Cover image for Deception : a novel
Deception : a novel
Mina, Denise.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, [2003]

Physical Description:
311 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Scotland's most exciting up-and-coming mystery novelist offers the story of a man's desperate search for evidence to overturn his wife's murder conviction. As Lachlan searches the forbidden sanctuary of Susie's home office for proof of her innocence, he uncovers evidence of her secret life.

Author Notes

Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. She initially left school at the age of 16 and worked a variety of low skilled jobs like bar maid and kitchen porter. She later returned to school and earned a law degree from Glasgow University. She has since become a crime writer and playwright. She has authored the Garnethill trilogy and three novels featuring the character Patricia Meehan, a Glasgow journalist. She has also done some comic book writing with 13 issues of Hellblazer. She won the John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel for her book, Garnethill, in 1998. She also won the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award with her title,The End of Wasp Season, in 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Glasgow writer Mina has carved a niche for herself writing about very mean Scottish streets and slums and very desperate and depraved characters. Mina takes a walk on the posh side here, as she examines the case of a woman psychiatrist convicted of murdering her serial-killer lover. Using the old found manuscript device--this time a computer diary kept by the convicted woman's husband--Mina tells the tale from the point of view of the psychiatrist's husband, who is combing records from the trial for evidence that his wife was innocent. The method of narration is in itself intriguing. As the husband searches both the court tapes and his own memories of his wife and their life together, the reader becomes increasingly aware of discordant notes in the husband's own psyche. This leaves the reader as anxious as the betrayed husband to figure out how a seemingly happy wife, mother, and psychiatrist could go off the rails so completely. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

When psychiatrist Susie Harriott is convicted of murdering Glasgow serial killer Andrew Gow, her husband, Lachlan, embarks on a frantic search for material that may help with her appeal. But in going through her files, he finds layer upon layer of nasty secrets... or does he? Lachlan's diaries tell the dark and complicated story, claiming, variously, both absolute fact and deliberate fantasy. In medical school when he met Susie, Lachlan gave up his day job to be a house husband and dream of being a writer after the birth of their daughter, Margie, now a toddler. Deception (and self-deception) abounds, including the inevitable dalliance between Lachie and the au pair, Yeni, who shares her employer's primal hunger for sticky childhood candies. But it's voice, not event, that grabs hold of the reader and won't let go. Lachlan Harriott immerses us in his obsessions; like Nabokov's Humbert Humbert, he repels and commands sympathy in the same instant. He is a charming, comic, intelligent narrator-and a man who might happily see his wife rot in prison, not for murder, but for the greater sin of rejecting him. Susie herself is seen as if through a long lens that can barely contain her beautiful, sorrowful image; what she did or didn't do is less compelling than what her husband reveals (or invents) about himself in his new life after her conviction. Mystery lovers have lately been looking to Scotland, in part because of Mina's fast-growing reputation; this stunning new work can only bolster the trend. Agent, Henry Dunow. (Aug.) Forecast: A five-city tour and a blurb from George Pelecanos should help introduce Mina to a wider U.S. audience. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Truth is seldom more elusive than in this first standalone novel by Mina (Resolution). A 30-year-old forensic psychiatrist newly sacked from Sunnyfields State Mental Hospital, Susan Harriot is convicted of murdering her former patient, serial killer Andrew Gow, in the same manner in which he mutilated his victims. Convinced of her innocence, her husband, Lachlan, searches Susie's secret study for evidence for her appeal. But his devotion wanes as he uncovers Susie's lies and her inordinate interest in Gow (released after two similar murders were committed) and his bride, Donna, whose blood was found by Gow's body. Lachlan may be feckless in Susie's eyes, but he's relentless in searching for answers that lead to a surprising climax. Mina shows mastery in developing characters and gradually unfolding their stories, especially within the narrative structure of Lachlan's computer diary, which, with transcripts and reports, further blurs the lines between what is true and what is not. Previously released in Britain as Sanctum, this dark tale with flashes of humor may not be the author's best work, but it should win her new fans. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/04.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.