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Garnethill (Garnethill 1) Paperback – 19 May 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (19 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409135322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409135326
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father's job as an engineer, her family moved twenty-one times in eighteen years from Paris to the Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen. After leaving school at sixteen and a run of poorly paid jobs, she went on to study Law at Glasgow University and researched a PhD thesis at Strathclyde.

Misusing her grant, she stayed at home and wrote her first novel, Garnethill, which was published in 1998 and won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasy Dagger for best first crime novel.

Since 1998 she has written seven further novels, including most recently, Still Midnight. She also writes comics and in 2006 wrote her first play, 'Ida Tamson'. As well as all of this she writes short stories and is a regular contributor to TV and radio.

Author photo (c) Colin McPherson

Product Description

Amazon Review

It is, of course, the stuff of nightmares. Maureen comes home late and drunk and wakes up next morning with a hangover, and her boyfriend in the next room with his throat cut, and something nasty in the cupboard under the stairs. The police are aware of her earlier mental breakdown, and it is only a touch of finesse too far on the part of whoever framed her that convinces them to look elsewhere. Maureen is not the conventional woman in danger of Gothic, though, and the effect of all of this is simply to annoy her; there are, it turns out, people on whom it is ill-advised to pick.

Denise Mina has learned many things from Chandler and one of them is to have a protagonist who is wonderfully and spectacularly rude to people who irritate her. A cast of tough Glasgow characters that includes her drug-dealer brother and the biker from the Women's Refuge help her sort out a mystery that turns, crucially, on the way society despises, and will never listen to, those who have been stigmatised as mentally ill. This is a thriller which combines the intellectual excitement of investigation with an underlying polemical anger; it is a remarkably finished debut. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Denise Mina has carved herself a niche as the queen of Glasgow noir and Garnethill is one of her best. (CATHOLIC HERALD)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This story won an award for a debut crime novel, and I can well see why. Without wishing to suggest that it is `perfect' (whatever that is), I would say it is outstandingly accomplished and exceptionally readable.

I bought it on the strength of its title and absolutely nothing else. Garnethill is an area of Glasgow that I knew very well when I was young, and nostalgia is strong in Glasgow's émigré children. Apart from other factors, this city is full of unique and distinctive place-names, and I was looking longingly to hear them again. In fact the book has less of that than I expected, so I had to concentrate on the story. There is nothing distinctively concerned with Garnethill for one thing, but that makes a better title than, say, Springburn. One flank of Garnethill descends to Sauchiehall Street, the opposite flank to the Cowcaddens, but neither of these gets so much as a mention. If I had hoped to find some such statement as `A man was stabbed in the Gorbals' I did not find that either. The story is the thing, and quite a story it is too.

I liked basically everything about it. The dialogue and patois are distinctive enough to warm an exile's heart, but not so distinctive as to be unintelligible to anyone else. There are some very good lines here and there, most of them too indecorous for quotation in a review. It is all seedy stuff, what we used to call `kitchen sink' material back in the 50's. Being old enough to remember, say, Up The Junction, or A Kind of Loving, I started with a slight suspicion that we were meant to be shocked at such scenarios and goings-on, but happily that was just my own age showing and not the way the book is.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I had read somewhere about the "acclaimed" Garnethill trilogy so I was looking forward to reading this. However, I found it distinctly underwhelming:
- the lead character is frustrating and at times (for plot reasons) uncharacteristically stupid
- she leaves a very vulnerable person (who had already just avoided being attacked by the killer) on her own and asks a 6 year old to keep an eye out
- she refuses to help the police even though she knows who the killer is and she is also a target
- a former colleague of the victim knew who the killer was and says nothing to the police but tells her no problem??
- how many descriptions of her drinking do we need?
- her attitude on the last page to one of the abuse victims is bizarre and totally at odds with the rest of the book – very strange way to end the book

On the positive side I liked the family interaction, indeed at times this was far more interesting than the mystery part which never really develop and fails to grip. Also, the descriptions of gritty Glasgow and the author’s turn-of-phrase are enjoyable.

I bought the full trilogy – I hope the others improve on this.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By bookhead on 5 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
I LOVE this book. the writing, characterisation & Glasgow burst off the pages & hit you right in the face. It made me dream of home. Why has Denise Mina not had the kind of high profile of other new young writers? She is far better than most.
Like all excellent writers of crime novels, she does not rely on over-egging violence, sex or co-incidence. Nor does she trot outthe the stale old stereo types who populate so much crime fiction today.
As an x-psychiatric nurse, she just plunged me right back in there....she will know exactly what I mean.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the first page. Didn't like it. Went back a day later and tried again and was hooked. Evocative, cruel, intriguing; all the things other reviewers have said. So I will put up a couple of caveats. The main character; she can be sooo irritating with her wilful decisions that end up hurting other people, and I felt somewhat deflated and unfulfilled by the ending having left loose ends so to speak. However these are threads running through into the next book but it was a bit unsatisfying as I was waiting for a classic denouement regarding one particular aspect of the story. Brave choice to make if a reader decides not to pick up the next book. I also find her habit of 'glaswee-gee-ing' some pronunciations a bit annoying after a while. But small points, overall this is well recommended.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 July 2010
Format: Paperback
"Garnethill," upon its 1998 publication, immediately put its author, Scottish-born Denise Mina, on the map: as well it might, since it was given the John Creasey Award for Best First Crime Novel. The author has since published two further books to make up a Garnethill trilogy; a second trilogy about young Paddy Meehan, Scottish female journalist; and some standalones. Ever since this first publication, she has had to be included in the top rank of British mystery authors, particularly female variety - that exclusive girls club, Minette Walters, Ruth Rendell, and Mina that specialize in psychological thrillers/suspense. And, of course, her Glasgow-set books - she is native to the suburbs of that city-- certainly qualify her for the exclusive Scottish mystery-writing school ---Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, and herself -- now characterized as penning "tartan noir," a rougher, tougher, meaner sort of mystery; generally more bloodthirsty and violent than the norm, but lightened by that sly, mordant Scottish sense of humor.

The book at hand introduces us to an unlucky Maureen O'Donnell, a victim of childhood sexual abuse by her father that has resulted in her having severe emotional problems, drinking and smoking entirely too much, having a breakdown, and successive psychiatric hospitalization. But she's out now, living in a tiny flat in one of Glasgow's grimmer neighborhoods, working a dead-end job as cashier in a movie house. Until she wakes up one morning, fuzzy of mouth and mind, to discover the body of her therapist/boyfriend Douglas Brady (who was undoubtedly way out of line from the start, on that score). He has been brutally murdered, tied to a blue kitchen chair, with his throat slit clean through. She is, of course, the prime police suspect, and tries to clear herself.
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