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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2017
I've read several of A.N. Wilson's books and enjoyed most of them. But this one simply doesn't work. It starts well and then jumps around like a yo-yo, chronologically and in style. I got confused and indeed the whole design is a muddle. i guess i could have sorted it out by reading more carefully but i simply got bored and found the characters uninteresting.
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on 12 May 2017
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 September 2016
1761 onwards: An account of Captain Cook’s journey through the eyes of the botanist who went with him.

WOW what a journey! I had learned a little of Captain Cook and his journeys but not from the eyes of someone on board his ships. I think this premise worked really well as it allowed you to see more of the man behind the image and the everyday detail that official biographies might not see. It’s a relatively short work at only 275 pages or so, but that just makes it flow even faster. Sorry I promised myself I would not include watery words or idioms in this review but it’s hard not to!

I love ships. LOVE them so this was a great journey for me to go on as I would have loved to have done such a journey in real life. I did feel the passion and the detail could have been more evocative. The writing didn’t flow as much as I would like – it did read as history book at times but that’s only a small niggle as overall the whole concept of the journey and the significance of it all took over.

This novel will certainly get you googling and looking up maps – it would be rude not to as it demands further exploration (sorry again) Book Ahoy!
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on 11 August 2013
This is gritty read definitely not for the squeamish or the precious among us. But great characterisation. Shades of 'girl with the dragon tattoo' but very Glasgow seamy side.
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on 14 October 2013
Another superb book from Denise Mina. I love Maureen and want to read more of her, so please, Denise Mina, can we have another one?
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on 15 December 2016
The final instalment of the Garnethill trilogy satisfyingly concludes the story of Maureen O'Donnell and her dysfunctional family. It's a tribute to Mina's writing that her flawed heroine seems so real and evokes the reader's sympathy.
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Resolution," (2002) is third and last in what has come to be known as "The Garnethill Trilogy," a series of British mysteries by increasingly well-known Scottish-born author Denise Mina, now a leading practitioner, in company with Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, of the Scottish crime writing school that has come to be known as "tartan noir," for its high level of violence, sheer bloody-mindedness, and grisly, witty humor. Mina burst on the scene with her debut novel,Garnethill that won the John Creasey Memorial Award; she was born in the vicinity of Glasgow, where all her novels have so far been set. As a child, her father's work took her all over the world: she has, since her return to that city, worked in the field of health care, studied law at the University of Glasgow, and taught criminal law and criminology.

The book at hand picks up, and resolves, the untidy story of hard-drinking Maureen O'Donnell, who has known some good, and some bad, luck in her time. She is currently finding her life difficult: as a result of a generous gift from her former, murdered, married, therapist boyfriend, Douglas Brady, she owes more money in back taxes than she now makes on her job selling bootleg cigarettes in Paddy's Market. Her abusive father Michael has again shown up in town, destabilizing her hard-won sanity; Angus Farrell the psychologist who brutally murdered Doug - in Maureen's apartment-- is soon to go on trial for that murder, and another, with Maureen as star witness. And she has chosen to get herself involved in the untidy life of another unhappy family, that of Ella McGee, former prostitute, now an elderly stallholder at the same market as Maureen: the older woman has taken her son to small claims court over unpaid wages; she turns up beaten in Albert Hospital.

The tales, grim and dark, somehow resolve themselves happily for Maureen. They present us with exciting courtroom drama; illegally imported Polish sex slaves, yet again; a Scottish wedding in a fancy hotel on Loch Lomond, apparently a body of water not nearly so benign as the famous old song would have us think; and an explicit, vivid incestuous rape scene that may be a bit much for some readers. Fortunately for all concerned, the darkness is plentifully leavened with Mina's exhilarating love for and knowledge of her city, and dry wit. For example, listen to her set her scene: "Usually Glasgow's weather vacillates between freezing rain and not-so-freezing rain but sometimes, on a five-to-ten-year cycle, the weather turns and the city doesn't know itself. This was such a time. Unconditional sunshine had arrived one week ago. Virulent, fecund plant life had sprung up everywhere: trees and bushes were heavy with deep green leaves, growth appeared on buildings, between cracks in the pavement, on bins. The city burst into life and everyone began to farm their skin. Water-white cheeks and necks withered and puckered with relentless exposure. Casualty departments heaved under the strain of sunburn and heat stroke. Everyone in the unaccustomed city was dressing as if they'd woken up naked in a bush and had to borrow clothes to get home: old women wore young women's summer dresses, vest tops were stretched over belly rolls, short sleeves showed off straps from industrial bras. Every night felt like Friday night and parties went on too long. Fantastic blood-alcohol levels were attained by conscientious individuals. Everyone was dangerously out of character." Mind you, this book surely isn't everyone's cup of tea, nor thimbleful of whiskey, for that matter: only you know what you look for in a book.
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on 31 October 2003
Having just finished the third book in the trilogy, after reading them back to back - I'm compelled to write a recommendation. Denise Mina brings to life a range of characters and I particularly liked Maureen - how refreshing to have such a flawed 'heroine' with very real problems of her own solving the mysteries. She's sharp, very human and spunky and I can't remember the last time I warmed to a character in a book to this extent. Mina touches on many complex themes in all the books - mental illness, child abuse, alcoholism and the seemy underworlds of London and Glasgow, and unlike other authors in this genre manages to be very credible. Definitely the best crime books I've read recently.
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on 25 October 2009
Disappointing. Everything is wrapped up very neatly in this final part of Mina's trilogy. The ending smacks more of wish fulfillment rather than truth. As with 'Garnethill', I don't really understand why this trilogy is considered to be Crime fiction. The crime aspect is soft-pedaled throughout and there is no mystery to speak of. Finding Maureen easier to empathise with in 'Exile', this time I found her as irritating as I did in 'Garnethill'. Though perhaps this is down to the fact that while Maureen's personality appears to be realistic, the other characters come across as almost cartoon-like and not like real people. Everyone is perhaps too off the wall to make the world Mina creates one to be believed in. Judging by the reviews for all three books I'm obviously in the minority when it comes to finding this set of books unsatisfying. Though that's exactly how I feel after reading them.
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on 15 July 2002
Those who have already followed the exploits of Maureen O'Donnell in "Garnethill" and "Exile" only need to know that this third book in the trilogy is now out in paperback. Anyone who hasn't yet encountered Denise Mina's wry, atmospheric take on crime fiction should do themselves a favour and read the books in order, as they are interlinked.
Once again expect dry wit, razor-sharp dialogue, lifelike characters and Glasgow as the natives see it. Also, there's a twist in the tail which may surprise you!
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