Maureen O’Donnell wakes up in her Glasgow flat after passing out drunk and finds her lover tied to a chair, his throat cut. Douglas was a therapist, married to another woman. The police think she’s guilty but can’t prove it: she has a history of mental illness, her mother’s an alcoholic, and her twin brother’s a drug dealer.
Mauri is feisty but flawed, coping fairly realistically. She manages to find the real murderer and uncover a nasty case of sexual abuse, against a backdrop of domestic violence, alcoholism, and poverty. Her friend Leslie is a treat; her mother is a horror.
The notes at the back of the book say that Denise Mina got sidetracked from writing her PhD thesis on mental illness and female offenders. This novel is far more readable than the thesis would have been.