Denise Mina writes crime novels, suspenseful ones, full of complicated characters and often tinged with a kind of sorrow. Her latest is Blood, Salt, Water, featuring Glasgow’s DI Alex Morrow, and it’s not to be missed.
The book starts with a woman’s murder. It’s premeditated and it’s brutal. The murderer is a low-life, he’s done time, and he’s none too bright. But in Mina’s hands, we learn he is much more. The killer, Iain Fraser, is trapped in a small town that’s run by a hard man and everybody knows what’s what, but nobody’s saying. Iain’s a loyal man who’s trying to save the friend who’s like a brother to him, desperate to pay off his friend’s debt and save his life. And so Iain bludgeons a woman to death with the help of another small-time criminal.
But that single crime ties into a bigger criminal conspiracy, and bad guys being what they are, various tangents. Morrow and her team must untangle them all. The book ends with some justice done, but not all. Because that’s how life is, in Mina’s Scotland. And real life, too.
Blood, Sweat, Water is the fifth in the Alex Morrow series and a great all-around read. It’s a police procedural with a female protagonist who is truly three dimensional. While each book can easily stand alone, you are best served by reading them in order, as the as there is plot progress and character growth through the series.
Want more Mina? She has two other series to check out, so visit her website.