cover image The Red Road

The Red Road

Denise Mina. Little, Brown, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-18851-7

Edgar-finalist Mina's fourth novel featuring Glasgow Det. Insp. Alex Morrow (after 2013's Gods and Beasts) is perhaps her finest yet, a brilliantly crafted tale of corruption, ruined lives, and the far-reaching ripple effects of crime. Morrow is called to testify against Michael Brown, a recidivist offender whose prints have been found on confiscated guns. During the trial, Brown's prints turn up at a brand new murder scene. Have they been somehow planted by Brown from prison in a ruse to discredit evidence? Morrow follows a complex trail that leads back to two murders in 1997. One of the murders involved a teenage girl, Rose Wilson, who stabbed her abusive pimp to death; the other was 14-year-old Michael Brown's brutal slaying of his older brother, John "Pinkie" Brown. Wilson now works for her benefactor, elderly attorney Julius McMillan, as a nanny for McMillan's grandchildren. Meanwhile, Robert, Julius's son, has gone missing after an elaborate money-laundering scheme has turned south. Are these decades' old crimes somehow connected? Morrow thinks so, but seeing the investigation through just might cost her the career she's fought so hard to achieve. (Feb.)