I was thrilled to be invited to take part in the blog tour for 'Conviction' by Denise Mina. Thank you to Vintage who gifted me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
It’s just a normal morning when Anna's husband announces that he's leaving her for her best friend and taking their two daughters with him.
With her safe, comfortable world shattered, Anna distracts herself with someone else's story: a true-crime podcast. That is until she recognises the name of one of the victims and becomes convinced that only she knows what really happened.
With nothing left to lose, she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, Anna's past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.
'Conviction' by Denise Mina arrived at the perfect time. I'm currently immersed in a murder mystery fiction obsession, so I'm keen to discover new authors within the crime genre and I can't get my hands on enough of these books at the moment. Mina is an author that hasn't been on my radar until now but her latest novel is the co-winner of the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2019, as well as having been selected for Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine Book Club.
I started reading it on a rainy Sunday morning and literally couldn't put it down. I finished it the same day and would definitely recommend clearing your schedule for this one. It's compulsive reading and the fast-pace of the story makes you want to consume it in one go. Packed full of suspense, the story traverses multiple locations across Europe as the characters go on a rollercoaster ride.
The story starts with the main character confessing that she's not who everyone thinks she is. She once had a different name and a different life and she became used to telling lies about everything. However, now her life has imploded and nothing will ever go back to the way it was before. After the opening prologue, the next time we see Anna she is with her husband and children, listening to a true crime podcast and trying to find escape from her day to day life. She becomes immersed in episode 1 of Death and the Dana until she unexpectedly hears a name from her past; someone who she used to know who is now both a victim and implicated in the crime.
As Anna's life falls to pieces, she seeks an escape in the case and throws herself into investigating the mysterious sinking of the Dana, following multiple threads of evidence which take her from Scotland to Italy and beyond. I was absolutely hooked on this book. I was desperate to know the big secret that Anna was hiding and couldn't wait to discover what she was trying to conceal about her past. I was also intrigued and puzzled about the true and unsolved crime that is at the heart of the novel. I had a lot of theories about what might have happened, none of which I was right about. Denise Mina is a genius at throwing lots of twists and turns into the mix and then wrong-footing you just when you think you have it all worked out.
This is a crime novel that ticks all my boxes. It's exciting, intriguing, suspenseful, chock full of twists and turns that have you on the edge of your seat the whole way through and with a main character whose storytelling draws you deeper and deeper into the mystery. It's intricately plotted and so gripping that you are desperate to keep reading. I wanted to not only find out the truth about Anna's mysterious past but also whether or not she could uncover the real secret about the Dana. There are shadowy evil figures hovering in the background throughout the novel and this adds another layer of danger and tension to the story.
I'm thrilled to have discovered such a brilliant author and I'll definitely now be checking out her back catalogue. I'm also really excited about her next book 'The Less Dead' which sounds fantastic. If you're a fan of this genre or just looking for a compulsive, fast-paced read then get yourself a copy of 'Conviction'. You won't regret it.