Friday, January 13, 2012


Pages: 404
Date: 13/01/2012
Grade: 4
Details: no. 2 Kate Morrow

In a wealthy suburb of Glasgow a young woman is brutally murdered by two intruders into her house.
DS Kate Morrow, five months pregnant with twins and a past she chooses to deny, investigates the murder while her station faces internal unrest.
In Kent, millionaire banker Lars Anderson hangs himself from a tree in front of his house, leaving his fragile family to deal with his dubious and hateful legacy.
When the two deaths are connected, the depth of Anderson’s selfishness and the harm it has caused are fully exposed and the fall-out appears enormous.
For Morrow bringing this case to a successful conclusion means she can resolve some issues with her own past and family.

This book is not really a mystery, at least not for the reader. The perpetrators of the vicious murder are identified right at the start of the book. While Ds. Kate Morrow and her colleagues are trying to find out who committed the murder and why, the big question for the reader is if it is going to happen again, and how the police investigation is ever going to get to the solution.
But even with the investigation as conducted by Morrow being described in detail, I don’t think that was the real subject of this book. For me this book was more about relationships and the various forms they take. The relationships we cherish, those we want to deny, and those we’re stuck with whether we like it or not.
I do feel that the picture the author paints of people is rather coloured by prejudice. It would appear that the rich and powerful are all bad, selfish and out to better themselves, regardless of who they might destroy in the process, while the less well off, although by no means described as angels, all have redeeming features and softness shining through the rough exterior.
I haven’t read any other books by Denise Mina, so I have no way of knowing if this contrast is one that features in all her work or unique to this book. I liked her writing in this book enough to pick up something else by her in the future, if only to find an answer to that question, though.

This is a very well written story. It is hard not to be fascinated by the selfishness of some of the characters, not to feel sorry for those who were at their mercy and not to cheer for those who make it despite the odds apparently being stacked against them.
There are one or two characters though I still can’t make up my mind about; I’m still not sure if Thomas especially was just plain bad, mad, a bit of both or just too neglected and too much of a teenager to use good judgment. And while I like it when a book stays with me after I finish the last page, I’m not sure how much I enjoy this level of confusion about a character’s motivation.
All in all this was a book that intrigued me, but not only for the right reasons.

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