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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&M fans react after The Aggies win the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
The mad dash to Omaha
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 21, 2024

After Texas A&M baseball’s win over Florida sent the Aggies to their first Men’s College World Series Championship Series in program...

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

True-crime podcasts take a new form in mystery-thriller novel ‘Conviction’

The book Conviction was written by Denise Mina and was originally published on May 16, 2019.
Photo by Creative Commons

The book “Conviction” was written by Denise Mina and was originally published on May 16, 2019.

“Conviction” by Denise Mina is the kind of book which should be started with as little knowledge of the plot as possible. Anna lives a normal life with her lawyer husband, Hamish, and her two girls. Hamish is leaving Anna for her best friend and is taking the girls with him.
Anna avoids social media at all costs, trying to hide from her past. The same fateful morning Hamish breaks the news, Anna is listening to a true-crime podcast called “Death and the Dana” and learns an old friend from her past life, Leon, is dead. These two events, along with a photo of her and her distinctive scar ending up on Twitter, drive the plot of the novel.
Anna and Fin, a famous musician and the husband of her former best friend, head off on a twisted road trip as she tries to process everything that is happening. Anna is running away from her present, toward her past and hopefully toward finding out what really happened to Leon that night on the Dana. On top of all this, she is also on the run from people trying to kill her. Fin just happens to be along for the ride.
The book is written from Anna’s point of view. This, combined with the podcast elements, gives the book a narrative style that feels almost non-fiction. As a result, the plot moves a bit slowly at times, but never feels boring. It is very journalistic in a way that gives the events more depth and makes the reader feel as if they are reading a true account and not a work of fiction.
However, some plot points remind you of the fictitious elements of the novel. Certain events leave the reader questioning why and how, especially during the final chapters. In some ways, it feels as if the author decided it would be easier to leave the reader questioning than to try and make sense of it. The plot, at times, is over the top and unlikely, but it is done in a way that sucks the reader in and keeps them invested.
The book is so gripping because Mina takes the ordinary, everyday aspects of life and flips them on their head with one event. While some plot points may be far-fetched, countless people listen to true-crime podcasts or use reading as a way to escape. As crazy as the rest of Anna’s life is, these aspects lend to a sense of relatability with the reader.
The transitions from the podcast episodes to Anna and Fin on the road are seamless. Periodically, Anna’s thoughts interrupt an episode, but they never retract from the story. Anna is an intense main character; because of her opinions, feelings, anger and fear, she is a force to be reckoned with. The reader quickly becomes addicted to her and her new and rocky companionship with Fin as the book progresses.
This book is perfect for fans of the mystery-thriller genre. It is the complete package with its intense main character, confused but means-well companion, a brief road trip and the slightly unrealistic plot. It is the perfect addition to the ever-growing list of summer beach reads.

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