Have you read and loved Denise Mina’s new novel Conviction? Are you looking for another great read? You’ve come to the right place! Mina, a Scottish crime writer, has an extensive backlist of crime and mystery books, including a mix of standalone novels and series, so it might be hard to decide what Denise Mina book to read next. We’ve rounded up a list of her past titles, ranked by popularity according to Goodreads users to help you find your next read!
It's no surprise that Denise Mina's debut novel is her most popular one. It follows a young woman named Maureen O'Donnell who wakes up one morning and discovers that her boyfriend Douglas has been murdered in the middle of her living room. She is the primary–and only–suspect thanks to her history of troubled behavior and the fact that she had decided to dump him right before the murder. Now, desperate to clear her name, Maureen catches wind of rumors at a psychiatric hospital that might give her insight into Douglas's murder, and help her find the real killer.
The second book in the Alex Morrow series opens with Alex, a homicide detective, heavily pregnant with twins and about to go on maternity leave. When she gets the call about a murder in a wealthy Glasgow suburb, she heads out on what she thinks will be her last case before leave, and it's a puzzler. A young woman has been beaten to death in a home invasion, and the home belonged to her recently deceased mother. The mystery doesn't have any apparent leads, but the more Morrow investigates, the more it begins to connect with the suicide of a billionaire. Morrow also must face her own impoverished past and balance the complicated feelings she has about escaping to build a better life with her drive to solve this murder.
Mina introduces readers to Alex Morrow in this novel about a baffling home invasion gone horribly wrong. When a group of armed men bursts into a house one night, they demand one man. The only problem? This man isn't at the house–he doesn't even live there. One person is shot, another kidnapped, and an absurd ransom is demanded. Alex Morrow is no rookie, but even this case is deeply puzzling to her. Was this a botched crime by a bunch of amateurs, or something far more sinister?
This psychological thriller, based on true events that occurred in Glasgow in the 1950s, is a tangled look at guilt and innocence as played out in a courtroom. When William Watt's family is murdered in their own home, he is implicated in the crime despite having an alibi. Desperate to clear his name, he offers a reward for information about the murders. Not long after, he is approached by Peter Manuel, a career criminal who dangles information in front of Watt. They meet at a bar, and what follows is a crazy night of drinking across the city that ends with Manuel on trial for the murders, and Watt called as a witness. This is a fictional account of one of the most bizarre criminal cases in Scotland.
Mina kicks off another great series with Field of Blood, starring Paddy Meehan, a rookie journalist looking for her big break. It's 1981 and unrest has spread across Glasgow. It's only exacerbated when a young child is murdered. Paddy is shocked when the suspect turns out to be her fiancé's cousin–a child as well–but she seizes the opportunity to investigate. When she impersonates another reporter and that woman turns up dead, Paddy knows she's on to something...and that she may very well be in the killer's line of sight.
Mina returns to Maureen O'Donnell in this sequel to Garnethill, picking up about six months later. Maureen has found a new job as a counselor at a home for abused women, and she's grateful for her friendship with Leslie, even if it does appear to be changing. When rumors of her father's reappearance in Glasgow surface, Maureen is on edge. Then a resident of the shelter is found dead in London, and Maureen is desperate to figure out what happened to her. She finds herself seeking information among the seediest locales as she uncovers a secret that will put her own life in jeopardy.
Alex Morrow finds herself responsible for investigating yet another puzzling violent crime in the third book in the Alex Morrow series. When a gunman storms a convenience store the week before Christmas, an elderly grandfather inexplicably hands his grandson to a stranger and begins to help the gunman rob the store...only to be shot as the gunman flees the scene. When Alex arrives, she discovers that the security system was disabled, and yet no one, not even the elderly man, has any connection to the criminal world. She'll soon learn that this is only a very small part of a larger conspiracy that stretches to every corner of Glasgow.
Morally conflicted Paddy Meehan returns in this sequel to Field of Blood. She's investigating a domestic disturbance in a wealthy suburb when a man gives her money to look the other way from a battered woman, and under pressure at work and from the local police who also choose not to pursue the matter, Paddy takes the money and walks away. Hours later, the woman is tortured to death. Now Paddy only has a few days before the newspapers learn of her bribe, and she knows that that the police won't do anything. She throws herself into the investigation, drawing dangerous attention to herself.
This third book in the Garnethill trilogy finds Maureen O'Donnell struggling to keep her life together. Still deeply affected by the events of Exile, Maureen must soon testify at a murder trial, an ordeal she is dreading. And rumors of her father's return to Glasgow turn out to be true, leaving Maureen terrified for the wellbeing of her pregnant sister and her unborn child. On top of these dramas, Maureen attempts to help an old woman file a legal complaint, only to learn of the woman's unexpected death. When she probes deeper, she uncovers a horrifying prostitution ring. Never able to leave well enough alone, Maureen investigates, putting herself in danger yet again.
One of Mina's standalone novels, this book follows Lachlan, who is stunned when his wife Susie is arrested for the murder of one of her patients in the prison where she works as a psychologist. Unable to believe that his wife and the mother of his child could have actually killed someone, Lachlan begins looking through her papers. He uncovers troubling details about her past and a pattern of behavior she kept carefully hidden from him. It's clear that Lachlan never truly knew his wife--but is she a killer?
Want more from Denise Mina? Check out this list of her favorite true crime podcasts and then listen to her interview on episode one of the Novel Suspects podcast!
What to Read Next
Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot. Follow her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.