The End of the Wasp Season, By Denise Mina

A thriller with a sting ... and a pregnant detective

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The Independent Culture

In this dark, bitter, compelling thriller, a young woman is brutally murdered in her home in Glasgow. Pregnant DS Alex Morrow investigates the crime, while having problems with her arrogant boss and psycho brother. And, down in Kent, a disgraced financier hangs himself from a tree, but not before he's psychologically damaged his whole family.

There's little comfort or niceness in this world, where life is a struggle at every level of society. Even Denise Mina's descriptions are jaundiced: a glass of wine is "piss-yellow"; housebricks are "shit-brown". Not a feelgood novel, then, but there is sympathy underlying the depiction of these messed-up characters, and the writing is as sharp as a Stanley knife.

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