s past and she sets off on a dangerous journey to uncover both what happened on the Dana but also to lay the terrifying ghosts to rest. At the centre of both stories is super rich Gretchen Teigler who has the resources to make Anna’s life very difficult. The story is told from Anna’s perspective with the addition of podcasts.

The story is extremely well written, it’s fast paced and rarely lets up for a minute, the plot is clever and grips your attention from start to finish. The settings add to the atmosphere - we travel up the west and east coasts of Scotland to Skibo Castle near Dornoch ( check it out, its stunning and where Madonna married Guy Ritchie!) we then travel to France and the Ile de Re, then to Venice and back to France, so you get a bit of a European tour thrown into the bargain! The characters are really good, they are all well portrayed both the ones you can like and the ones you don’t. Anna is brilliant, I love her black humour and quick wit, she’s far from passive, she’s resourceful and very brave. There are some breathtaking moments throughout and very powerful images, particularly those of a diver going down to the wreck of the Dana. That is stunning. The plot takes numerous twists and turns which keeps you guessing, it’s an exciting journey for the truth as Anna confronts some dangerous and ruthless people. The podcast element is a really good feature of the storyline and leads to an excellent conclusion.

Overall, I think this is my favourite Denise Mina book so far. It’s clever and keeps you invested and guessing throughout.

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House, Vintage Publishing for the copy.
Profile Image for Beverly.
808 reviews290 followers
February 14, 2020
Colorful inside and out, Conviction (terrible title) tells of a woman, Anna, on the brink of a nervous break down. She decides to figure out what happened to an old friend who died under suspicious circumstances in a boating tragedy. Anna, desperately needs distraction from the wreck of her own life. She takes along her neighbor Fin on her journey who is also coming apart for some of the same reasons as Anna.

Both Anna and Fin are broken people, but Anna is much more worldly wise and savvy than Fin. A lot of the time, Fun doesn't even know they are in imminent danger and thinks Anna is paranoid. He soon learns she knows what she's talking about. Paid assassins tend to discount Fin because he's delicate looking and Anna because she's a woman; thugs who underestimate them lose out time after time. Anna is whip smart and Fin makes a great sidekick in this fun, rollicking adventure into the dark side of high finance, the blogosphere and international intrigue.
Profile Image for Kim Ebner.
Author 1 book72 followers
January 4, 2020
Oh dear, my very first read of the year and it’s unfortunately a 2 star read. How disappointing. I don’t have much positive to say about this one. For that reason, I’m not going to go into a long detailed review focusing on everything that I didn’t like, but I obviously I intend to make a few high level comments.

Quite simply, this one wasn’t for me. I found the plot totally over the top and highly unlikely in a number of respects. The things that happened in this book, right from the beginning, were just too far-fetched and many of the situations that the characters found themselves in were just too strange, and some of the time just too “convenient”. The whole story lacked an authenticity that sets great thrillers apart from mediocre reads. Over and above this, I found the characters totally unbelievable and I never warmed to them. Fin’s character was just totally bizarre (a once-upon-a-time rock star who had fallen from grace but yet everyone around the world still seemed to know and adore, who had a severe eating disorder) and Anna’s character was unbelievable (a housewife and mother to two little girls whose character changes from one minute to the next, with a crazy backstory, and being chased down by hit men). Phew! And the friendship between Fin and Anna just always felt off. I couldn’t believe that in real life, two such characters would find themselves “friends”, doing the things that they were doing. I also found this story to be unnecessarily complicated and very boring at times.

I must also make quick mention of the fact that the copy of this book that I read was littered with typo’s and editing errors. This is something that irritates me immensely as I cannot understand how a book is published when it hasn’t been properly edited. I presume that this isn’t entirely the fault of the author, and the blame probably lies at the doors of the publishing house and the editors, but seriously, it’s not good enough.

All in all, I can’t say that I was taken with this story, and I didn’t like much about it. I finished it but it didn’t entertain me. It’s unlikely that I’ll read much else by this author.
(I'm so happy to be finished this one so that I can move onto my next read!)

Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,453 reviews7,564 followers
January 8, 2020
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

By the time my turn came around at the library for Conviction I had no recollection of where I had even heard of it. Then I saw it was part of the “Hello Sunshine” book club and basically when it comes to Reese Witherspoon . . . .

Okay, maybe not anything, but she does pretty decent at picking books I like.

Anna is your typical housewife who enjoys listening to podcasts/escaping into a book along with a nice cup of Joe after getting the kids up and ready each day. Unfortunately for Anna, this particular day happens to be the one where . . . . .

Not only does her husband inform her he’s leaving her for her best friend, but her true crime podcast of choice focuses on someone she was acquainted with long ago who was suspected of killing himself and his children aboard a supposedly haunted yacht, annnnnnnnnd the jilted husband of the aforementioned adultering bestie shows up at her door as well. What follows is the story of Anna (and her new tagalong Fin) playing armchair detectives in order to piece together this puzzle before Anna’s own past catches up with her.

Obviously this was 100% farfetched and people who only enjoy realistic tales will find plenty to complain about here. Buuuuuuuuut, if you just enjoy escaping into your stories and love a good game of . . . .

This is a tightly woven little page turner.

I read this, but I’d be interested in hearing what the audio was like from anyone who went that route. Since it flips back and forth from podcast to “real life” and moved along at a near frantic pace, I think it would make for a great listen.
Profile Image for Karl Jorgenson.
537 reviews27 followers
June 2, 2021
A worthy mystery, well written and structured. Anna's husband leaves her, and the upheaval accidentally outs her as a woman who disappeared ten years ago. Anna's been hiding from a rich bitch who tried to have Anna killed, and now she has to go on the run again. She learns a man she met years ago died in a yacht sinking, shortly after he married the same black-widow pursuing Anna. Assisted by an anorexic former pop-star, she digs for proof the man she knew didn't kill himself, while staying one step ahead of killers sent to silence her.
The book is well-paced, with twists, surprises, and hazards popping up almost every scene, and the final twist makes the conclusion mystery-satisfying. Bonus: the audiobook is in the most delightful Scottish accent. Ach.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,165 reviews1,323 followers
February 29, 2020
Seeking a distraction the day that husband Hamish announces that he is leaving for best friend, Anna finds comfort in a true crime podcast only to discover that the case that the series is covering involves someone from her past.

As the infamous Dana yacht had already a checked history of hauntings and tragedy, so the sinking of the vessel felt like another murderous mystery to solve.
Anna takes it upon herself to investigate the real truth.

The idea of introducing most of the initial plot through a podcast was such a great way to hook the reader in, all the information is told in manageable bitesize chunks as Anna listens to each episode.
It's certainly a fun way to get get through plenty of exposition!

My only criticism was the three plot strands felt like one too many, the central mystery and Anna's past were such strong element that the slip with Hamish felt a little unnecessary especially as the author than had to constantly refer back to it.

A great modern crime thriller with a nice bit of old superstition that will appeal to fans of this genre.
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
394 reviews678 followers
March 5, 2020
I do not believe in spirit possession but you know what, if someone were to tell me that in the middle of writing this book, the author, for whatever reason, got possessed by some otherworldly entity and wrote the rest of the book, I would have totally consider that possibility. Because that would have at least explained how a book that has started so well and completely unputdownable for the entire first half has managed to missed every opportunity to deliver even a tiny bit of satisfying conclusion/reveal. So many things were just so laughable and at certain point it ceased to be funny. *sigh*

I wonder how our MC managed to she seemed careless, impulsive and to be honest not so bright. And the villain was just... irritatingly bad.

I can’t give this one star because the hours it kept me glued and entertained in the first half didn’t seem to warrant quite that rating. But if you ask me, well, better skip this one then.

The podcast format is what shined and I was so looking forward to listen to this one on audio and no doubt it would have been quite an experience too if only they didn’t choose this horrid narrator. What a shame!
Profile Image for Erin (from Long Island, NY).
449 reviews153 followers
September 15, 2019
What a ride! This is that rare book where the author does such an expert job describing & explaining these characters, that you find yourself completely invested. Even if you don't agree with someone you can empathize & wholly understand because after all, they're only people. Anna McDonald is awesome. She is a survivior. She's also the fiercest, most determined women I've read about in a while.. & to top it all off, she's just so heartbreakingly normal. Her husband & best friend rip the rug out from under her, & while floundering for a foothold, she becomes slightly obsessed with a true crime podcast she listens to.. Then when she realizes she has a (brief) history with the possible perpetrator, she's off! Then we meet Finn, her impromptu "partner." A rock star whos actively struggling with anorexia, made worse by his sudden shot to fame.. He describes (& lives) his truth in such an honest & relatable way, it's terrifying. (Did i mention i love him??) & there were others.. From the dogged podcaster who first had the nerve to broadcast the true crime story in spite of the powerful people involved, to Adam, Anna's old friend and a long time drug addict, so loyal and upbeat while living a life not intended for any of us. It seems most characters in this book were exceptional.. Even her (ex) husband & friend are forced to somewhat redeem themselves, but you'll read about that.. When you predominantly read psychological & crime thrillers you often walk away shaking your head, perhaps even with a sick feeling in your stomach.. Not here. This has all the twists & turns you could possibly want, but you leave feeling satisfied. Life's not perfect, but it's what we got.. So choose to enjoy it!😉 (4 instead of 5 only because there were certain parts that were kinda far fetched.. Kinda had to roll my eyes a little, but they don't in any way ruin the story... Imho of course.)
Profile Image for Jackie.
840 reviews11 followers
December 23, 2019
I’m really frustrated that i can’t finish this book but there are just too many problems with it for me to continue. My biggest problem is that it is not well edited or proofread. There are several instances where words are missing from sentences or like a whole page where she switches “bies” to “beis.” But this last issue may even be a spoiler, on page 209.

Throughout the book I’ve had just enough trouble keeping track of things that i thought maybe i just wasn’t paying enough attention. But the more attention i paid, the more i noticed the author’s sloppiness. If this were her first novel, or something self published, I’d be more inclined to let it go. But when it starts to affect my ability to understand and enjoy the book, i have to just stop reading.

I enjoyed the story for the most part, despite my frustration with the main character’s refusal to be honest. And given what I’ve learned so far, i just can’t understand it. I enjoyed the inclusion of a podcast as part of the story, but even that is a little ridiculous. It would be the shortest podcast ever made, and for what purpose? Maybe it gets explained later, which would make it worthwhile.

Also, this book had been recommended on audio - I’m wondering if they ironed out these wrinkles in that process, so it would be more enjoyable and less confusing.
Profile Image for Susan.
2,644 reviews598 followers
May 26, 2019
I have, so far, read two books by Denise Mina, and a short story, all of which I have loved; which leads me to the conclusion that I really need to go back and rediscover her earlier work and, in particular, her crime series. Both of the novels I have read, “The Long Drop,” and this, “Conviction,” have been stand alone books and both have been excellent, in different ways.

Anna McDonald is having marriage counselling, but it does not seem to be working, as when we meet her, husband Hamish heads out of the door with her best friend, and her two daughters. Left behind, Anna concentrates on a true crime podcast, to help think of other things and discovers that, “Death and the Dana,” which is about the death of a man, and his children, on a yacht, involves someone she once knew, who was married to a woman that she knows of all too well…

It soon appears that Anna McDonald has a secret past. However, when her (former) best friend’s husband appears, a famous musician, with problems of his own, she finds herself suddenly thrown into the limelight. A chance photo of her and Fin, sees her face on social media, and recognition is quick to follow. With Fin in tow, the two embark on a roller coaster ride to discover the truth, avoid the bad guys and avoid being murdered.

This is a wonderful read, fast moving, humorous and very much contemporary, with podcasts and social media very central to the plot. Denise Mina is a brilliant writer and I love her work and look forward to reading more. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
Profile Image for Lindsay Saligman.
102 reviews2 followers
December 19, 2019
This is one of the worst books I’ve read in a really long time. Forgive misspelling of names, I listened to the audio.

I have three major issues with it:

1. It tries to tackle way too much: it makes light of anorexia and glosses over sexual assault against the backdrop of a weird and unrealistic vigilante justice plot. I found that not nearly enough time and sensitivity was devoted to tackling both Sophie’s past and Fins anorexia in a meaningful way, making the former seem like an (upsetting) effort to stay trendy, and the latter seem like a joke at times.
2. I found the international aspect of the book painfully cliche and kitschy. The chase around Europe felt like it came out of an amateur tourist’s fantasy. It was like the author thought adding accents and generic signs of wealth could compensate for bad writing splaying out in far too many directions to create any cohesive whole.
3. Though the book was reasonably realistic at the beginning, the unrealistic plot twists got worse and worse the longer it went on. Are we really to believe that Sophie, missing for ten years - with an open police search for her- would be able to get seamlessly out of the UK? That she had somehow gotten married and mothered two children under another living person’s REAL name and ID and that was never found out? That upon her resurfacing on the podcast police wouldn’t immediately come after her? That you could commit a MURDER on an Italian passenger train which had cameras in every wagon without being stopped somehow? By the time we get to the bakery in Lyon and hear Sabina, who we had not met at all previously, sobbing over a suddenly terminally ill Emilia and mailing photos of bread to the prison every day, I genuinely considered not continuing. Don’t even get me started on the ending, it was too much of a mess to even comment on.

The only thing that made me finish the book at all honestly was my curiosity to find out what happened to the ship, so I guess if I can credit the author with something small it would be finding a way to keep me going despite a completely unrealistic and annoyingly kitschy plot.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jessica Woodbury.
1,606 reviews2,055 followers
July 9, 2022
I recommend Denise Mina a lot to people who are looking for a strong, reliable crime author to add to their reading. CONVICTION is a strong standalone with a tough female protagonist and a super twisty European spree of a plot, I think it's a good place to start if you haven't read her before.

At the beginning of the book, it looks to the reader like Anna is at a low point. All she wants to do is listen to this true crime podcast and then she gets some very bad news. You'd think Anna is at a low point but it turns out she's had it much lower. Right off the bat we know that Anna is not quite who she says she is, and a lot of the journey of the first half of the book is actually two journeys: Anna's dive into the podcast, which details the death of a man she knew years ago; and our gradual discovery of who Anna actually is.

This kind of layering goes on throughout the book, even when we know Anna's full identity, and just about everything is wrapped up in double-ness and mirroring. (The more I think about it, even more examples are piling up.) This is a book about having two identities, about hiding in plain sight, about the difference between what people see of you and who you actually are. This is all true of Anna, of course, but it also applies to her companion on this journey, Finn, a famous musician with an eating disorder, and Gretchen, the ultra-rich villain Anna suspects is behind everything.

It's also a book where we get to dive into crime podcast culture. I kept trying to get a read on what the book was trying to say about it and ultimately I don't think it's saying one thing, it's saying about 50 things at once. On one page it calls out amateur sleuths, on the next it uses the work of amateur sleuths to solve a murder. You could say the book wants to have its cake and eat it, too when it comes to this subject. Or you could say that it is happy to see the layman's obsession with true crime as a complicated thing that isn't easy to pin down.

I enjoyed Anna a lot, even as you learn more about her it doesn't really mean you get to know her better. She is fully herself from the first page, you just get to see the reasons for it as you go. The pacing was excellent, it has the twists of a thriller without making things move so fast that you feel jerked around.

I listened to the audiobook. In the past I've been frustrated when Mina's books get narrators with English accents instead of Scottish (her books are almost entirely set in Scotland, much of this one is too) and this time I was pleased to have a Scottish reader who has to use a whole pile of accents over the course of the book and does them all splendidly.

Update: did a re-read before reading the newly released second book, CONFIDENCE, and absolutely enjoyed every minute. Excited to get back to Anna again. It definitely can't hurt to do a reread of this one, I honestly could not remember who all these people were and I'm glad I got the reminder.
Profile Image for Janet.
385 reviews1 follower
August 21, 2019
AVOID, AVOID, AVOID! Don't let the 5 star reviews fool you.
Profile Image for Jeanette.
3,277 reviews559 followers
August 12, 2019
4.5 stars, fully. If they don't make a movie out of this one, all the people in the current film business of movers/shakers (what lousy products they have put out for years!)- should have their heads examined. Not that they don't need it (getting their heads examined) regardless of script picks. But this would make a top notch film. In Scotland, UK ports, France, Italy and in all various delicious travel logistics and hotel rooms (magnificent to canal seep dank). Venice maze chases and the train portions to Milan and then Lyons alone would be legend.

CONVICTION the title. Is this a noun with the meaning of having a "belief" that you perceive as truth? Or is it conviction as in the final state/ act of finding a defendant guilty and so sentenced? You tell me!

It's both in this one. Conviction to a pledge? Like the promise you make in marriage? Of a redo of a conviction for someone innocent languishing in their prison. Well, I can't say I've had a bad of a November week as Anna has had in this book, but I've come close (mine was in lovely June). So I felt she was a sister under the skin from the get go. Anna? Or is it Sophie?

Complex plotting and absolutely superbly proportioned and perfectly cored set of prime characters. And of those a great number of them are women. Most of them are. And ask yourself this- if you did buy the 1000 Euro perfect little dress- would you buy two of the same one with a distinct pattern? In different sizes?

My lack of a 1/2 star is for the fact that about one tenth of this book is in italics. For my read it was a 5 star of full enjoyment. Anna is a constant reader (it makes the duplicity of life in general livable by distracting yourself is her thought- one we seem to share) and she listens to pods continually too. So the true crime "case" she is presently listening to becomes the parts of the book that you will read that are in italics. I HATE THEM because they hurt my eyes. My eyes will not outlast me.

Do you hate a husband who has left you? Especially when the next one (your wife replacement)is already pregnant. And she was your current "best" hometown "Mom" friend on top of it!

So- all of you who have not read this dicey week's tale yet- DO. Be warned. It's overflowing with humor that is dark and yet also at the same time hilariously exquisite as only the frenetic panic of displacement coupled with an 180 point IQ intelligence could muster. And as the solid fall back companion to go through this escape there is a male. A skin and bones anorexic male of universal fame (because decades ago he was a rock star) who can barely keep standing up with lack of strength or stamina for more than 5 minutes length. Can we get him to eat a muffin? Or a salad? Or some booze??

I did not guess the reveal. But I did not think that Leon had committed suicide and done his offspring in on purpose at any point in the pod story.

And don't forget that Anna's addiction is READING. Are there any Goodreads members out there that can relate?

Know as little as possible about this book before you read it. Take it unknown. There are some swears and they are usually well deserved. It's a modern and it's also a thriller. And a mystery for a past (10 years or so) who-dun-its. Two past who-dun-its, one more recent. All of them complicated with some interplayer parts that shift.

I wanted Anna and Fin to meet up with my Brunetti. That didn't happen-but some Venice locale situations fit right in to his world and tone- regardless. Especially tourist comments by the cafe locals. Killers from Russia and Eastern Europe- assassins by proxy. All aboard!

I've never read her before and will read her stand alone efforts. This one is awesome. 5 star entertainment- and lots of fashion chi-chi for those who have any interest.
Profile Image for 8stitches 9lives.
2,793 reviews1,627 followers
May 16, 2019
What sets Denise Mina apart from the rest of the crime crowd is her portrayal of ordinary, humdrum lives which go on to be affected by a single life-altering catalyst. From then on life spirals drastically out of control and that is exactly what happens here with Anna and her family. The scenario manages to remain the right side of credible and, in my opinion, the reason Mina's books are so exceptional is that they feature a potent mix of interesting characters, solid plot, relaxed writing with some real prose gems, lots of excitement, incidents that visibly move you and last but not least witty humour to break up the dark storyline.

Without a doubt, one of the most original domestic thrillers out there although the synopsis sounds rather like every other family drama, but don't be fooled this is a well constructed, thought out and unique piece of crime fiction. I enjoyed the intensity and our fierce female protagonist, Anna, was to die for. Unreservedly recommended to crime, thriller and mystery fans, and those who've adored Mina's past offerings will find more of the same in Conviction. I can't wait to see what she publishes next. Good luck with putting this one down! Many thanks to Harvill Secker for an ARC.
Profile Image for Michelle.
605 reviews458 followers
November 30, 2020
I started this audiobook in May 2020. I picked up the print book in July and read up to about the same point I had gotten to in the audiobook and lost track with it and here we are at the end of November. BUT I DID IT! I Finished It!!! I really enjoyed all that I had read or listened to, I just had a lot of other books to read and I finally made myself pick this back up and I got past the 5th chapter and here we are a few days later.

I'm going with middle of the road. A good mystery, something lighter and captivating enough to capture my attention and bridge me to the next book. Would I rave about it? No. It was a little too haphazard for my tastes, but I didn't hate it by any means. It had a lot of dry, British humor (my favorite) and it did its job. It entertained me. Sometimes, that's good enough!

Review Date: 11/29/2020
Publication Date: 04/14/2020
Profile Image for Eva.
818 reviews418 followers
July 30, 2019
Denise Mina is a name I’ve seen mentioned quite a lot but I had never read any of her books before. Her latest release, Conviction, seemed like a good place to start.

When Anna’s husband leaves her for her best friend and takes the kids with him, the only thing that’s able to distract Anna from the shambles of her life is a true crime podcast. This podcast tries to find the answers to the mysterious sinking of a yacht that left three people dead. When Anna realises she actually knew one of the victims, she is convinced she knows what happened and sets out to investigate.

I’ve never listened to a podcast in my life. But I sure do love reading about them. They’re a really interesting way of getting a story across, giving you the facts and the questions that need answering. The podcast chapters in this book were my favourites to read. But I struggled with the rest of the story. I didn’t particularly like Anna, which felt immensely wrong considering her past and the secrets she’s hiding.

Some of the events that happened seemed somewhat over the top to me, yet the search for the truth kept me hooked and I couldn’t at all figure out what or who had caused these deaths. But for some reason, I wasn’t entirely convinced. Sure, there’s a well-crafted plot and Denise Mina is obviously a very skilled author but something was lacking for me and I can’t quite put my finger on what that was.

Furthermore, this finished hardback was riddled with mistakes. Now quite clearly that is not the author’s fault but it did have a huge impact on my reading experience. I often found myself utterly annoyed by the errors which took away my focus of the story. All in all, my first introduction to Denise Mina didn’t go down so well but I do still plan to read another one of her books in future.
Profile Image for Richard.
1,775 reviews149 followers
March 21, 2022
This is an incredible modern thriller by one of the U.K.’s most accomplished writers.
It is the story of wealth and power that can buy silence and if necessary obtain silence in any way necessary. It is told in the first person by a young woman, Anna. who has lived a lie, taken on a new identity and gone off grid to hide from someone willing to silence her forever.
The story is taken up when her new life comes crashing down around her and she faces losing everything, when her best friend goes off with her husband. How can you fight for your kids when you are a disreputable person and if the truth comes out their lives would’ be at risk, not that anyone would believe you.
Her life is broken, her identity compromised and a podcast she listens to further awakens her past.
Such a busy involved plot. I found the story within a story, the podcast more interesting. Indeed this is the mystery she becomes preoccupied with that gives her some drive to do more than just try to re-invent herself again.
Her meeting with Fin Cohen is what also gives energy to the story and it is their unusual coupling as a detective team that carries the novel.
I loved his developing character and built-in frailties; it is Fin that is often the agent whether consciously or not that propels the story to great heights.

I must admit to setting this book aside some 30% in as it is initially slow and ponderous - characters not fully formed and the direction unclear. My respect for this author meant I was always going to pick it up again. I found this quite a seamless process as the actual writing is memorable and first rate.
Returning to it I have finished it in less than 48 hours. It gathers a pace that is unrelenting. The mystery is one you want to see resolved, as you sense the growing threat to Anna and Fin. You fear for their safety and the menace of being followed unravels all Anna’s previous paranoia and fear. That Fin appears oblivious to these dangers is initially understandable but his naivety you fear may get them killed.

This is such a good novel with a mystery and thriller rolled together, two stories into one with Anna the key. It has issues that are real and current that the reader can identify with, while having that dimension of escapism that makes for a great summer read.
The use of social media is also very cleverly interwoven into Anna’s exposure but also as a means to find out what happened on the Dana - the subject of the podcast Anna initially listens to at home.

Please, please do not give up on this one and read on beyond the first third of the book. I know I am glad I did for this story continues a satisfying and original piece of fiction to thrill and entertain in equal measure.
Profile Image for Linda Wilson.
565 reviews5 followers
May 20, 2019
I'm afraid that I really did not enjoy this story, though I can see that it would appeal to some readers. For me it was way too far fetched, and I didn't warm to the characters. Thanks to NetGalley for a preview copy.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,432 reviews993 followers
April 2, 2019
Conviction was absolutely riveting from the very first page – a vibrant, edgy and brilliantly done character voice, this is a layered tale that sucks you into it’s mysteries then throws you out the other side feeling like you’ve been through the wringer right beside Anna.

Using a podcast as an anchor to mystery storytelling is popular at the moment but I’ve not seen it used in quite this way before – those portions of the plot are fascinatingly immersive (yes I know) a sunken ship haunted by a ghost and the mention of a name that starts Anna’s journey back through a past she hoped she’d left behind. But you can never really leave some things because they never leave you.

It’s a page turner, crime fiction on a higher level, I won’t give too much plot away, suffice to say it is twisty indeed with emotionally charged themes and a clever mystery at the heart of it that is unexpected at every turn. The characters live and breathe on the page, they will stay with you long after you are done.

Conviction as a whole put me in mind of the Latin “Post Hoc, Ergo, Propter Hoc” – After, Therefore, Because of it – events and connections all underneath it all. I loved it because it challenged me, I really didn’t know where it was going to end up.

Absolutely highly recommended. Also before you think I’m cleverer than I am, the Latin came from an episode of the also brilliantly written “The West Wing” and has stayed with me long enough for me to apply it here.

Don’t miss this one.
Profile Image for Melissa (Catch Up Mode).
4,575 reviews1,883 followers
December 31, 2019
I really enjoyed this mystery. The podcast format is clever and there are lots of surprises along the way. I liked the characters, especially Anna and Fin, and the snarky sense of humor that is coupled with the suspense about what is going on. The clues to Anna's past are revealed deliberately and I never felt frustrated by lack of revelation, the timing was spot on.
Pacing is quick and even though there is a lot of chasing, again, it never got to the point where I was irritated by it like in other books. I don't think I have ever read a book by this author before, and probably wouldn't have picked this one up if it hadn't been a Reese's Book Club choice, but I'm glad I did. I will seek more of hers out in the future.
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