So far I have read seven novels by Denise Mina: Garnethill, Deception, Still Midnight, Slip of the Knife, The Dead Hour, Field of Blood, and The End of the Wasp Season. Can you tell that I like the work of this Scottish mystery writer? The writing is very dark, so it isn’t for everyone; Mina writes in the sub-genre that some reviewers call “Tartan Noir,” as it is definitely both Scottish and noir, so don’t read her if you’re looking for something cheerful.
With that out of the way, I can wholeheartedly recommend Mina’s novels to those of you who are still with me. They mostly come in threes, from the early Garnethill trilogy through the Maddy Meehan trilogy to the not-quite-completely published Alex Morrow trilogy, which includes Still Midnight and The End of the Wasp Season. The whole collection is very Glaswegian, with a sense of place that sucks the reader into the world Mina writes about. There’s no upper-class or genteel middle-class Dorothy Sayers or Agatha Christie here; it’s working-class cops and criminals with convincing interactions and convincing language. Almost all the characters are richly portrayed. It’s not my world, and it probably isn’t yours, but that’s all the more reason to visit it. Do so. (You’ll probably want to start any of the trilogies at its beginning.)