Tartan noir fans rejoice! Denise Mina (Still Midnight) returns to gritty Glasgow with the second installment in her Alex Morrow series.
A young woman wakes up in the middle of the night to find two strange teen boys in her bedroom; she tries to escape but, in a case of mistaken identity, the boys brutally murder her. Det. Sgt. Alex Morrow arrives to investigate, but the crime baffles her, as does the large amount of cash found under the victim's dining room table. Meanwhile, the lead perpetrator evades justice but is slowly dragged into a figurative prison after his father commits suicide, leaving him in charge of his helpless mother and problematic sister.
The author of the popular Garnethill trilogy, Mina again showcases her skill in creating detailed police procedurals and injecting them with characters' everyday struggles. This time, she explores family ties and what we will and won't do for blood relatives. Familial relationships underscore every aspect of the story, from the murder motive to Morrow's personal life to the victim's life choices. Parent-child relationships reverse, siblings struggle to find common ground, and a false lead connects a suspect to Morrow's family in a surprising way. However, the family drama never overshadows the murder plot, and the ghoulish crime scene and procedural details will please genre fans. Best of all, Mina is able to show the killer and his family in a light that will have readers torn between pity and the desire for justice.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***