by Denise Mina

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Featured image for Exile

Garnethill was so good, just about the best book I read last year, that I’ve put off reading this for fear of being disappointed by it. The first book, which featured Glaswegian Maureen O’Donnell defending herself against accusations of being a murderer, would have been wonderful as a standalone but I couldn’t see it as the start of a series. That would have defeated the realism that was an intrinsic part of its attraction. I’ve learned since that Mina is keeping this series as a trilogy and that understanding gave me more faith that the followup books would be as good as the first, and in this case at least, I was right.

I expected to see more continuity between the investigation in Garnethill and the investigation in Exile than there was. I suppose the third volume, because of it’s title: Resolution, will deal more with wrapping up the Garnethill case. Threads from the first book run through this book but don’t really get tied up, they are just in the background linking (I presume) books one and three.

This was another fantastic book though with a great bleak story and some fine dark humour. Once again everything is going wrong for these characters but the darkness is lifted by the sense of hope. Some things have definitely got better since Garnethill, things are running smoother in some ways for Maureen and her family but nothing is easy and it all feels real.

In short, it’s as good a followup novel as I’ve read and I’m really glad it is. I’m very much looking forward to Resolution.