3 September 2013

Review: GODS AND BEASTS, Denise Mina

  • Published by Orion Books 2012
  • ISBN 978-1-4091-4068-9
  • 291 pages
  • #3 in the Alex Morrow series
Synopsis (author website)

A hold up in a Glasgow post office: A well dressed doting grandfather hands his beloved grandson to a tattooed stranger, steps out of the queue and helps the robber. He seems to know that the man can't leave the post office and let him live. He stands, passive, and lets the man do what he wants.

Morrow begins the investigation with a bad feeling about it. She wants to go home. That's all she ever wants to do, to go home to her boys, but the robbery pulls her into the city and lives she could only begin to imagine.

Read an extract etc.

My Take

Denise Mina won the 2013 Theakston's Old Peculier crime novel of the year for the second time in a row with GODS AND BEASTS, making it another must read. (See the other contenders)
To my mind, it is not as good as THE END OF THE WASP SEASON but it is certainly thought provoking.

On the surface, Alex Morrow is investigating why a grandfather assists a masked robber in a post office armed robbery after he has apparently recognised the robber. He is then gruesomely murdered.

But really the novel is about Glasgow's underbelly of crime, the connections between politicians and criminals, between the police and criminals, and about corruption among those who should be incorruptible. Even police officers close to D.I. Morrow are flawed, and she herself is still in touch with her half-brother Danny, himself a crime boss, drug supplier and money launderer.

Strands of the novel that begin separately: the post office robbery; the fall of a well thought of politician; a sting involving drug bosses and money launderers; and union politics; converge into a stunning web. Morrow is put on a short leash by her commanding officer, as it also becomes inevitable that there will be an internal investigation into police corruption.

My rating: 4.7

Alex Morrow
1. Still Midnight (2009)
2. The End of the Wasp Season (2011)
3. Gods and Beasts (2012)
4. The Red Road (2013)

My reviews

Reviews to read


Anonymous said...

Concur with your opinion. Thought it a very riveting book. I didn't like all of it evenly but when I look at it in its entirety, it works.

Denise Mina's depiction of Glasgow life, whatever element she is describing, is always good.

I haven't figured out everything about the book, including the mysterious young guy who lived in a mansion. He was an enigma to me. Perhaps that was intended.

Mina is a favorite author of mine, never boring, always interesting.

I, too, liked her prior book, which I thought was genius in parts, her observations about class especially.

Irene said...

I have not read this authors works, thank you so much for the recommendation.


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