• The Less Dead

  • By: Denise Mina
  • Narrated by: Katie Leung
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (189 ratings)

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The Less Dead  By  cover art

The Less Dead

By: Denise Mina
Narrated by: Katie Leung
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Publisher's Summary

In this shocking thriller from the author of the "blazingly intense" Reese Witherspoon book club pick and national best seller Conviction (A. J. Finn), a woman in crisis finds herself on the hunt for her own mother's murderer.

She thought she was finding her birth mother.
Now she's searching for a killer.

Dr. Margo Dunlop is at a crossroads. Her adoptive mom just passed away, and Margo misses her so much she can't begin to empty the house - or, it seems, get her brother on the phone. Not to mention she's newly single, secretly pregnant, and worried about her best friend's dangerous relationship. In an effort to cheer herself up she goes in search of her birth mother. Instead she finds Nikki, her mother's sister. Aunt Nikki isn't what Margo expects, and she brings upsetting news: Margo's mother is dead. Worse, she was murdered years ago, and her killer is still at large - and sending Nikki threatening letters.

Margo is torn. Should she stay out of this mess, or try to find justice? But then Margo receives a letter, too. Someone out there has been waiting and watching, and in Margo sees the spitting image of her mother....

Darkly funny and deeply affecting, The Less Dead is a sharply modern new thriller from the bestselling author of Conviction, and a surprisingly moving story of daughters and mothers, secrets and choices, and how the search for the truth - and a long-hidden killer - will lead one woman to find herself.

©2020 Denise Mina (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"If you haven't read Denise Mina yet, you should." (Alafair Burke, New York Times best-selling author of The Better Sister)

"Denise Mina brilliantly manages to be funny, heart-wrenching, gut-punching and addictive all at once." (Nicci French, author of the international best seller Day of the Dead)

"The menacing atmosphere ... effectively supports the novel's themes of reconciliation, class divides, and violence against women. Mina is a master of the genre, with wide appeal, especially for those who appreciate character-driven stories with literary weight, like those of Tana French, Karin Slaughter, and Laura Lippman." (Booklist starred review)

What listeners say about The Less Dead

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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2

When i first began reading the books of Denuse Mina she quickly became a favorite. As the years have passed I found her work less griping. It is tough to lose a writer I really like. But with this book we two must part ways. I held little interest in the characters brought to life here. You maybe fascinated by the story.

8 people found this helpful

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Beauty born of pain

Dr. Margo Dunlop does not know who she is, where she belongs, or what she should be doing. She's newly pregnant. She left her boyfriend. She's on leave from her job. Her adoptive mother died recently leaving Margo to clear out the family home. In that process, she ran across letters from her biological aunt trying to reconnect that her mother had hidden. Margo meets the aunt and learns about her mother's short life and murder. Aunt Nikki tries to enlist Margo into finding the killer. At first, Margo resists. But in short order, she is harassed and stalked by a strange man who may, or may not, be the one.

This is a gritty book. Its early passages resonate at a primal level. Like bringing forth life, there is blood and carnality, yet the story spirals upwards to a satisfying ending.

One of the best narrations I've ever heard. I especially enjoyed the Scottish woman with an affected Valley girl accent.

6 people found this helpful

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Bad narrator makes it a chore to get through

I'm a huge fan of Denise Mina, have read every one of her books and have followed her work since the Garnet Hill Trilogy days. She's also seriously successful so I just can't for the life of me understand how this narrator got the job. The publishers describe the book as "darkly funny" and a "thriller" and maybe it was, but from the reader's devoid-of-emotion delivery, none of that came across. Her flat, toneless reading made it hard to concentrate on the story itself so I feel much was missed, and it's a sensitive story (about prostitution) that deserved better. An even bigger disappointment coming on the heels of Mina's previous, Conviction, which was not only a great story but narrated by the incomparable Cathleen McCarron, who could probably make the phone book sound exciting. If you haven't listened to Conviction, skip this one and download that one instead!

5 people found this helpful

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not good for car listening at all

normally LOVE this author but narator did a charactor in a very high, thick accented voice that wa anoying to me and could not understand very well while driving which is where I do a lot of listening

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Be prepared for a puzzle

The mystery is a fine and socially aware puzzle, but the heavy Glaswegian accent for some of the characters is a puzzle too far. It requires concentration to understand and even at that I sensed I was missing some of the story. I suggest you rest the book

2 people found this helpful

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Loved the narrator!

I really enjoyed this book. Denise Mina is one of my favorite authors. The way she gave her characters a dignity they deserved was so refreshing. I thought Katie Leung did a fantastic job portraying all the characters. She is amazing.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable listen

I didn't find the narrator annoying as someone else did. She wasn't great. I love listening to the Glasgow accent so much that maybe I don't hold her to as high a standard as an American or English accented narrator. As others have said, this is not Denise Mina's best work. But I found it very listenable anyway and appreciate that. She always had some unique characters to think about.

2 people found this helpful

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Worst Ending EVER

Everything about this book was great until the end. The author ran out of steam?

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not her best

This book is a bit more violent and graphic than others I have read from Denise Mina.
That plot is slow and it predictable.
The narrator is really flat. She takes the humor out of what should be funny.

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointing ending

The ending feels unfinished to me. It is disappointing. There are Too many loose ends. I guess I should have read the reviews first, but I have read all of Denise Mina's books and liked so i didn't.

1 person found this helpful