Review of “Gods and Beasts” by Denise Mina

Another random read, another crime drama, but this time an incomplete part of a series, starting nowhere and leading to a dead end, and best of all, based in Glasgow, Scotland. The dialogue may have been accurate but how am I to know? Even the narrator (the story is told in threads based on close-in POV characters) uses slang, which meant northing to me. I looked a lot of it up.

Grammar and punctuation followed the usual paradigm, deteriorating at the halfway point but, because of the slang used by the narrator I don’t know if it was intentional or not. This book should not have been released outside of Scotland, or maybe the U.K. Maybe it should have been translated to American English.

I am certain there is a plot, but it’s a lot bigger than this novel, which I was not told was incomplete when I started reading it. This piece of the story had no plot to speak of. It was like a narrative of a…actually it wasn’t even a good episode of a police drama. The solution of the crime graphically described on the back cover was only in the minds of the characters, with no actual evidence. Pretty cheap.

The cast of characters promised a lot but the plot (such as it was) failed to bring their stories together in anything close to a coherent picture. The author had a great idea but utterly failed to deliver an interesting and rewarding, not to mention entertaining, piece of imaginative fiction. This novel isn’t worth the time it takes to read the back cover.

Thank god I borrowed it from the library and didn’t waste my own money…

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