Books by Denise Mina
Denise Mina's books read like encapsulations of life. Mysteries of the best sort, every one of her books grabs the reader immediately with characters real (and as problem-ridden) as anyone you know. Mina draws the reader into the her people's lives and, when you know them well enough to really feel for them--that's when the big, immediate issue arises, the one that they--and you--will have to solve. Probably before you put down the book. Start with The Garnethill trilogy (her earliest, vol. 1 published 1998) or the Paddy Meehan books (the BBC TV series made from it is also good; Peter Capaldi, the fantastic actor embodying the current Doctor Who, plays a role), the Alex Morrow series ("Blood, Salt, Water," the fifth of them, was released in 2015), or even her "Hellblazer" graphic novels, they're all beautifully constructed and executed. They read smooth and earthy, with a fist to the jaw--like a glass of whisky, neat.