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Conviction cover art

Conviction

Written by: Denise Mina
Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
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Publisher's 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)  

What listeners say about Conviction

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Profile image for Chantal Noordeloos
  • Chantal Noordeloos
  • 23-09-21

Original and pretty interesting

I liked the idea of this story. It felt unconventional. The writing is okay. The plot was a bit too ‘all over the place’ for my taste and it felt a bit sloppy at times. I also found the characters pretty unlikable, but at the same time I appreciated the quirkiness of them.

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  • Jennifer Harth
  • 01-09-21

Great story

One of the best plots I've come across lately. Hard to put down. Not for the faint-hearted.

The narration was good, although the European accents almost all sounded the same.

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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 .

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  • Mr Chops
  • 19-07-19

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.



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  • Sharon
  • 10-06-19

wonderful!

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

4 people found this helpful

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  • daisyrock
  • 03-07-20

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cath Daley
  • 22-08-19

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.

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  • Bee
  • 08-06-19

Patchy

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

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  • Jamie L
  • 24-06-20

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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  • Graham G Grant
  • 10-04-20

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.

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  • JShow
  • 16-07-21

Fun, Fun, Fun

This book deals with quite heavy subject matter in an interesting and light way. Great performance by Cathleen as I enjoyed the characterisation throughout the story. there is a story inside of the story that I was as equally interested in as the original. This was a sad story told in such a fantastical but matter-of-fact way.

1 person 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.

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  • Fee
  • 15-06-20

Okay

For the first few hours I felt as though I wanted to give up. Very unlikable characters, very odd story structure.

The characters later developed well although so much so that it felt like a completely different book. I don’t know that the second part was worth plodding through those first hours for.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nat Venosi
  • 21-08-19

Wow! Once you’re in you’re hooked

Took a few turns before I understood the multiple threads and then I really got into it. One of the best paced, layered stories I’ve read in ages, enjoyed the narration too, needed clear separations for characters and that was achieved.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kirsten Forrester
  • 04-08-19

Brilliant

I don't normally write reviews but had to for this one. Absolutely fantastic. Refreshing characters and great story line and as per usual Cathleen McCarron is a great narrator. I hope there’s more to come.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tracey Anderson
  • 09-01-20

Excellent story and excellent narration!

Brilliant. Gripping and original. Fantastic partnership. Emotional topics dealt with deftly and without weepyness. Narration was astonishingly good!

1 person found this helpful

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  • LOGA CHANDRAKUMAR
  • 21-11-22

Great narrator but picked the ending

Enjoyable listen and kept me engaged to the end. Narrator great and pacing spot on.

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  • GLC
  • 14-11-22

Not sure why such great reviews

I struggled with this one. Big cast so hard to keep track of who's who. Protagonist not at all likeable. All a bit far fetched and unrealistic and felt very disjointed. Amazing narrator, impressive accent skills.

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  • Liane Mills
  • 20-10-22

A confusing story with unlikable characters largely

I persevered with this book because the idea was good but I didn’t like the characters and didn’t fully follow what was going on. The characters acted out of character from time to time which was annoying. Overall poor. The reader was good though

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  • Psalteryschool
  • 24-09-22

A slow start but worth the wait

I almost gave up on this book. The start was very very very slow. However once you get past that start it takes off and is worth the perseverance.

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  • Helen Engstrom
  • 26-08-22

Brilliant! More please Ms Mina

Completely brilliant. Compelling characters, a narrative that races along, with a number of different threads coalescing for a can’t-put-the-book-down ending. About to buy book 2.

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  • Anne
  • 03-07-22

Action packed!

The story was well thought out with lots of action and suspense as well as very relatable human emotion and relationships. It was a good story and I would recommend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-06-22

Slow Start but Worth Persevering

It was a bit slow to start with but then it got going, definitely worth persevering with! Would recommend.