Maureen O'Donnell wakes up one morning to find her therapist boyfriend murdered in the middle of her living room and herself a prime suspect in a murder case. Determined to clear her name, Maureen undertakes her own investigation and learns of a similar murder at a local psychiatric hospital.
She soon uncovers a trail of deception and repressed scandal that could clear her name - or make her the next victim.
Year of Publication
In the hands of Denise Mina, the crime novel has become a scalpel to analyse contemporary society: she is more like Zola than Christie. Her debut, Garnethill, looked stonily at sexual abuse, psychotherapy, cover-ups and the disconnection between what is right and what is legal. In an often macho genre, Mina provides a proper feminist perspective and refreshed a whole form of writing. -- Stuart Kelly
Denise Mina’s debut novel has one of the best heroines in modern crime fiction. Maureen O’Donnell is a survivor – of sexual abuse, mental illness and a painful period in a psychiatric hospital. Maureen is a truly compelling character – vulnerable, resilient, fearless - and this is a raw, powerful book which will challenge the reader to think deeply about violence against women and how we treat those who are struggling with mental ill health. -- Wendy Kirk, Glasgow Women's Library
Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father's job as an Engineer, the family followed the north sea oil boom of the seventies around Europe She left school at sixteen and did a number of poorly paid jobs, including working in a meat factory, as a bar maid, kitchen porter and cook. Eventually she settled in auxiliary nursing for geriatric and terminal care patients.
At twenty-one she passed exams, got into study Law at Glasgow University and went on to research a PhD thesis at Strathclyde University on the ascription of mental illness to female offenders, teaching criminology and criminal law in the meantime.
Misusing her grant she stayed at home and wrote a novel, 'Garnethill' when she was supposed to be studying instead.