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61 Reviews
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FLOWER OF THE COWCADDENS
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...
Published on 15 Sep 2008 by DAVID BRYSON

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lot of pluses, but didn't resonate with me
I had mixed feelings about Garnethill. Mina is clearly a skilled writer and the story is well plotted, with some nice twists and tension points, and is particularly strong on characterization. It also has a nice sense of place and contextualisation with respect to incest, abuse, family feuds, friendship and mental health issues. The full complexity of Maureen as a...
Published on 7 May 2012 by Rob Kitchin


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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grim, but not reality, 15 Aug 2012
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A & S (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book having read and enjoyed one of Mina's other novels, The End of the Wasp Season. Garnet Hill proved to be a much more difficult prospect. Whilst the novel may be accurate in some of its descriptions of alcoholism, mental illness, and response to abuse, I didn't find the behaviour of the police entirely believable. Without credibility, the plethora of grim details was overpowering. A disappointment.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is the best book I've read this year, 12 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Garnethill (Hardcover)
Garnethill is good enough to have been entered for the Booker or the Orange ~ it won the John Creasey Award for a first thriller ~ but it is a social document of our times. It is well-written & it's funny & I couldn't put it down. I liked it & was so impressed, I've not stopped talking about it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 11 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Garnethill (Garnethill 1) (Kindle Edition)
I cant say much about this one that I really liked. I think Denise Mina was just cutting her teeth on this one. It was a bit repetitive and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone though others have said how much they enjoyed it - so ! you can't please everyone!!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich reading, 26 April 2010
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This review is from: Garnethill (Paperback)
I loved this book for its rich tapestry of characters and the vivid descriptions of the situations Maureen found herself in.

I loved Maureen who is a bit of an anti-hero and the patients at the various hospitals and clinics are very sympathetically portrayed. Gurtie is quite delightful! I think Denise Mina has done a fantastic job of invoking just the right degree of sympathy or antipathy through her portrayal of each character.

I usually rotate authors in my reading, but I really do feel compelled to read the next book in this trilogy because I like Maureen so much. It's going to be a fairly big decision tonight :-)

It's amazing that this is a debut novel!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Garnethill by Denise Mina, 17 July 2013
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I bought the Garnethill Trilogy to read on hols, but couldn't wait and devoured the first, Garnethill, yesterday. Maureen is child abuse survivor who has spent time in psychiatric care. She is having an affair with Douglas Brady, a society husband and son of Carol Brady, an MEP. One day Maureen finds Douglas dead, tied to a chair and throat slit. The killer has been very careful to ensure that Maureen is perfectly in the frame for the crime.

Battling her family, most of whom believe that she invented the child abuse at the hand's of their father/husband, battling her alcoholic mother, battling the police who believe she is the perpetrator, battling the MEP determined that Maureen is at fault and battling the police Maureen is determined to find out for herself who killed her boyfriend (who she had stopped caring about really). She has to learn who in her tight circle she can trust.

I loved this book for many reasons. The mystery, the hook of all crime really, is not too complex or unbelievable. The characters are real and draw you in especially Maureen who should be an unreliable narrator with her boozing, psychiatric history and dodgy memory of child abuse, but she's not - you believe wholeheartedly in her. He brother Liam is also one you shouldn't trust - a drug dealer - but you do, you care about what happens to him. But most importantly, to me, the setting; Glasgow and a Glasgow that I recognise - mundane and everyday - not noirish and seedy. With a Glaswegian dialogue to match - not affected and exaggerated but real and normal. The way Glaswegians speak - not a romanticised, brutalised version.

I absolutely can't wait to get stuck into the second in the trilogy.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent light read, 18 Aug 2008
By 
Robert (Uxbridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Garnethill (Paperback)
I quite liked this book as a holiday read. There was no real mystery in it but Mina does write believable characters. The narrative comes over as being written by the character and not the author's voice. I had a couple of quibbles about police letting a suspect wander round Glasgow instead of being in the cells. But on the whole it is worth getting this book from the library rather than buying it to decide if you like Mina's style.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A struggle of a read, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Garnethill (Garnethill 1) (Kindle Edition)
After being recommended by a friend with good taste in reading material, I have now finished this novel. Sadly, the characters were really difficult to identify with and their stream of consciousness was confusing and left me feeling quite grotty! I was determined to finish this book but it didn't manage to hold my attention for very long.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mina has a new fan, 10 Aug 2013
This review is from: Garnethill (Garnethill 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is the first of Denise Mina's books I've read but it definitely won't be the last. The characters are effortlessly drawn and refreshingly real, rounded and complicated. Glasgow 's environment, humour and dark side are also brought to life on the page and the author surely champions the cause of better understanding of mental health. Whilst the plot was suitably intriguing it is all the aforesaid elements which make this a standout read. I'm off to download the next in the Garnethill series!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even the unlikeable characters are compelling, 12 Jan 2001
This review is from: Garnethill (Paperback)
I don't generally like hard-boiled characters or those who suffer from mood disorders -- the authors never seem to get it right -- but Maureen and her cronies from the hospital are real. The tension between her and the police is brilliantly done, and the descriptions of Glasgow are clear and affectionate albeit dreary. I must admit, however that the descriptions of what Maureen eats did put me off my feed a bit.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty in squalor, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: Garnethill (Garnethill 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is dark stuff but in the company of Denise Mina and the indomitable Maureen it becomes a thrilling but always believable rush towards the light. The characters leap off the page, slap you about the head and make you wince at the painful authenticity of their choices. This was my first foray into the world of Mina - I hope she can write fast enough to stay ahead of the appetite she has just created in me.
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