Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Red Road by Denise Mina

The Red Road starts with Rose Wilson, a young girl of fourteen living in a care home in Glasgow, killing two people the night that Diana died and she is apprehended by police. The lawyer who represents her gives her hope, while she will not escape a short stint in the prison, at least she has found somebody whom she can trust and love. As a girl who has seen a lots of abuse, Rose Wilson knows that there will definitely be a payment for the rescue. What the payment will be is something Rose Wilson learns over years. From a loner with nobody to care and love, the rescue gives her a loving family, with a father-figure, and his son who loves and trusts like a sister, she finds a loving sister in the son's wife, and works as a loved Nanny for their children. But she also has a secret life and her past comes back to haunt her.

DI Alex Morrow, is baffled by fingerprints of a prisoner found in a recent crime scene. The prisoner Roger Brown had definitely been in custody and how is it possible that his fingerprints are found in a crime scene. Did he have somebody plant it? If yes, why? Is it some elaborate ploy to discredit the evidence? This is something Alex has to find. The other track that runs is about illegal international money transfers that at one end help charities to rebuild disaster torn areas, and at the other end fuels arms acquisitions and drugs.

What makes this story interesting is the narration that moves between past and present and slowly the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fall into place. The story is not an easy read and is very disturbing as it deals with the abuse of the young girl. The story of the chick and broken egg is not something I would forget in years and so is the image of the 'nutter woman' cleaning her hands again and again with antiseptic gel. There are somethings no amount of antiseptic gel would cleanse, what kind of world do we live where eggs are broken before the chicks are ready to step into the world. 

While this is a gritty tale it also a tale of hope, love and justice. Hope that all is not lost and a man's unselfish love who would even sacrifice his own life so that his loved one would get justice. While this is about misplaced loyalties and trust, and it is also about what loyalty to a person who gave one new life would prompt one to do. While it is a tale of those who abuse power, it also a tale of those who would fight for justice at all costs. 

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