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The Red Road (Alex Morrow Series #4)

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Overview

Alex Morrow faces her toughest opponents yet in this brilliant new thriller about criminals, consequences, and convictions.

Police detective Alex Morrow has met plenty of unsavory characters in her line of work, but arms dealer Michael Brown ranks among the most brutal and damaged of the criminals she's known. Morrow is serving as a witness in Brown's trial, where the case hinges on his fingerprints found on the guns he sells.

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The Red Road (Alex Morrow Series #4)

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Overview

Alex Morrow faces her toughest opponents yet in this brilliant new thriller about criminals, consequences, and convictions.

Police detective Alex Morrow has met plenty of unsavory characters in her line of work, but arms dealer Michael Brown ranks among the most brutal and damaged of the criminals she's known. Morrow is serving as a witness in Brown's trial, where the case hinges on his fingerprints found on the guns he sells.

When the investigation leads to a privileged Scottish lawyer who's expecting to be assassinated after a money laundering scheme goes bad, and a woman who's spying on the people who put her in jail, Morrow has her hands full. And that's before she even gets to her family issues.

THE RED ROAD is a thrilling new novel from a masterful writer, proving once again that "If you don't love Denise Mina, you don't love crime fiction." (Val McDermid)

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
If anyone can make you root for the murderer, it's Denise Mina, whose defiantly unsentimental novels are less concerned with personal guilt than with the social evils that create criminals and the predators who nurture them. The Red Road [is] as fierce a story as any Mina has written…
Publishers Weekly
★ 02/24/2014
Edgar-finalist Mina's fourth novel featuring Glasgow Det. Insp. Alex Morrow (after 2012's Gods and Beasts) is perhaps her finest yet, a brilliantly crafted tale of corruption, ruined lives, and the far-reaching ripple effects of crime. Morrow is called to testify against Michael Brown, a recidivist offender whose prints have been found on confiscated guns. During the trial, Brown's prints turn up at a brand new murder scene. Have they been somehow planted by Brown from prison in a ruse to discredit evidence? Morrow follows a complex trail that leads back to two murders in 1997. One of the murders involved a teenage girl, Rose Wilson, who stabbed her abusive pimp to death; the other was 14-year-old Michael Brown's brutal slaying of his older brother, John "Pinkie" Brown. Wilson now works for her benefactor, elderly attorney Julius McMillan, as a nanny for McMillan's grandchildren. Meanwhile, Robert, Julius's son, has gone missing after an elaborate money-laundering scheme has turned south. Are these decades' old crimes somehow connected? Morrow thinks so, but seeing the investigation through just might cost her the career she's fought so hard to achieve. (Feb.)
Entertainment Weekly
Extraordinary Praise for Denise Mina:

"Until further notice, just assume you should buy everything Denise Mina publishes."

People
"A piercing tale that should cement Mina's rep as one of crime fiction's finest."
Marilyn Stasio - New York Times Book Review
"[A] thoughtful look at how good people can go bad."
Adam Woog - Seattle Times
"Mina is adept at portraying Glasgow's blunt and often harsh nature-but also at finding sparks of humanity and humor in even the dumbest of criminals."
Christian Science Monitor
"Satisfying...thrilling....With consummate ease and flawless timing, Mina untangles the knot, leaving intact the enmeshed world she has so convincingly created."
George Pelecanos
"With subtle humor and a keen eye for the darkness that lurks behind clean, well-lighted lives, Denise Mina confirms her reputation as one of the genre's brightest stars."
Maureen Corrigan
"Like her fellow Scot, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mina relishes combining elements of the uncanny with crisp insights into the various diseases of the human psyche."
Library Journal
09/15/2013
Police detective Alex Morrow testifies at the trial of truly nasty gun dealer Mark Lynch following an investigation that also hints at the assassination of a money-laundering Scottish lawyer. Note that the Stieg Larsson estate has chosen Mina to adapt the "Millennium Trilogy" for a graphic novel series and that The End of the Wasp Season was short-listed for the 2011 CWA Gold Dagger Award.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-02-06
Fourteen years after Princess Diana died in a Paris automobile accident, the date of her death still casts a long shadow over the Strathclyde Police, in the fourth book featuring detective Alex Morrow. Rose Wilson, already an experienced prostitute at 14, celebrates Diana's death by killing two of the many males who've used her: Pinkie Brown, the boy she dreams about from another group home, and her pimp, Sammy McCaig. Despite her apathetic confession, she's released after a short prison term to become the nanny to the household of Julius McMillan, the lawyer who schemed to shield her from a stiffer sentence for reasons of his own. The death of the long-ailing McMillan traumatically reopens his affairs. Rose, still in the family's employ, grieves over the only person who's ever shown her any kindness. McMillan's son, Robert, convinced that paid assassins are hunting him, runs off and leases a castle to die in. And detective Alexandra "Alex" Morrow—after testifying against Michael Brown, who's spent most of his life in prison ever since he was convicted of killing his older brother, Pinkie, in Rose's place—has to deal with the discovery of Brown's fingerprints at the demolition site where charitable organizer Aziz Balfour was killed three days ago, even though Brown, clapped up for months, has the best of all possible alibis. While fighting off the flirtatious advances of Brown's defense attorney, Alex racks her brain over possible ways Brown could have left his prints at a murder scene miles from his prison, as Mina (Gods and Beasts, 2013, etc.), conscientious to a fault, casually dispenses further calamities, from clinical depression to Parkinson's disease, among the cast. In addition to the usual indelible character studies, Mina provides the most compelling plot of Alex's four cases to date, with a new round of revelations that makes the Glasgow cops the most corrupt since Philip Marlowe looked under all those rocks in Bay City, Calif.
From the Publisher
"If anyone can make you root for the murderer, it's Denise Mina, whose defiantly unsentimental novels are less concerned with personal guilt than with the social evils that create criminals and the predators who nurture them. . . [The Red Road is] as fierce a story as any Mina has written."—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"Edgar-finalist Mina's fourth novel featuring Glasgow Det. Insp. Alex Morrow (after 2013's Gods and Beasts) is perhaps her finest yet, a brilliantly crafted tale of corruption, ruined lives, and the far-reaching ripple effects of crime."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Ms. Mina's narrative is full of suspense, fresh dialogue and sharp glimpses of all sorts of characters. Most interesting of all to watch is Morrow herself."—Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal

The plot is as compelling as it is intricate. Denise Mina grows in assurance and becomes more accomplished with every book; and this one is a cracker, beautifully worked-out, every scene serving a purpose. It demands concentration from the reader, but the story is so gripping that you are likely to hurry along, eager to learn how the plot unfolds. Eventually you arrive at a splendid abrupt and laconic conclusion, which rightly leaves some questions open. Then I suggest you may want to go back to savour the details, for this is that rare thing, a crime novel that invites, and benefits from, a second reading.—Allan Massie, The Scotsman

PRAISE FOR GODS AND BEASTS:

"Mina deftly stitches [the story lines] together in time for a powerful climax...Mina again plumbs the depth of the grungy Scottish metropolis, capturing political posturing, class differences, and familial dynamics with equal aplomb... Morrow [is] fast become one of the most intriguing cops in crime fiction. Fans of smart, character-driven procedurals will want to snatch this one up."—Library Journal

Extraordinary Praise for Denise Mina:

"Until further notice, just assume you should buy everything Denise Mina publishes."—Entertainment Weekly

"Excellent...Mina ups the stakes by taking us into the dark, beating heart of modern Glasgow, where the real deals are struck and the spoils divided."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"With subtle humor and a keen eye for the darkness that lurks behind clean, well-lighted lives, Denise Mina confirms her reputation as one of the genre's brightest stars."—George Pelecanos

"[A] thoughtful look at how good people can go bad."—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

"Satisfying...thrilling....With consummate ease and flawless timing, Mina untangles the knot, leaving intact the enmeshed world she has so convincingly created."—Christian Science Monitor

"Mina is adept at portraying Glasgow's blunt and often harsh nature-but also at finding sparks of humanity and humor in even the dumbest of criminals."—Adam Woog, Seattle Times

"Like her fellow Scot, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mina relishes combining elements of the uncanny with crisp insights into the various diseases of the human psyche."—Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org

"A piercing tale that should cement Mina's rep as one of crime fiction's finest."—People

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316188517
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 2/25/2014
  • Series: Alex Morrow Series , #4
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 153,350
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Mina

Denise Mina is the author of Gods and Beasts, The End of the Wasp Season, Still Midnight, Slip of the Knife, The Dead Hour, Field of Blood, Deception, and the Garnethill trilogy, the first installment of which won her the John Creasey Memorial Prize for best first crime novel. She also writes for the popular graphic novel series Hellblazer. Mina lives in Glasgow.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Not up to staandards Not uo Not up to Mina's standards

    I've read all of Denise Mina's books and recommemded them to many, Not this one because the writing is so spotty and sometimes just bad,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    In her third book featuring DI Alex Morrow, Denise Mina has her

    In her third book featuring DI Alex Morrow, Denise Mina has her usual protagonist almost take a back seat to Rose Wilson, introduced to readers on the first page as a fourteen-year-old prostitute (“looking sixteen, feeling twelve”), a resident of a care home,. Her pimp is Samuel McCaig (known as “Sammy the Perv” for obvious reasons), who also resides in the care home, and the only one in Rose’s life who takes any interest in her, as unwholesome as that interest may be. Those opening pages encompass much tragedy in the course of one evening: The death of Princess Diana in Paris and, on a much more personal level, and within a short time of each other, the almost unintentional deaths by stabbing of Sammy and of “Pinkie” Brown, resident of yet another local care home, immediately after he had handed the murder weapon, a bloody knife, to Rose to “hold,” thereby accomplishing his reason for giving it to her: placing her fingerprints on it. Fingerprints become the central obsession in the novel.

    The Red Road of the title refers to the newest crime scene assigned to DI Morrow: the death of a 25-year-old Pakistani man. For those unfamiliar with the series, Alex Morrow is seen by her colleagues as “problematic: her background, her attitude, her brother;” she has a husband she loves, twin one-year-old boys she adores, and a half-brother who is a “famous local heavy.” Unlike many of those same colleagues, she goes about her job determined to “do the right thing.”

    The opening scene described above takes place in 1997, the first in a series of flashbacks which are juxtaposed with the present in nearly alternating chapters over the first half of the book. That fact, combined with varying points of view, proved somewhat disorienting to this reader, but all is made clear before too long. Rose was arrested for and convicted of murder in 1997. She pleaded guilty, served her time, and is now 29 years old, working as a nanny to the three grandchildren in the household of the attorney who was appointed to represent her and who had immediately taken a very personal interest in her. Corruption, money laundering, and arms dealing all come into play in the course of the book.

    The novel is engrossing, despite the problems I had with it in the early going, will only add to the author’s growing reputation, and is recommended.

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