Conviction

Conviction

Conviction stars a strong female protagonist who is obsessed by true crime podcasts and decides, one day, to investigate one of the unsolved crimes herself.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 stai...

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Title:Conviction
Author:Denise Mina
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Conviction Reviews

  • Liz Barnsley

    Conviction was absolutely riveting from the very first page – a vibrant, edgy and brilliantly done character voice, this is a layered tale that sucks you into it’s mysteries then throws you out the other side feeling like you’ve been through the wringer right beside Anna.

    Using a podcast as an anchor to mystery storytelling is popular at the moment but I’ve not seen it used in quite this way before – those portions of the plot are fascinatingly immersive (yes I know) a sunken ship haunted by a gh

    Conviction was absolutely riveting from the very first page – a vibrant, edgy and brilliantly done character voice, this is a layered tale that sucks you into it’s mysteries then throws you out the other side feeling like you’ve been through the wringer right beside Anna.

    Using a podcast as an anchor to mystery storytelling is popular at the moment but I’ve not seen it used in quite this way before – those portions of the plot are fascinatingly immersive (yes I know) a sunken ship haunted by a ghost and the mention of a name that starts Anna’s journey back through a past she hoped she’d left behind. But you can never really leave some things because they never leave you.

    It’s a page turner, crime fiction on a higher level, I won’t give too much plot away, suffice to say it is twisty indeed with emotionally charged themes and a clever mystery at the heart of it that is unexpected at every turn. The characters live and breathe on the page, they will stay with you long after you are done.

    Conviction as a whole put me in mind of the Latin “Post Hoc, Ergo, Propter Hoc” – After, Therefore, Because of it – events and connections all underneath it all. I loved it because it challenged me, I really didn’t know where it was going to end up.

    Absolutely highly recommended. Also before you think I’m cleverer than I am, the Latin came from an episode of the also brilliantly written “The West Wing” and has stayed with me long enough for me to apply it here.

    Don’t miss this one.

  • Gram

    This is a wonderfully sprawling tale with a twisted plot, most of which would easily feature in today's news headlines. The story opens with Anna McDonald, wife of a well-heeled Glasgow lawyer and mother of two young daughters, listening to a true crime podcast titled "Death and the Dana" as she prepares her daughters'clothes and packed lunches for school.

    Suddenly, a name from her past leaps out from the podcast.

    A man she knew briefly a decade ago is dead, killed in an explosion aboard a yacht

    This is a wonderfully sprawling tale with a twisted plot, most of which would easily feature in today's news headlines. The story opens with Anna McDonald, wife of a well-heeled Glasgow lawyer and mother of two young daughters, listening to a true crime podcast titled "Death and the Dana" as she prepares her daughters'clothes and packed lunches for school.

    Suddenly, a name from her past leaps out from the podcast.

    A man she knew briefly a decade ago is dead, killed in an explosion aboard a yacht which sank in the Bay of Biscay. With him were his teenage daughter and son. A young woman was arrested for planting explosives on the Dana and is now in prison. As she struggles to take in this news, her best friend Estelle arrives to collect her daughters for the school run - or so Anna thinks. Instead, she discovers her husband Hamish is leaving her for good, taking their daughters with him. He and Estelle have had an affair and amid a brief shouting match with Hamish and Estelle, Anna's world falls apart.

    With her life seemingly in tatters, she decides to distract herself from her family problems by investigating Leon's death. Then Estelle's husband Fin - a one-time rock star who suffers from anorexia - turns up and the two set off on an incredible journey which first takes them north to Skibo Castle (built by the fabulously wealthy businessman, Andrew Carnegie) then down to London to meet Tina, the broadcaster of the true crime podcast and on to Saint-Martin-de-Ré where the Dana was docked before its' final fateful journey.

    From there, she and Fin travel on to Italy and back to France.

    Half way through the book, we learn the shocking truth of Anna's past and how her present actions will place her in mortal danger.

    Along the way we meet some old friends of hers and more fantastical characters including hired killers and lackeys of the very rich desperate to prevent Anna from discovering the truth about her past and how it affects the present.

    This is a wonderfully original crime novel from a writer at the top of her form. It fails to conform to the usual boundaries of crime fiction and in Anna it has a tough female lead who will have you cheering her on. By turns, darkly comic and heart-wrenchingly sad, this is a terrific read. Highly recommended.

    My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Harvill Secker for a copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.

  • Susan

    I have, so far, read two books by Denise Mina, and a short story, all of which I have loved; which leads me to the conclusion that I really need to go back and rediscover her earlier work and, in particular, her crime series. Both of the novels I have read, “The Long Drop,” and this, “Conviction,” have been stand alone books and both have been excellent, in different ways.

    Anna McDonald is having marriage counselling, but it does not seem to be working, as when we meet her, husband Hamish heads

    I have, so far, read two books by Denise Mina, and a short story, all of which I have loved; which leads me to the conclusion that I really need to go back and rediscover her earlier work and, in particular, her crime series. Both of the novels I have read, “The Long Drop,” and this, “Conviction,” have been stand alone books and both have been excellent, in different ways.

    Anna McDonald is having marriage counselling, but it does not seem to be working, as when we meet her, husband Hamish heads out of the door with her best friend, and her two daughters. Left behind, Anna concentrates on a true crime podcast, to help think of other things and discovers that, “Death and the Dana,” which is about the death of a man, and his children, on a yacht, involves someone she once knew, who was married to a woman that she knows of all too well…

    It soon appears that Anna McDonald has a secret past. However, when her (former) best friend’s husband appears, a famous musician, with problems of his own, she finds herself suddenly thrown into the limelight. A chance photo of her and Fin, sees her face on social media, and recognition is quick to follow. With Fin in tow, the two embark on a roller coaster ride to discover the truth, avoid the bad guys and avoid being murdered.

    This is a wonderful read, fast moving, humorous and very much contemporary, with podcasts and social media very central to the plot. Denise Mina is a brilliant writer and I love her work and look forward to reading more. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  • Paromjit

    If there is only one crime thriller book you read this year, make sure it is this one from the award winning Scottish writer, Denise Mina. This is a markedly different read from her previous works, it has a lightness of touch, is darkly humorous, relevant in our contemporary world of #MeToo, and utterly riveting. The well to do Anna McDonald is married to lawyer, Hamish, and has two young daughters, Jess and Lizzie. Anna is a true crime podcast obsessive, her latest one is entitled Death and the

    If there is only one crime thriller book you read this year, make sure it is this one from the award winning Scottish writer, Denise Mina. This is a markedly different read from her previous works, it has a lightness of touch, is darkly humorous, relevant in our contemporary world of #MeToo, and utterly riveting. The well to do Anna McDonald is married to lawyer, Hamish, and has two young daughters, Jess and Lizzie. Anna is a true crime podcast obsessive, her latest one is entitled Death and the Dana, produced by Trina Keany. The Dana is a sunken yacht in the Bay of Biscay in which a murdered family, a father and his daughter and son, 21 year old Violetta and 16 year old Mark died, a tragic event shrouded in mystery and secrets. The Dana has a history of ghosts and tragedies that have sealed its reputation as a cursed vessel. On a morning that is to shatter her life apart, Anna is engaged in the everyday preparations for her family when her best friend, Estelle arrives. Hamish has a packed suitcase, he is leaving her for Estelle, taking Jess and Lizzie with him.

    It soon becomes clear Anna has a troubled hidden past that has required her to live under the radar with a new identity. As Anna drowns in her overwhelming misery, she can focus only on the podcast, shocked when she recognises a name, a man she briefly knew when working at Skibo Castle, a man she is certain is a good person. To her surprise, Fin Cohen, Estelle's washed out ex-rock star husband, turns up on her doorstep. Fin is jittery and volatile, suffering from an anorexia that descended on him amidst his failure to handle his sudden meteoric fame and celebrity. Fin's appearance gives Anna a reason to rise above the mire of her personal horrors. Fin and Anna take off on a odd couple odyssey in which Fin becomes caught up in the unfolding crime podcast which has the two of them working together to solve the mystery behind the sunken Dana. However, social media and Fin's fame on Twitter threatens to expose Anna's traumatic past, bringing with it deadly dangers as they visit Skibo Castle, London, and go to the coastal resort of Saint Martin in France and Venice in Italy.

    Denisa Mina writes a vividly beguiling, edgy, and all consuming crime read of the highest order that just grabs you from the beginning and never once lets you go until you get to the very last page. In Anna, Mina creates what she refers to as an amazing woman, and she is right. Anna is one of the huge numbers of women who have survived the kind of abuse, assault and trauma which society deems can only mean what happened to them was not so bad without once acknowledging that these women are truly amazing to have come through the darkest and most soul destroying of experiences. There is a wonderful host of characters that inhabit the novel, from Fin, Adam, the drug addict and an unforgettable gangster on a train. All in all, this is a stellar novel that any crime fiction and thriller fan is likely to adore. An absolute must read that comes highly recommended! Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC.

  • Lou

    What sets Denise Mina apart from the rest of the crime crowd is her portrayal of ordinary, humdrum lives which go on to be affected by a single life-altering catalyst. From then on life spirals drastically out of control and that is exactly what happens here with Anna and her family. The scenario manages to remain the right side of credible and, in my opinion, the reason Mina's books are so exceptional is that they feature a potent mix of interesting characters, solid plot, relaxed writing with

    What sets Denise Mina apart from the rest of the crime crowd is her portrayal of ordinary, humdrum lives which go on to be affected by a single life-altering catalyst. From then on life spirals drastically out of control and that is exactly what happens here with Anna and her family. The scenario manages to remain the right side of credible and, in my opinion, the reason Mina's books are so exceptional is that they feature a potent mix of interesting characters, solid plot, relaxed writing with some real prose gems, lots of excitement, incidents that visibly move you and last but not least witty humour to break up the dark storyline.

    Without a doubt, one of the most original domestic thrillers out there although the synopsis sounds rather like every other family drama, but don't be fooled this is a well constructed, thought out and unique piece of crime fiction. I enjoyed the intensity and our fierce female protagonist, Anna, was to die for. Unreservedly recommended to crime, thriller and mystery fans, and those who've adored Mina's past offerings will find more of the same in Conviction. I can't wait to see what she publishes next. Good luck with putting this one down! Many thanks to Harvill Secker for an ARC.

  • Kaceey

    This was a delightfully surprising read for me. I know what a talented author Denise Mina is, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been shocked at just how much I enjoyed her latest work.

    This book had my full, undivided attention from cover to cover!

    Anna finds her inner peace reading. (Sound familiar?)

    Her other guilty pleasure is listening to true crime podcasts. Her latest favorite is called

    . A yacht sinks, drowning a man named Leon along with his 2 children.

    Wait a minute.

    Did

    This was a delightfully surprising read for me. I know what a talented author Denise Mina is, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been shocked at just how much I enjoyed her latest work.

    This book had my full, undivided attention from cover to cover!

    Anna finds her inner peace reading. (Sound familiar?)

    Her other guilty pleasure is listening to true crime podcasts. Her latest favorite is called

    . A yacht sinks, drowning a man named Leon along with his 2 children.

    Wait a minute.

    Did Anna hear that correctly? Leon? It couldn’t possibly be the same Leon from her past. (or could it?) She’s instantly sucked into the podcast as her past begins to re-surface.

    Can Anna uncover the truth behind the tragic death of her friend and his children? And what fragile parts of her own life threaten to be exposed as a result?

    Denise Mina has a true gift, delivering a mesmerizing tale that’ll keep you flying through the pages right to the end. The characters are vivid, real and very human. I felt I was along for the ride with Annie in her quest for the truth.

    The story unfolds from Anna’s POV with the addition of the pod-casts that add such amazing depth. Highly recommend!

    A buddy read with Susanne!

    Thank you to NetGalley, Mulholland Books and Denise Mina for an ARC to read and review.

  • Louise Wilson

    I was sucked into this story from the beginning. This is just the second book that I have read by the author but I will definitely read more. The book is set partly in Glasgow. Anna McDonald's husband has just left her for her best friend and he has taken their children with him. Anna loves to listen to true crime podcasts. Apart from Glasgow, we also travel to Fort William and lle de Re in France. Anna's life is complex, I don't want to say more than that as it would contain spoilers. This is a

    I was sucked into this story from the beginning. This is just the second book that I have read by the author but I will definitely read more. The book is set partly in Glasgow. Anna McDonald's husband has just left her for her best friend and he has taken their children with him. Anna loves to listen to true crime podcasts. Apart from Glasgow, we also travel to Fort William and lle de Re in France. Anna's life is complex, I don't want to say more than that as it would contain spoilers. This is a story with an original plot that flips back to the past to let us know some background details. The story got even better when she hit the road with Fin. The story is a bit dark and scary, with stories within stories. A well written and thought out plot. I loved it.

    I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House Uk, Vintage Publishing and the author Denise Mina for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jeanette

    4.5 stars, fully. If they don't make a movie out of this one, all the people in the current film business of movers/shakers (what lousy products they have put out for years!)- should have their heads examined. Not that they don't need it (getting their heads examined) regardless of script picks. But this would make a top notch film. In Scotland, UK ports, France, Italy and in all various delicious travel logistics and hotel rooms (magnificent to canal seep dank). Venice maze chases and the train

    4.5 stars, fully. If they don't make a movie out of this one, all the people in the current film business of movers/shakers (what lousy products they have put out for years!)- should have their heads examined. Not that they don't need it (getting their heads examined) regardless of script picks. But this would make a top notch film. In Scotland, UK ports, France, Italy and in all various delicious travel logistics and hotel rooms (magnificent to canal seep dank). Venice maze chases and the train portions to Milan and then Lyons alone would be legend.

    CONVICTION the title. Is this a noun with the meaning of having a "belief" that you perceive as truth? Or is it conviction as in the final state/ act of finding a defendant guilty and so sentenced? You tell me!

    It's both in this one. Conviction to a pledge? Like the promise you make in marriage? Of a redo of a conviction for someone innocent languishing in their prison. Well, I can't say I've had a bad of a November week as Anna has had in this book, but I've come close (mine was in lovely June). So I felt she was a sister under the skin from the get go. Anna? Or is it Sophie?

    Complex plotting and absolutely superbly proportioned and perfectly cored set of prime characters. And of those a great number of them are women. Most of them are. And ask yourself this- if you did buy the 1000 Euro perfect little dress- would you buy two of the same one with a distinct pattern? In different sizes?

    My lack of a 1/2 star is for the fact that about one tenth of this book is in italics. For my read it was a 5 star of full enjoyment. Anna is a constant reader (it makes the duplicity of life in general livable by distracting yourself is her thought- one we seem to share) and she listens to pods continually too. So the true crime "case" she is presently listening to becomes the parts of the book that you will read that are in italics. I HATE THEM because they hurt my eyes. My eyes will not outlast me.

    Do you hate a husband who has left you? Especially when the next one (your wife replacement)is already pregnant. And she was your current "best" hometown "Mom" friend on top of it!

    So- all of you who have not read this dicey week's tale yet- DO. Be warned. It's overflowing with humor that is dark and yet also at the same time hilariously exquisite as only the frenetic panic of displacement coupled with an 180 point IQ intelligence could muster. And as the solid fall back companion to go through this escape there is a male. A skin and bones anorexic male of universal fame (because decades ago he was a rock star) who can barely keep standing up with lack of strength or stamina for more than 5 minutes length. Can we get him to eat a muffin? Or a salad? Or some booze??

    I did not guess the reveal. But I did not think that Leon had committed suicide and done his offspring in on purpose at any point in the pod story.

    And don't forget that Anna's addiction is READING. Are there any Goodreads members out there that can relate?

    Know as little as possible about this book before you read it. Take it unknown. There are some swears and they are usually well deserved. It's a modern and it's also a thriller. And a mystery for a past (10 years or so) who-dun-its. Two past who-dun-its, one more recent. All of them complicated with some interplayer parts that shift.

    I wanted Anna and Fin to meet up with my Brunetti. That didn't happen-but some Venice locale situations fit right in to his world and tone- regardless. Especially tourist comments by the cafe locals. Killers from Russia and Eastern Europe- assassins by proxy. All aboard!

    I've never read her before and will read her stand alone efforts. This one is awesome. 5 star entertainment- and lots of fashion chi-chi for those who have any interest.

  • Susanne  Strong

    3.5 Stars* (rounded down).

    Anna McDonald is a married woman who believes she is happily married when her husband takes off with her best friend and her children. With her life left in tatters, she starts investigating a man whose family is featured on a podcast. All were murdered at sea, on the Dana, a sunken yacht in the Bay of Biscay. The

    3.5 Stars* (rounded down).

    Anna McDonald is a married woman who believes she is happily married when her husband takes off with her best friend and her children. With her life left in tatters, she starts investigating a man whose family is featured on a podcast. All were murdered at sea, on the Dana, a sunken yacht in the Bay of Biscay. The podcast accuses many and that crime is shrouded in secrecy and mayhem. The Dana had a history. Cursed they said.

    Soon Anna takes off on a journey trying to uncover mystery of the “Death and the Dana.” Fin Cohen, her former best friend’s jilted ex-husband, goes along for the ride. What transpires between the two is quite humorous. Fin is a complete hoot and is a character you will be sure to love.

    Conviction is a wholly different type of novel in the suspense genre. My favorite parts of this book are the interactions between the characters (Anna, Fin and another character named Adam) v. the chapters featuring the actual podcasts (which I think are on the slower side). What I find intriguing is how the author, Denise Mina, intertwines the storylines – which at first, seem quite impossible and then, well, are absolutely seamless.

    If you are looking for an interesting take on a thriller, all I can say is, this is it!

    This was a buddy read with Kaceey! Glad we shared in this read together.

    Thank you to NetGalley, Mulholland Books and Denise Mina for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 5.15.19.

    Will be published on Amazon on 6.18.19

  • Holly  B

    3.5 STARS

    Anna McDonald, is an ordinary wife, mom, and pod-cast junkie. One day her life gets turned upside-down when her latest episode titled "Death and the Dana" hits a little too close to home.

    Anna decides to investigate the unsolved crime herself. The crime involves a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean and multiple murders and a name that Anna recognizes. Someone from her past. What an interesting angle!

    I was immersed in the first half of the book. The suspense and the yacht mystery were both

    3.5 STARS

    Anna McDonald, is an ordinary wife, mom, and pod-cast junkie. One day her life gets turned upside-down when her latest episode titled "Death and the Dana" hits a little too close to home.

    Anna decides to investigate the unsolved crime herself. The crime involves a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean and multiple murders and a name that Anna recognizes. Someone from her past. What an interesting angle!

    I was immersed in the first half of the book. The suspense and the yacht mystery were both strange and intriguing.  As her search for the truth expands, her past starts to surface and things get complex. This is where I felt the story became somewhat bogged down. I was losing interest (sadly).  I wasn't able stay fully engaged during the second half.

    There is a crime, some unsavory characters, and a haunted ship. I do feel like many would enjoy this type of double mystery, although it did fall a bit short for me.

    Thanks so much to NG/Pub for my review copy. Out May 16, 2019

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