Available in all formats : Paperback 20 February 2020
It’s paperback publication day for Conviction and congratulations to Denise Mina. My thanks to Hope of Vintage for the tour invite and for providing the extract. The tour continues tomorrow – please see the banner below where you can follow both today’s and Friday’s blog stops.
ABOUT THE BOOK
EVERYBODY LOVES A MURDER MYSTERY . . . UNTIL THEY HAVE A STARRING ROLE.
It’s just a normal morning when Anna’s husband announces that he’s leaving her for her best friend and taking their two daughters with him.
With her safe, comfortable world shattered, Anna distracts herself with someone else’s story: a true-crime podcast. That is until she recognises the name of one of the victims and becomes convinced that only she knows what really happened.
With nothing left to lose, she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, Anna’s past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.
Conviction is the compelling and unique new thriller from multiple award-winner and author of The Long Drop, Denise Mina.
The day my life exploded started well.
It was early morning in November and I woke up without the use of an alarm clock. I was pleased about that. It was a concession to our couples counselling: I wouldn’t wake Hamish at six with my alarm clock and he wouldn’t play Candy Crush on his phone all evening while ignoring the children.
I was looking forward to my day. I had a new true-crime podcast series waiting on my phone and I’d heard good things about it. I planned to listen to the first episode, get a taste for the story before I woke the kids for school, and then binge on it while I trawled through a day of menial tasks. A good podcast can add a glorious multi-world texture to anything. I’ve resisted an Assyrian invasion while picking up dry-cleaning. I’ve seen justice served on a vicious murderer while buying underpants.
I lay in bed savouring the anticipation, watching light from the street ripple across the ceiling, listening as the heating kicked on and the grand old dame of a house groaned and cracked her bones. I got up, pulled on a jumper and slippers, and crept out of the bedroom.
I loved getting up before everyone else, when the house was still and I could read or listen to a podcast alone in a frozen world. I knew where everyone was. I knew they were safe. I could relax.
Hamish resented it. He said it was creepy. Why did I need this time alone, sneaking around the house? Why did I need to be alone so much? Trust issues, the couples counsellor called it.
I tried to reassure Hamish, I’m not planning to kill you or any- thing. But that was not reassuring, apparently. In fact, Anna, it might sound rather hostile to Hamish, if you think about it from his point of view. Really? (I said it in a hostile way.) Does that sound hostile? Then we talked about that for a while. It was a stupid process.We were both hostile and sad. Our relationship was in its death throes.
I tiptoed across the landing, skirting the squeakiest floor- boards and looked in on both of the girls. They were fast asleep in their wee beds, school uniforms laid out on chairs, socks in shoes, ties under collars. I wish I had lingered longer. I would never see them so innocent again.
I went back out to the landing. The oak banister curled softly from the top of the house to bottom, carved to fit the cup of a hand, grainy to the touch, following the wind of the stairs like a great long snake of yellow mar- zipan. It led down to a grand hallway with marble pillars flanking the front door and a floor mosaic of Hamish’s ancestral coat of arms. The house was bought by Hamish’s great-grandfather in 1869. He bought it new from Greek Thompson.
Hamish was very proud of his background. He knew nothing at all about mine. I must emphasise that. I’m not just saying that to protect him, now that everything has come out. He was a senior member of the Bar, hoping to be appointed to the bench like his forebears. He wouldn’t have risked that just to be with me.
When we met I was Anna, the new office temp from Somewhere-Outside-of-Aberdeen. I chose Hamish quite carefully. I did love him, I must say that, and I still do, some- times. But I deliberately picked an older man with money and status. A declamatory man, full of facts and opinions. He was the perfect hide.
Hamish was born in that house and had never lived any- where else. His family had been on or near the Scottish judiciary for two hundred years. He didn’t much like foreign travel. He read only Scottish writers. That seemed so weird to me. I think I found it a little exotic.
It was cold in the hall that morning. I walked through into the white-gleaming, German-designed kitchen and made a pot of strong coffee. I picked up my phone. The true-crime podcast series was called Death and the Dana. The description read ‘A sunken yacht, a murdered family on board, a secret still unsolved . . .’
Oh yes: ponderous tone, secrets, murders, it had every- thing. And the case had happened while my girls were small, a time of little jumpers and waiting outside school, standing silently with the timeless phalanx of mothers, ab- sent from the wider world. I didn’t know anything about this murder case.
I poured a big mug of coffee, sat down, put my phone on the kitchen table in front of me and pressed play. I expected an absorbing, high-stakes story.
I had no idea I was about to meet Leon Parker again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Denise Mina is the author of thirteen novels, including The Long Drop, winner of the 2017 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish crime book of the year, and the Garnethill trilogy, the first installment of which won the John Creasey Memorial Award for best first crime novel. Mina has twice received the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. She lives in Glasgow