Saturday 6 June 2020



It's just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They're leaving together and they're taking Anna's two daughters with them.

Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can't think, she can't take it in. With her safe, predictable workd shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There's a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.

This is a murder she can't ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and resent lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

Denise Mina is an author I've been meaning to read for a while and having visited my local library a few months back to collect something else I ordered, I picked this one up. I liked it and Mina is definitely an author I will be interested in reading more from in the future, even if I'm not quite driven to get the wallet out and hoover up everything she's ever written. In the meantime, I'll happily settle for the couple of others of hers that sit on the pile.

I liked her writing style. There's a flow and cadence to the tale that keeps the story moving forward and the pages turning. I think it took a day and a half to read around a weekend, which isn't bad going for about 380-odd pages.

I found the plot a bit unlikely, particularly with the backstory of our main character and the seemingly contrived connections to the present day mystery Anna was looking into. It was a bit of a stretch on the bounds of credibility IMO. However when you think about it, isn't all fiction? Slight incredulity set aside, I was curious and interested enough to keep going to see how it all worked out.

I enjoyed finding out about Anna's past and seeing how she coped with the reality of her marriage failure and the anger and hurt at her husband's betrayal with her best friend - a bit of a double whammy actually. I admired her ability to put things to one side for the sake of her children.

I also liked her sense of purpose in driving forward to solve the murder mystery and find some answers and a sort of justice for events which she suffered in the past.

I quite liked the topicality of the podcast element and the social media buzz, as her story and investigation broke....... likes, views, rankings - the importance of it and when you think about it the utter ridiculousness of it all.

Overall more to like than take issue with.

3.5 from 5

Read - May, 2020
Published - 2019
Page count - 388
Source - Leighton Buzzard library
Format - hardback


  1. I like Mina's work, I think, better than you do, Col, but it's good to see you found a lot to like with this one. I think she does a fine job of developing characters, and of building suspense. If you haven't read her Garnethill trilogy, you might be interested in that. It's different to this, but solid characters, gritty without being relentless, and a great sense of place - just my thoughts...

    1. I'm hoping to read some of her earlier books, Margot including the Garnethill trilogy.

  2. I agree with your rating I did enjoy her early books..

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kt. I'll let you know how I get on with them.

  3. Based on the description in the blurb, the plot sounds very unlikely, and I can see where it could lead to disbelief, etc. I have read the first book in the Paddy Meehan series and the first book in the Garnethill series. I liked both of those, writing style and characters, and want to read more.

    1. I liked this one overall, but a few bits were a bit of a stretch for me. Not enough to bump me out of the story, but it wasn't the best book I've ever read.

  4. Bingo again! I read this and absolutely loved it - some of it was rather unlikely, but I just enjoyed the sheer gust of it, the energy, the way it kept moving and putting new elements into the story. And the podcast/social media elements really were new and unusual. So then I thought I would love to read more by her, but a number of the reviews of this one say it is nothing like her others!... so I need some help before choosing another.

    1. Margot and Tracy have hat-tipped some of her earlier ones, Moira. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.