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Sanctum Paperback – 16 Feb 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (16 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409135292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409135296
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,318 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

Review

"One of the finest crime writers of her generation." -- "Express"Praise for "Resolution" "It's studded with images that stick in the mind long after the book is closed.... Denise Mina is set to carve a niche for herself as the Crown Princess of Crime." -- Val McDermid"From the Trade Paperback edition."

Book Description

A respected forensic psychiatrist is convicted of the gruesome murder of a serial killer ... but is she innocent?

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Denise Mina is now one of my all time favourite writers. Ever since her debut novel, her writing and skill as a story-teller has matured as her career progresses, becoming better and better with each book. Indeed, "Resolution", the final novel in her Garnethill trilogy was almost a masterpiece. With this, her first stand-alone novel, she gets even better.
The story she tells is fascinating, told in beautifully compelling prose laced with the raw emotions felt by a man whose wife has been sent to jail for the brutal murder of a serial killer. (The story is told as the diaries of Lachlan Harriot, husband of the woman who is accused and imprisoned over the killing of five-times killer Andrew Gow.) The way the story is gradually unfolded through the diaries is absolutely fascinating, and propells the reader through the book in search of the next twist, the next bit of information.
The characters are drawn really well, often a hard task when writing in the first-person. Lachlan Harriot is very likeable, and it is very enjoyable to follow the story through his eyes and perceptions.
The issues Mina tackles are handled well, and she makes their exploration fasinating.
the plot is very strong, and refreshingly original, and the final solution is completely unexpected, and some of the revelations are rather shocking, in fact.
Overall, this is a fascinating, excellently written, compelling book which i would reccomend to absolutely anyone. Denise Mina's talent is growing and growing, to the extent that this book is one of the best things i've ever read.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Anderson on 12 Nov. 2002
Format: Hardcover
“Sanctum” is Denise Mina’s fourth novel, but the first not to feature former psychiatric patient Maureen O’Donnell as the central character.
Lachlan Harriot’s wife, Dr Susie Harriot, has been convicted of murdering a notorious serial killer; she’s also been accused of having sexual relations with the man prior to the murder taking place.
Lachie is convinced that his ‘darling wife Susie’ is completely innocent and is determined to uncover evidence that will help to overturn the murder conviction.
The book is written from the point of view of Lachie through a series of diary entries that he composes in Dr Susie’s secret study each night. He documents his progress (or lack of) in coming up with evidence to make an appeal possible; he has as his disposal a plethora of information as his wife was actually the psychiatrist of the man whom she was accused of murdering. Lachlan is also struggling to come to terms with the forced changes in his life: he has a young daughter to look after with no mother around to help; the press are taking photograph’s that make him look fat & ugly; and horror upon horrors – his Mother and Father are coming to stay.
As the story progresses, Lachlan is forced to examine the fact that things at home have never been quite the way he always assumed them to be. Maybe Susie did commit the murders after all. But what reason could she possibly have to do so?
“Sanctum” is far removed from Denise Mina’s Garnethill trilogy: although murders have taken place and there are a few shocks and surprises as the story unravels, the atmosphere of the book is nowhere near as dark and disturbing as Mina’s previous novels.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Orman on 8 May 2006
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put down this book. I was intrigued, desperate to make sense of the conviction of Lachlan Harriot's wife for the murder of Andrew Gow, a self-confessed serial killer who had been inexplicably released on appeal.

One's sympathies are torn apart. It seems so real: the vagaries of the British Justice System with the many documented cases of innocents in prison, a husband-and-wife relationship that turns out to be less than it seems, the almost mundane revelation that people change, we change, and that we can never really know what goes on inside another person’s head.

Denise creates a lifelike quality by cleverly maintaining several doubts in your mind. Are these case notes for real? (I had to do a search on the internet to satisfy myself about this.) Did Susie Harriot really murder Andrew Gow? She didn’t surely? And if she did then how and why? What really happened at Cape Wrath? Was he really innocent of murder? Surely not? And where does Donna, Andrew’s correspondence bride, fit in?

Other than a few, hardly noticeable lumpy moments in writing style, the book is extraordinarily well-crafted. Everything fits so well together. It’s worth reading a second time, now with the perspective of hindsight, to experience the story in a different way.

I am still occasionally arrested in my thinking to marvel at the interconnectedness of the plot and the wholly unexpected conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David in Hertfordshire on 17 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have loved Ms Mina's Paddy Murphy, Alex Morrow and Maureen O'Donnell novels. All of them are superb. This didn't do it for me. It's not a bad book - it is intriguing and keeps you guessing, but just didn't do it for me.
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Format: Paperback
What's clever about this book is the way Denise Mina lets us see into Lachlan Harriot’s character through his comments, behaviour and thoughts. We gradually realise what kind of a person he actually is. This is technically difficult and Mina does it real justice. The events - the murders and the history behind them - are in a way less important than the unfolding character. I found Lachlan both quirky and sometimes awful: his wild swings of mood and sudden infatuations (with Harry's mum for instance and wee Susie's Spanish nanny) are dealt with honestly but very humorously. Lachlan is the point of the book!
I am an avid reader, but I rarely find a book unput-downable. This one was.
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