Denise Mina: Conviction



This review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for my copy of 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 stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.

Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.

This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

Conviction is the compelling and unique new thriller from multiple award-winner and author of THE LONG DROP, Denise Mina.


I’ve never read anything by Denise Mina before, but I’ve heard really good things, so I jumped at the chance to read Conviction. Mina’s writing style sets Conviction apart from many novels in the crime and thriller genre in that it is incredibly lyrical and poetic. I often found myself writing phrases down so that I remembered them. However, the language is still highly accessible and drew me into the wide range of settings that appear in the novel.

As a narrator, it is clear that Anna may not be completely reliable. She is hiding several secrets and does not tell the truth all the time. However  I found her back story incredibly intriguing and could not help but root for her as she looked for her answers.

Alongside Anna’s story, there is the mystery of what happened on board the Dana. This element of the plot is told via a podcast, which not only makes Conviction very current but also gives the reader information at the same time as Anna, allowing us to feel the tension in the same way. Mina builds the tension impeccably – something which complemented the stave format used by Pigeonhole – and I found it very hard to let go.

Conviction is available from Amazon



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