13,130 book reviews and counting...

The Less Dead Reviews

The Less Dead by Denise Mina

The Less Dead

Denise Mina

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Harvill Secker
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 20 Aug 2020
ISBN: 9781787301726

'Denise Mina is the cream of the crop, an author who pushes the crime novel in new and exciting directions and never fails to deliver.' IAN RANKIN When Margo goes in search of her birth mother for the first time, she meets her aunt, Nikki, instead.

4 stars out of 5
Stuart Kelly
28 Aug 2020

"A book that gives you a pang of guilt is no bad thing"

Mina can turn a phrase extremely well, but that is not the point of this book. It is, and I mean this as a compliment, utterly unsentimental. It refuses to stare away. In Margo there is a character who is a scientific sceptic, whose family might have claimed to be psychics as well as be sex workers, and yet she is both the avenging angel and the good Samaritan. She is a character whom I hope will appear in future books, since she is as complex as the world, and as confused by it.


4 stars out of 5
Mark Sanderson
8 Aug 2020

"This is crime writing of the highest order."

The Less Dead is much more than a brilliant thriller dripping with malevolence and male violence. It is a clear-eyed examination of female friendship, the powerplay within relationships and the “dark side” of masculinity. Denise Mina can make you gasp in horror and laugh out loud on the same page. She notices the “drowsy disgust of someone on Valium”, “the old-man skin of a kid who grew up hard”, and a dying spider plant in a hanging basket that resembles “a sad memory of fireworks”. This is crime writing of the highest order.