Conviction by Denise Mina – A Book Review

2 min read Conviction by Denise Mina is a gripping mystery thriller that was a three day read for me and is well worth the read.

Book cover

Photo Credit: (Vintage)This stand-alone hit checks off all the boxes for a compelling mystery, except for an exciting read on every page.

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By McKenzie Lewis | mlewis99@radford.edu

Conviction by Denise Mina is a gripping mystery thriller that was a three day read for me. It was not my favorite in the mystery genre, but it is well worth the read. It is in Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, a source that never disappoints in new reads.

[This review has no spoilers for the book Conviction.]

During a crisis brought on by receiving unsettling news and searching for answers, Anna embarks on a journey with a new acquaintance to discover the truth behind the crime.

Conviction mainly occurs in Glasgow, Scotland, and follows the main character, Anna McDonald, and supporting character, Fin Cohen. 

Anna has a simple life with a husband and two daughters. She listens to true crime podcasts daily and always feels an unusual connection to the stories until she discovers an episode that may connect to her. 

During a crisis brought on by receiving unsettling news and searching for answers, Anna embarks on a journey with a new acquaintance to discover the truth behind the crime.

Readability

This stand-alone hit checks off all the boxes for a compelling mystery, except for an exciting read on every page.

A lot happens in the first chapter that left me with questions, most of which not answered until the end. This fact made the beginning and the end heavy with content. 

The middle was interesting with new developments in every corner, but some chapters fell flat.

Some parts detailed the events of long car rides or transcribed entire podcast episodes that Anna heard. These episodes were long, but, in some cases, completely necessary to understand the rest of the story. I often found myself trying to sift through the transcription to find crucial facts instead of just reading the whole thing.

The characters go on a journey involving planes, trains, and automobiles, with a lot of anticipation leading up to the destination, making the read a little slower than I would like. Through these parts, there is no action, just talk of what may happen.

I often found myself trying to sift through the transcription to find crucial facts instead of just reading the whole thing.

Another issue that I found, and I may be the only one who sees this, is the editing mistakes throughout the book. There weren’t enough to make me put the book down and never pick it up again, but there were enough for me to notice. These edits are a simple issue, but I tend to look for things of that nature.

With that in consideration, every new development that comes about was entirely unexpected for me. I like to think that I am good at picking up on storylines and expecting what happens next, but this book kept me in the dark the whole time. It was tough to pick up on what was going to happen next, which only enhanced my thrill of reading the book.

The end is unpredictable and throws a new spin on the whole book. I almost wanted to reread it to experience it from this new perspective. 

McKenzie Lewis
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The Verdict
  • 6/10
    Conviction - 6/10
6/10

Convicted of Boredom

Conviction is not a perfect book by any means. The development of the story is intriguing, but the points between new developments are, at times, unnecessarily long. Without the passages detailing tedious events and entire episodes of podcasts, this book would have been rated higher – while the storyline itself was interesting to follow. The message this book carries is an impactful look into mental health and a personal journey with a murder mystery twist. It evoked emotions that I did not expect, but openly welcomed.