Confidence, the sequel to Scottish writer Denise Mina's Conviction, finds Glasgow-based podcaster Anna McDonald desperate to escape the suffocating holiday she organized with the best intentions for her blended family. Anna crafts an excuse to flee but couldn't have anticipated all the globe-trotting and death-defying that awaits her in this hard-charging but highly amusing thriller.

During her anxiety-making holiday, Anna receives a Twitter message from @WBGrates: "Lisa Lee didn't take it. Please tell them." Included is a link to a YouTube video in which Lisa, a young Scotswoman, gives viewers a tour of an abandoned chateau in France she has broken into. At one point she gestures to a silver box; another link from @WBGrates reveals that the box is now listed in a Paris auction catalog as a "Roman casket." As Anna digests this information, she has the nagging sense that she has seen the name Lisa Lee before. Didn't Lisa once write to the podcast? 

Conviction and Confidence are something of a playful departure for Mina (Gods and Beasts; The Long Drop; Rizzio), whose turf tends to be gritty Scotland. The territory of Confidence is the European capitals where Anna and Fin, her co-podcaster (and fellow holiday escapee), find themselves bombing around, all in the hopes of learning whether Lisa stole the casket, which may have something to do with her recent disappearance. A foulmouthed 12-year-old boy who gets caught up in the messy intrigue provides much of the novel's humor and, just when readers least expect it, its heart. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

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