THE END OF THE WASP SEASON

Written by Denise Mina

Review written by Amy Myers

Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. She is currently mid-series with Marsh & Daughter set in today’s Kent. Her new series, to which her classic car buff husband Jim has contributed his specialist knowledge, features car detective Jack Colby, who tackles crime in the fast lane.


THE END OF THE WASP SEASON
Orion Books
RRP: £12.99
Released: 5th May 2011
Hbk
Set partly in Kent and partly in Glasgow, where the author was born, Denise Mina’s sleuth is the pregnant Alex Morrow of Strathclyde Police. This is no routine police procedural, however, and nor is Alex Morrow’s investigation a routine hunt. She feels too deeply about the case for that.

The author’s strength is in conveying and interpreting the psychological cause and effect of violent crime, and she structures The End of the Wasp Season from the viewpoints not only of Morrow but of the victims and perpetrators of the crime. What makes this such a gripping thriller is the question of which is which.

A young woman, just returned to her Glasgow home after her mother’s death, is murdered and it is Alex Morrow’s case, one that for its sheer brutality preys on her mind. Far away in Kent a millionaire commits suicide and the family he had bullied and metaphorically trampled over begins to fall apart. There is a link between the two events but it takes all Morrow’s strength to work out the truth. But is there ever a ‘truth’ to finding a murderer?

The author’s structure is first class, keeping the reader constantly switching between what seems and what is. Denise Mina’s first novel won the CWA John Creasey Dagger for best first novel, and her ninth is an equal page turner. Put it down? No way. I’d have missed her terrific conclusion.


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