Exile (DO NOT ORDER - UK Edition)

Exile (DO NOT ORDER - UK Edition)

by Denise Mina
     
 

The last time Maureen O’Donnell saw Ann Harris, she was in the Glasgow Women’s Shelter smelling of a long binge on cheap drink. A month later Ann’s mutilated body, stitched into a mattress, is washed up on the banks of the Thames. No one, except for Maureen and her best friend, Leslie, seems to care about what has happened to her, and Maureen is the… See more details below

Overview

The last time Maureen O’Donnell saw Ann Harris, she was in the Glasgow Women’s Shelter smelling of a long binge on cheap drink. A month later Ann’s mutilated body, stitched into a mattress, is washed up on the banks of the Thames. No one, except for Maureen and her best friend, Leslie, seems to care about what has happened to her, and Maureen is the only person who thinks Ann’s husband is innocent.

In the long tradition of Scots in trouble, Maureen runs away to London. Looking for answers to the mystery surrounding Ann’s death, she becomes embroiled in a seedy world of deceit and violence. Alone in a strange city, Maureen starts to piece together Ann’s final days. But time is not on her side, and Maureen needs just twelve hours, just twelve, to put things right, and she doesn’t care what it costs.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Following her Creasy Award-winning debut, Garnethill (1999), Mina delivers a second powerful novel with the same self-destructive characters, notably protagonist Maureen O'Donnell, and the same grim, gritty British locales. Maureen, while working at a shelter for abused women in Glasgow, gets pulled into the search for a missing shelter client, Ann Harris, the wife of her friend Leslie's feckless cousin, Jimmy. When Ann's mutilated corpse turns up in the Thames, Maureen agrees to go to London to investigate for Leslie, in part to escape her depressing life, burdened by flashbacks to her lover's murder, fights with her new boyfriend, a job she dislikes, estrangement from her alcoholic mother, and a long-absent abusive father whose sudden return frightens her and haunts her dreams. In seedy Brixton, a closed and suspicious community where grungy exile Glaswegians deal dope and brutalize one another, Maureen soon discovers to her peril that Ann was running dope and money between London and Glasgow for a violent criminal. All the characters are richly drawn, though especially brilliant are Mina's depictions of the forlorn Jimmy--unemployed, hapless, lovingly caring for his four "weans"--and of the ambivalent Maureen, aggressive and needy, independent yet desirous of affection, confident of the future but unable to purge the demons of her past. This is the second in a planned trilogy by a writer of stunning talent and accomplishment. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal - Library Journal
Mina follows up 1999's Garnethill with another novel that is just as gritty. Set in Glasgow, it features Maureen O'Donnell, who labors under enough impediments to fuel two soap opera seasons: alcoholism, parental abuse, trouble finding Mr. Right, and not even a wee dram of fashion sense. Then she stumbles into the matter of finding out what happened to Ann Harris. Ann, a resident of the battered women's shelter where Maureen has been working, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Has she been killed in London? Did she add drugs to her alcohol problems? Maureen and Leslie, a friendly administrator from the shelter, join forces to find out. Suspicion falls on Ann's boyfriend, the much put-upon Jimmy, who is forever caring for the four weans Ann has left behind. Jimmy falls almost too easily into the role of prime suspect until Maureen and Leslie start rooting around in the less savory parts of Glasgow and London to uncover the truth. A good suggestion for anyone who appreciates their mysteries dark, while the female bonding should appeal especially to fans of the Val McDermid mysteries. Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
As her brother Liam tells her, it's worse than unbelievable; it's statistically implausible that Maureen O'Donnell would know two people who got killed within six months. Actually, Maureen knows a lot more unlikely people than Ann Harris, the battered wife Maureen's women's-shelter friend Leslie Findlay found quarters for all too shortly before Ann vanished, only to reappear sewn up in a mattress tossed into the Thames. There's Liam himself, a retired drug dealer, and Maureen's abusive father, now suddenly and suspiciously restored to the bosom of his family. There's the hopelessly alcoholic mother who starts off her daughter's adventures with yet another battle over whether Michael O'Donnell really did molest his daughter. There's the killer Maureen helped nail in her searing debut, Garnethill (1999), still threatening her from the mental hospital he's trying to get released from. And, when Maureen—stung with pity for Ann's downtrodden, improbably accused husband Jimmy and the four children who'll be left homeless if he's convicted of her murder—travels to London to retrace Ann's final days, she finds herself up to her armpits in lowlifes, as unsavory barmen, shopgirls, informants, drug couriers, and high-level dealers rush to make her acquaintance. The results are as hallucinatory and nearly as claustrophobic (the worm's-eye view of London making it look as sorry as Glasgow) as in Maureen's first outing, but now focused less sharply by a narration less tightly tied to Maureen's scabrously comical point of view and a story that, however harrowing, isn't her own. Dozens of memorable scenes and attendant monsters, but yoked this time to a tangled, forgettable plot.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553813272
Publisher:
Transworld Publishers Limited
Publication date:
12/04/2001
Series:
Garnethill Series, #2
Pages:
445
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 7.06(h) x 1.12(d)

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