The #Bookvent Calendar 2020 – Day 8


#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2020

My day eight #boovent selection is by an author who really needs no introduction to fans of the crime fiction genre, especially fans of Scottish crime fiction and yet, as is my usual style, this was actually the first book of theirs I had read. It was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading this year, and I have to say it did not disappoint. Somewhere between a psychological thriller and a fairly damning social commentary, I knew from very early on in the book this was going to be in my top reads for the year, and that I was going to be kicking myself for not reading any of the authors other books sooner. My eighth choice is …


The Less Dead by Denise Mina

When Margo goes in search of her birth mother for the first time, she meets her aunt, Nikki, instead. Margo learns that her mother, Susan, was a sex worker murdered soon after Margo’s adoption. To this day, Susan’s killer has never been found.

Nikki asks Margo for help. She has received threatening and haunting letters from the murderer, for decades. She is determined to find him, but she can’t do it alone…

A brilliant, thought-provoking and heart-wrenching new thriller about identity and the value of a life, from the award-winning author of The Long Drop and Conviction.


This book is part psychological thriller, part damning social commentary, examining as it does the way in which society, and the police, view women who make their living as sex workers. It should come as know surprise that in the eighties and nineties, they were treated as second class citizens, any violence against them not really investigated or classed as a high priority case. Attitudes may be changing, but with the central theme of the story linked back to something that happened some thirty odd years earlier, those prejudices and behaviours were rife and inform the main narrative in a way that really made me angry. I love that Denise Mina was able to create characters who really challenge your prejudices and beliefs as a reader, and how I was left feeling a greater affinity for the characters who would ordinarily have been written off as unimportant. Disposable even. There is a real tension that builds throughout the book, a sense of threat that never quite goes away, and the narrative style flows beautifully, pulling me on as a reader to a very shocking finale that left me 100% satisfied. If you’ve never read the author before, I really urge that you do as this was a brilliant read and I’ve now got the author’s back catalogue ready and waiting on my kindle.

if you’d like to read my full review of the book, you can find it here.

Happy #bookvent reading all


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