Cover image for Exile : a novel / Denise Mina.
Exile : a novel / Denise Mina.
1st Back Bay pbk. ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Back Bay Books, 2007, c2001.
Physical Description:
413, 8, 11 p. ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2001. With additional material.

Includes reading group guide.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
MIN Book Adult Mystery / Suspense Fiction

On Order



"Stunning. . . . The danger reaches a frightening pitch."--Rocky Mountain News

"Mina offers us a complex plot with a shocking ending, all told in an amazingly original voice." - Cleveland Plain Dealer

"This is a terrific book." - Dallas Morning News

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

Trying to escape her own troubled past and the memories of her lover's murder, Maureen O'Donnell finds refuge working as a counselor at a shelter for battered women. When the body of shelter resident Ann Harris washes up on the banks of the ThamesRivertwo weeks later, Maureen vows to discover what happened and to prove that Ann's husband is not to blame. Taking her search toLondon, Maureen soon encounters disturbing truths about Ann's hidden past - including a secret that has Maureen fighting for her life.

"Atmospheric, intense, and full of the disturbing flavor of inner-city lowlife." - Guardian

"Reads like a slap in the face - and a kick in the ribs and a fist in the stomach . . . like its powerful predecessor, Garnethill ." - New York Times Book Review

Author Notes

Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. She initially left school at the age of 16 and worked a variety of low skilled jobs like bar maid and kitchen porter. She later returned to school and earned a law degree from Glasgow University. She has since become a crime writer and playwright. She has authored the Garnethill trilogy and three novels featuring the character Patricia Meehan, a Glasgow journalist. She has also done some comic book writing with 13 issues of Hellblazer. She won the John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel for her book, Garnethill, in 1998. She also won the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award with her title,The End of Wasp Season, in 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Following her Creasy Award-winning debut, Garnethill (1999), Mina delivers a second powerful novel with the same self-destructive characters, notably protagonist Maureen O'Donnell, and the same grim, gritty British locales. Maureen, while working at a shelter for abused women in Glasgow, gets pulled into the search for a missing shelter client, Ann Harris, the wife of her friend Leslie's feckless cousin, Jimmy. When Ann's mutilated corpse turns up in the Thames, Maureen agrees to go to London to investigate for Leslie, in part to escape her depressing life, burdened by flashbacks to her lover's murder, fights with her new boyfriend, a job she dislikes, estrangement from her alcoholic mother, and a long-absent abusive father whose sudden return frightens her and haunts her dreams. In seedy Brixton, a closed and suspicious community where grungy exile Glaswegians deal dope and brutalize one another, Maureen soon discovers to her peril that Ann was running dope and money between London and Glasgow for a violent criminal. All the characters are richly drawn, though especially brilliant are Mina's depictions of the forlorn JimmyDunemployed, hapless, lovingly caring for his four "weans"Dand of the ambivalent Maureen, aggressive and needy, independent yet desirous of affection, confident of the future but unable to purge the demons of her past. This is the second in a planned trilogy by a writer of stunning talent and accomplishment. (Mar. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Mina follows up 1999's Garnethill with another novel that is just as gritty. Set in Glasgow, it features Maureen O'Donnell, who labors under enough impediments to fuel two soap opera seasons: alcoholism, parental abuse, trouble finding Mr. Right, and not even a wee dram of fashion sense. Then she stumbles into the matter of finding out what happened to Ann Harris. Ann, a resident of the battered women's shelter where Maureen has been working, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Has she been killed in London? Did she add drugs to her alcohol problems? Maureen and Leslie, a friendly administrator from the shelter, join forces to find out. Suspicion falls on Ann's boyfriend, the much put-upon Jimmy, who is forever caring for the four weans Ann has left behind. Jimmy falls almost too easily into the role of prime suspect until Maureen and Leslie start rooting around in the less savory parts of Glasgow and London to uncover the truth. A good suggestion for anyone who appreciates their mysteries dark, while the female bonding should appeal especially to fans of the Val McDermid mysteries. Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.