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Conviction

Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (216 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Conviction stars a strong female protagonist who is obsessed by true-crime podcasts and decides, one day, to investigate one of the unsolved crimes herself.

It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together, and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.

Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.

This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into free fall. 

Conviction is the compelling and unique new thriller from multiple award winner and author of The Long Drop, Denise Mina.

©2019 Denise Mina (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"A twisting, darkly comic, thrill-a-minute ride across Europe. If you loved Killing Eve, you'll devour Conviction." (Erin Kelly)

"Denise Mina brilliantly manages to be funny, heart-wrenching, gut-punching and addictive all at once: a fabulous, captivating novel." (Nicci French)  

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conviction

enjoyed the story but it was a little confusing at times, I had to re read bits. would have liked a better ending saying what happened to all the characters but overall it was good.

3 people found this helpful

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Nothing like Codename Villanelle

Bought this on the strength of the comparison to Codename Villanelle.
Where Codename Villanelle is smart, sexy, exotic, fast paced and tinged with luxury, Conviction is pedestrian and mumsie. A traditional first person gradual unravel of the whodunnit with the usual background family/relationship issues thrown in.
Codename Villanelle is a sophisticated, modern female Bond Conviction this is more Bridget Jones without the humour.
If you like The Hunting Party or Val McDermid (I don't) this could be for you. If you are looking for the latest Villanelle prepare to be dissatisfied.



3 people found this helpful

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A deadly romp with all the ingredients of a classic thriller

The protagonist of Conviction is a middle-class mother with a hidden identity and a secret past. It was long buried until her marriage broke up and she sought solace in a true-crime podcast about the murder of an entire family aboard a yacht called the Dana. This sets in a train a classic thriller ranging across Europe, even taking in a visit to celebrity getaway Skibo Castle. There are echoes of classic pulp fiction, and perhaps even of the Hannay novels - stories of pursuit and improbable derring-do. The opening sections, where the present-day action alternates with excerpts from the podcast, work well, and the narration is excellent. As the cast list became a little more crowded, I struggled a bit to keep faith with the increasingly bonkers plot. The climax seemed a little rushed and unsatisfying. But the urgency, trademark wit and characterisation are enough to keep you listening, particularly in the first half of the novel. Mina has written stronger thrillers, but this is worth your time.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CM
  • 16-06-20

Great listen

I like Denise Mina,I have read a few of her books.So I was pleased to see one in the 2 or 1sale.This book certainly did not disappoint.The plot was good taking the listener all over Europe .The podcast was an interesting device. The narrator was excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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wonderful!

I finished this book in record time, wow what a fantastic story! Thank you Denise!

3 people found this helpful

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Patchy

Starts well but becomes increasingly far fetched and scattered with cliches. Mostly enjoyable but a bit irritating by the end.

1 person found this helpful

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Not recommended

I bought this as I'd really enjoyed The Long Drop by the same author, and because I like the narrator, having listened to her read the Karen Pirie novels by Val McDermid. Sadly, neither woman was on form here. The premise is interesting, although wildly far fetched, but the plot holes are massive and frequent. Not least, when we finally find out who sank the Dana, that person has no clear motive whatsoever. Also, footballers doing dirty deeds in hotels is (sadly) such a commonplace, it doesn't seem realistic that it could stir up so much trouble.
As for the narration, the reading is good. But Cathleen McCarron is out of her depth with non-Scottish accents. The character who creates the original podcast is supposed to have a South London accent, but instead has that all-purpose jolly hockey sticks accent that so often gets rolled out for English female characters. And don't get me started on the various European accents (many of which wander into Welsh from time to time). Overall, a big fat let down from a writer and reader who can both do better.

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Shocking

What an awful premise.....So when your husband leaves you the best thing to do is pretend to be an investigator and solve an old murder. Really? Ridiculous!

Plot holes and so dreary. No twists or surprises. Would not recommend - total waste of time. It felt like it would never end!

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Nonsense

Conviction takes the reader from chic French marinas to Venetian back streets to “the best hotel in Paris”, meeting scar-faced Russian hitmen, rock stars and professional footballers along the way. Denise Mina’s books are usually gritty and tight, this feels as if it were written by a ten year old who has never actually been abroad. Some of the plot devices (being able, conveniently, to record key conversations) are embarrassingly clunky. And the dénouement!
Don’t bother.

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Works well as an audiobook

Part of this book incorporates a podcast, which works well as the performer makes it clear when the book is being narrated by the protagonist and when you are 'listening' to the podcast. I felt like I was really listening to a podcast alongside the story.

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  • ShelleySkudowitz
  • 03-01-20

Different and tense till the end

Well done Denise Mina and Cathleen McCarron you brought this book to life. Thank you .