Brief synopsis: Garnethill is the first book in the Garnethill trilogy. Maureen O’Donnell’s boyfriend is killed violently in her apartment. Despite her procuring an alibi and telling the police she didn’t commit the crime they don’t believe her because of her psychiatric history and tendency to lie. In order for Maureen to clear her name she sets out to find the actual murderer, which leads her to a decades-old scandal that took place at one of the facilities she was admitted to.
Rating: Travel companion
Long story short: A quick note before I begin: many of the novel’s themes center around sexual assault, mental illness, and domestic violence, which may be triggering to survivors. This review avoids specific details.
At 400 pages Garnethill seemed intimidating but it was a good read that I couldn’t put down. In fact, I had my nose buried in it while waiting backstage at a dance performance this past weekend (I finished about 10 minutes before my group went on stage).
Some readers found the pacing slow, but I thought it was done well. The novel is quick to start, something that I love (I’m not a fan of a long set-up), and the chapters after the murder are also fast and reflect Maureen’s agitation and frustration. There are several places in the book where the plot slows down and are good places for the reader to catch her breath. At the same time, Mina uses them for character development and you learn more about Maureen’s family and their troubled history. The ending is a little rushed, but satisfying, and gives the reader the option to stop there or continue with the trilogy Enough is resolved in Garnethill that you don’t have to keep reading.
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