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Denise Mina


1966 -

Crime novelist and playwright. Born in Glasgow, Mina is the daughter of an oil-industry engineer, a job which brought numerous moves around Europe in her childhood. She left school at sixteen and undertook various temporary jobs before settling on nursing. At twenty-one she returned to education, passing exams which gave her entry to study law at the University of Glasgow. She went on to undertake research towards a doctorate in at the University of Strathclyde. Instead of completing her research, Mina wrote the first of what became a trilogy of novels set in Glasgow: Garnethill (1998), which won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger, Exile (2000) and Resolution (2001). Her genre has become known as 'Tartan Noir', shared by the likes of Val McDermid (b.1955) and Ian Rankin (b.1960).

Her early novels were followed by Sanctum (2002), the story of a forensic psychiatrist, convicted of killing a serial killer, and then three of an intended series of five books that follows the life and career of a young journalist: The Field of Blood (2005), The Dead Hour (2006) and The Last Breath (2007). Mina's other books are Still Midnight (2009) and The End of the Wasp Season (2011). She also writes comics and graphic novels, together with short stories that have appeared in various anthologies, one of which, Helena and the Babies (1999), won the Crime Writers' Association Macallan Short Story Dagger. Her plays include Ida Tamson (2006) and A Drunk Woman looks at the Thistle (2008) both premiering at Oran Mor in Glasgow. Two of her short stories and a play, Hurtle (2003), have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4.


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