Dark, pensively psychological, and ragingly redemptive, The End of the Wasp Season pulls characters in and out of their families’ yawping bellies, and thrusts them into the light – and dark. Each character ties itself by thin threads to familial relationships, relationships that either claw and tear or offer up enough to survive. While some characters find compassion, others perform murder. Kay Murray and her family do not feast upon each other, and they get the biggest reward. Detective Inspector Morrow finds some cease and desist within the narrow abyss of her sibling Danny and her nephew Johnnie, as she buries her father. Both she and Murray find the epiphany of compassion, while the other characters churn in the turn of despair.
Detective Inspector Alex Morrow, one of my fav detectives, shuttles her case through a family caul, but as usual, Morrow remains clear in her boundaries and sweeps through the Strathclyde Police Force with integrity and grit.
Lars Anderson is a rich shit. His wife, Moira, presents a narcissistic misalliance to her children, Thomas and Ella. Both children, shipped off to boarding school, are called home because Lars, in the midst of financial scandal, hangs himself on the family lawn. Thomas and Squeak, his boarding school buddy, have killed Lars’ mistress, Sarah Erroll. Before he died, Lars told Thomas that he had another family, with a son and daughter close in age to Thomas and Ella. Thomas is fifteen.
Detective Morrow, pregnant with twins, faces chaos at the police station in the form of arrogant and hated Chief DI Bannerman. Morrow pursues the murder while trying to perform damage control as her staff plots to oust Bannerman from the top spot. An old school acquaintance, Kay Murray, has been taking care of Sarah Erroll’s mother Joy, who has Alzheimer’s, and in the course of the investigation, Murray and Morrow run into each other. Sarah has left a large fortune in cash in the house, and is known as a high profile working girl.
Squeak confesses to a priest at the boarding school who telephones Thomas and asks him to turn himself in. The priest has been off the drink for years, but starts drinking at once.
As the investigation skews off track toward Kay and her fifteen and sixteen year old sons because Bannerman wants a fast arrest, Kay’s life falls apart. Morrow knows she has to work fast to find the real killers.
Fast, with characters that dance in and out of the torments of bad family connections, The End of the Wasp Season reveals the paths of the unloved – and the loved. Alex Morrow, the survivor of the former, performs brilliantly in Mina’s collaboration.
Fast, furious and totally engaging, this novel compels the psychology of the damned with compassion and a multi layered engagement to the humanity of each character within its own chaos and drama.
The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel is available for pre-order on Amazon.com (release date: September 26, 2011)
Overall: 4 –
My only small disappointment – minimal, I assure you – was that the ending seemed a tad familiar, a mite predictable. Possibly because I read crime novels day and night! A fine writer, Mina never trips the minefields until she intends to shower her explosion onto the fields of her plot.
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.
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