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Sanctum Paperback – 4 Aug 2003

3.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New edition edition (4 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553813293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553813296
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,349,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A genuinely gripping novel, written in diary form, with sinewy prose...Glasgow has found itself an Ian Rankin' -- The Times (Play)

‘A masterly psychological web of people on the edge and the devils that lie beneath their apparent respectability. Engrossing’ -- Guardian

‘Quite simply brilliant…Mina springs a number of surprises, not least the terrific ending’ -- Observer

‘Something special…A tour de force’ -- The Times Literary Supplement

‘The plot is unrolled artfully…the writing is lucid, and the minor characters breathe with an almost Dickensian life’ -- The Sunday Times

Book Description

A powerful new stand-alone novel by Scotland's princess of crime, Denise Mina: ‘one of the finest crime writers of her generation’ EXPRESS

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a tedious book, the first half was all diaries, the rest of the book, well, it was so boring I missed out many chapters and read the final few to see what happened. What a load of tosh and a waste of money.
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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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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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