Conviction by Denise Mina

ConvictionAnna McDonald has it all – a successful lawyer husband, two young daughters, nice house in Glasgow, etc.

She also has a true crime podcast addiction.  Her current podcast du jour is one detailing the Dana, a sunken yacht off the coast of France, where a father and his daughter and son perished.  As Anna listens on, she recognizes the father as a liked acquaintance from ten years ago, when she worked in a lavish country resort in the Scottish Highlands.  It was a convenient place to hide and regroup after an earlier trauma.

Anna is not her real name, and her quiet life of suburban deception is soon to spiral downwards, beginning with her marriage, when her husband informs Anna that he’s in an affair with her best friend Estelle, and they are headed on vacation with the kids, but without her.

Thus begins Conviction, a non-stop tale of a hunted woman who either has been on the run or had a made-up identity for the better part of ten years, and now becomes rediscovered by the wrong people, thanks to a nosy neighbor who posts a photo of Anna that quickly goes viral.

With her personal life in shambles, and soon to be in danger, Anna finds an unlikely ally in Fin Cohen, Estelle’s husband, an anorexic has-been rock star.  The two argue and feverishly journey towards the resort in the Highlands that Anna worked at previously and where she first met Leon Parker, the father of the doomed family in the podcast.  There is one person there who might have some answers, and the area of the resort is remote.

She and Fin find out the hard way that nowhere is remote enough.  On the run again, they trek further, to the French coastal town where the Dana set sail that fateful night, and further on to Venice, trying to stay ahead of certain parties who would prefer them dead.  On the way, Anna and Fin play with the possibilities of podcasting themselves, and find an online crowd more than willing to cheer them on or damn them.

Conviction is a picaresque thriller, its main character a damaged soul who has decided to demand the truth, even if it might kill her.  Anna is a frustated person, and as you learn her back history, you’ll understand why.

Denise Mina writes smart, gritty books within the Tartan Noir genre.  In Conviction, her newest, Mina doesn’t let up the pace.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

 

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