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The End of the Wasp Season (Alex Morrow Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Denise Mina
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A savage murder with no apparent motive - DS Morrow's most challenging case brings her work and home lives dangerously close... From the two-time winner of the prestigious Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

When wealthy Sarah Erroll dies a violent death at her home in a posh part of Glasgow, the local community is stunned by what appears to be a truly gratuitous act. Heavily pregnant with desperately wanted twins, DS Alex Morrow is called in to investigate and soon discovers that there is more to Sarah's murder than it first seems.

On the other side of town, Thomas Anderson is called into the headmaster's office at his boarding school to be told that his tyrannical father - a banker responsible for the loss of many livelihoods in the recession - has committed suicide by hanging himself from the old oak tree on the lawn of their home. Thomas returns to the family home to find his mother and sister in a state of numb shock. The head of the household is dead, yet their initial reaction is not that of grief, but relief.

As Alex Morrow slowly unravels the connections between the two cases, she faces her greatest challenge yet as her work and home lives collide with potentially disastrous consequences.

Books In This Series (4 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Description


    One of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years (Ian Rankin)

    A literary West Lothian question: why do Scottish writers dominate British crime fiction? With Denise Mina at least, the answer is pure class (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

    Confirms Mina's place in the premier division ... atmospheric, intense and full of the disturbing flavour of inner-city lowlife (GUARDIAN)

    Powerful, passionate and compelling. Mina can chill your blood and break your heart in the same sentence (Mark Billingham)

    The plot is unrolled artfully ... the writing is lucid, and the minor characters breathe with an almost Dickensian life (SUNDAY TIMES)

    Splendidly written ... magnificently readable (THE TIMES)

    Something special ... A tour de force (TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT)

    Remember the name. This is a major talent heading for the top (LITERARY REVIEW)

    One of Denise Mina's many attractions is her willingness to take risks with her characters. She delves deeper than most into emotions, whether of the police, victims or perpetrators; she eschews the usual formula of crime fiction....The financial and moral disintregration of families, the iniquities of the class system and prostitution all play a role. Mina's best (THE TIMES)

    Thoughful attention to detail take the novel to another level...Scotland has produced some seriously good crime writers; The End of the Wasp Season places Denise Mina alongside Ian Rankin and Val McDermid (FINANCIAL TIMES)

    Miss your bus stop....reading The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina, a gripping tale tracing the links between an elite private school, the suicide of a millionaire banker and the shocking murder of a wealthy young woman (GRAZIA)

    Denise Mina is one of Scotland's most impressive crime writers. This dark, angry novel doesn't offer easy thrills or the intellectual diversion of a whodunnit. Instead it focusses on its deeply flawed characters, their motivations and the world they live in ... undeniably powerful (SPECTATOR)

    Book Description

    A savage murder with no apparent motive - DS Morrow's most challenging case brings her work and home lives dangerously close...

    From the two-time winner of the prestigious Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

    Product details

    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

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Who really did it? 21 Sept. 2012
    By Sue
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I read this book with some friends as part of a book club. I really enjoyed it as I love murder mysteries and this is a bit different as you know who was involved with the murder from the start and some of the characters are portrayed in enough detail to make them believable. The murder is really secondary to the exploration of the impact of family life on children - for the good and bad! When we discussed it at the book club we came to different conclusions about who had actually committed the murder. Several of us read parts of it again and still couldn't really tell who did it. This was a bit annoying and, for me, it moved the book from a 5* to a 4*. I wish the author had made it a bit clearer - or maybe I am missing the point and it is like this on purpose - still annoying though.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing read 26 Sept. 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition
    I'm not a great reader of detective fiction but I found Denis Mila's book both fascinating and literate. She skillfully brings us into very different worlds: the family of the super rich disgraced financier; the harassed pregnant detective with her shifty family background; the struggling but proud single mother living in Glasgow's tough Castlemilk estate and the in-fighting world of the Glasgow police station. All are lightly but very evocatively drawn and pulled toghether by the shocking murder and its investigation. A very satisfying read and I look forward to reading more by this author.
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    20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars off form 20 May 2011
    By john H
    mina is a very talented writer , wonderful with characters and i thought at the beginning this book was going to be perfect and break the sterotyped mould again . But it just falls apart; she gives thanks at the beginning to friends "for sorting out the second half of this book which was , ahem , a bit messy". It is still a mess and the chief reason , i think , is her failure with the Catholic public school boy whose father has hanged himself . i am not giving anything away : the problem is there is nothing to give away . you might enjoy it more if you don't assume it is a crime story
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Decent enjoyable read 10 Oct. 2014
    This had a strong opening with a very well written murder scene and a family funeral for the police heroine that opened up lots of questions. The guilty are identified very early on so this isn't a whodunit more a bit of a police procedural. It focuses mainly on the life of one of the guilty children (well written but a bit clichéd in its portrayal of extravagant wealth but no love) and the police and family politics that Alex Morrow has to contend with. I didn't really warm to the heroine, rather my favourite character was the cleaning lady and her family.

    I had a couple of plot issues with this - what Detective Sergeant in Glasgow, with its sectarian issues, would not be aware of the confessional seal that priests uphold? Also, would the father of a co-accused be allowed talk alone to the other conspirator in a prison?

    However it was a decent read (despite the facile and unnecessary last page) and I would read more in the series.
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    9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Poor ending spoils whole book 10 Nov. 2012
    When I started reading this I wondered how I had missed discovering Mina earlier, as I am always on the lookout for intelligent crime novels. I won't go into great detail about the plot or standard of writing as others have done so, but I found it thoroughly compelling...up until the last few chapters when it fell apart. It becomes muddled, bitty & confused, leaving the impression that Mina did not know how to resolve & dovetail the various plotlines & attempts to hide this fact through various narrative tricks. The last minute twist is unconvincing & does not work at all. I was left feeling disappointed & quite indignant, to have followed the story so avidly & with such anticipation only to be let down at the end.
    As someone else here has pointed out, Mina does thank people in the acknowledgements for 'sorting out the second half of this book, which was, ahem, a bit messy.' It is still messy, & the last chapters more than a bit, I'm afraid.
    I shall try another of her books as it was so promising to begin with; but I'm not optimistic because surely one of the hardest part of writing, especially crime writing, is drawing everything together into a satisfactory conclusion, & a good writer has the ability to do that.
    Well, I have tried another of her books & the same thing happened: it was very good but fizzled out towards the end. I couldn't be bothered to read the last few pages - such a disappointment. It puzzles me that she gets a lot of good reviews. But I won't be reading another.
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    5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars too many cliches 17 Dec. 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This is a competent police procedural, but there are too many shop-worn characters and plot devices to make it stand out. You've got the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, the cop-who-has-to-fight-the-system, the drunken-priest-who-takes-the-murderer's-confession....need I to go on? Reasonably well-written, it's ok if you can see past the the formulaic characters.
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    Got this from the library as I was looking for new writers. What a stupid book, and what an irritating writer. I really don't care for writers who have so little in terms of 'plot' that they have to use 'literary' devices like suddenly switching topic in the middle of the crime scene. Who cares whether the baby in her stomach gave a twinge or six? I'm not reading a maternity manual. I want to read a fast moving detective thriller. Every single time she gets to a point where the book is getting interesting, she inserts her private s***ty life. If there was that much going for the plot, she wouldn't have to do that. In addition, what a load of pretentious rubbish. How on earth the end hung together with the beginning, I have no idea. It appears that she didn't either.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Thank you
    Published 4 months ago by joan turner
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing.
    I love Denise Mina's books - they tackle all kinds of social issues.
    Published 5 months ago by Karen Philpott
    4.0 out of 5 stars I suggest reading 'Still Midnight' first
    This is the first novel by Denise Mina that I have read. It opens dramatically with Sarah Erroll being woken by teenage boys who have not broken into her home by chance. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Dr R
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    not read yet
    Published 8 months ago by SusieQ
    1.0 out of 5 stars Really weak and boring
    I regretted reading this boring book. The author pays too much detail to irrelevant descriptions, the story is naive and chaotic.
    Published 17 months ago by Michal Slavik
    4.0 out of 5 stars The series just gets better
    A crooked financier hangs himself in Kent and a young woman is brutally murdered in Glasgow - there is no connection between the two, or is there? Read more
    Published 18 months ago by Plucked Highbrow
    4.0 out of 5 stars Sting in the tale
    I loved the characters in this book - described and drawn so vividly. Good crime story that also deals with how the snap judgements we make, invariably come back to sting us.
    Published 19 months ago by Jane Harkess
    2.0 out of 5 stars in dis enema
    Seduced by the hype, I succumbed.

    The characterisation, at least of the lifestyles, if not of the people living those lifestyles, may well be well done, but... Read more
    Published 20 months ago by JK
    5.0 out of 5 stars 5th star for the twist at the end!
    First of her books I have read and will certainly be reading more of them. Good characters, well drawn and a great twist at the end.
    Published 21 months ago by V. Anfilogoff
    4.0 out of 5 stars Quality prose, great protagonist
    If you're looking for cliffhangers and jaw-dropping twists of plot, this may not be the book for you. Read more
    Published 21 months ago by Eva Hudson
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