Exile Hardcover – 3 Aug 2000
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Exile is every bit as atmospheric and idiosyncratic as Mina's earlier novel, Garnethill but with an increased sharpness in characterisation that makes for a highly compelling read. The Glasgow setting of this piece is rendered with a gritty authority that might not please the Scottish Tourist Board, but is perfect for the reader. Mina's protagonist Maureen O'Donnell is working in the Glasgow Women's Shelter when she encounters Anne Harris, suffering from two broken ribs and fighting the effects of a crippling descent into alcoholism. A fortnight later, Anne's body turns up in the river, grotesquely mutilated and embedded in a mattress. Is Anne's husband the murderer, as he so clearly seems to be? Maureen and her friend Leslie try to penetrate the indifference surrounding Anne's death, but Leslie is curiously close-mouthed about what she knows. Attempting to escape from the turmoil of her own life, Maureen travels to London, but she is soon immersed in a dangerous world of violence and drug abuse.
Utilising the classic structure of the thriller (the investigator in danger of encountering the same fate as the victim) Mina brings a level of compassion and understanding to her grim tale that ensures a remarkable experience for the reader. She is unblushing in confronting the darker side of life, and her conflicted heroine is satisfyingly embroiled in the revelations she is forced to confront. The final effect of this idiosyncratic and dark thriller is both life-affirming and exhilarating, and though we may all soon need a holiday from the dark alleys of Scotland, it isn't time yet.
" Confirms Mina's place in the premier division... atmospheric, intense and full of the disturbing flavour of inner-city lowlife." - "Guardian" " Mina writes with an energy and brio that lifts this novel head and shoulders above the superficial gangster glamour of much contemporary British crime fiction." - "The Express" "From the Paperback edition."See all Product description
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