Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Moving around as a child because of her father's job as an oil engineer, she went to 15 schools across Europe leaving school at 16.
After jobs working in a meat factory and as a hospice nurse, she took a law degree at Glasgow University and began work on a PhD on mental illness in female offenders.
She taught criminology and criminal law and wrote two pocket guides on men and flirting.
Misusing her PhD grant, she disappeared from the university for several months and wrote her debut novel, "Garnethill", the first in a trilogy, which won the John Creasey Prize for best first crime novel in 1998.
This was followed by "Exile" and "Resolution", the final book in the trilogy, which was published by Bantam in July 2002.