THE END OF THE WASP SEASON – Denise Mina

waspseasonAfter a couple of previous attempts to read this book, I persisted with The End Of The Wasp Season – feeling deeply depressed as I closed the book on the last page.
This is probably the bleakest book I have read in a long time – beautifully written, but with sad, angry, confused, conflicted characters.

None of them is likeable, except the principal police investigator, D.C. Alex Morrow, heavily pregnant with twins, and herself the product of a deeply flawed family background, from which she has almost totally escaped. However, in the course of her investigations old associations arise and relationships tentatively revived.

Set in England and Scotland, the storyline is complex as the Scottish police investigate the sickeningly brutal murder of a young woman, a crime for which there is no obvious motive.

There is also the suicide of an extremely wealthy man, who has lost a fortune for others and has been forced into bankruptcy himself. His family is also involved in the murder investigation.

There are confused and unhappy young people and we explore their complex backgrounds and their families. There are warring factions within the Scottish police force and we are drawn into all these conflicts.

In the course of the investigations dark secrets emerge – marital treachery, sibling relationships and psychological issues.

There are unexpected revelations and surprise twists in the plot, right to the very end.

This novel has attracted great praise from other highly regarded crime writers, but I am not sure I will be seeking out other books by this author.  I am not suggesting you should not read this book…just avoid it if you happen to be going through a depressive phase!

(I would love to hear other readers’ reactions to the book! As I constantly remind you, this column reflections purely my own reaction to the books I read!)

Ann Creber
The Good Life on 3MDR (97.1 FM – Streaming on http://www.3mdr.com)

Publisher: Orion 2011

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