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Still Midnight
 
 

Still Midnight [Kindle Edition]

Denise Mina
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Review

'Mina proves what a consumate storyteller she is...' -- Cath Staincliffe TANGLED WEB

Review

'the added mystery element could make this Mina's breakthrough book from critics' darling to big seller' THE BOOKSELLER 'The strength of this well written novel lies in the characterisation...I felt as involved with the villains as with the police and victims' SHOTS 'Gritty, bizarre, true to life, and hinting at racial tension running high in the city, this enthralling story will hold your mind hostage until the shocking climax' WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY 'There is a rich ordinariness, a believability, a recognisable quality about Mina's characters, who are better drawn than those of anyone else writing in her genre in Scotland. A good example is Mina's heroine. Detective Sergeant Alex Morrow is instantly believable, instantly placable' -- David Leask SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY 'Suburban Glasgow has a new cop to conceal the cracks. But even DS Alex Morrow finds she's up against it when a grandfather is snatched by an armed gang and the attacks presents more questions than answers' DAILY MIRROR 'She's probably not that chuffed being dubbed the Queen of Tartan Noir, but we'll do it anyway' THE LIST 'Good fiction is defined by characters we can believe in. Denise Mina, author of the Garnethill and the Paddy Meehan trilogy, has won herself many fans by writing thrillers with realistic characters. Still Midnight, a rather tame title for a robust book, is an honest depiction of Glagow's south side community, as well as a beguiling crime novel' GLASGOW HERALD 'Mina's bungling crims, the cops chasing them (including bolshie DS Alex Morrow, with her conflicted past), her 'innocent' victims and even her minor characters are startlingly believable, and she conjures up the seamier side of Glasgow with flair' METRO 'Unquestionably Britain's finest unheralded crime novelist' -- Paul Connolly LONDON LITE 'Mina is acutely sensitive to characters' mental states, rendering them with a precision which blurs the line between heroism and villainy. At the same time, her prose is both nimble and muscular' -- John O'Connell GUARDIAN 'It's Ian Rankin saying that Denise Mina is one of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years - and I think he's right. She has a fresh voice, her own style and a talent for telling a good story. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work' THE BOOK BAG 'Like all the best crime writers, Mina can make melodramatic events seem credible because her characterisations and settings are so authentic: if she described Alex sprouting wings and flying to Pluto she would make it plausible. There are probably now as many crime writers in Scotland as criminals, but Mina may be the pick of the bunch' -- Jake Kerridge DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Morrow juggles personal problems and a difficult case in this dark, edgy story told with verve, bite and bleak humour' BIG ISSUE IN SCOTLAND 'Still Midnight is suffused with telling social commentary and wry humour, while exposing the hypocrisy and passive racism at the heart of modern, intercultural Scotland' -- Janette Curie TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'Still Midnight is classic Mina. Not one word is wasted, every page counts, and the end result never disappoints' -- Shari Low DAILY RECORD 'The narrative is inspired by a real-life kidnapping, but Mina parleys this into something richer and stranger than the real case, taking on board politics, racism and a prickly but basically sympathetic community. The final effect of Still Midnight is both unsettling and exhilarating' -- Barry Forshaw THE INDEPENDENT 'page-turning' EDINBURGH EVE NEWS 'This crackling police procedural is lovingly marinated in the dank atmosphere of grimmest Glasgow' TIME OUT 'I suspect it's her rare ability to make readers explode with laughter in the middle of reading about grimness and tragedy that has seen Denise Mina rise so rapidly to the first division of British crime writers' -- Mat Coward MORNING STAR 'There's something all too real in all of Mina's characters that might make you squirm just a little bit! Sure Alex and Maureen come from different sides of the law, but they are both flawed, complicated and frequently annoying characters who seem somehow familiar and extremely sympathetic. Add to that strong procedural elements, a great sense of place and pace, and STILL MIDNIGHT is a terrific book - let's hope it's the start of a new series' DEADLY PLEASURES 'I found myself completely gripped and also convinced' -- Antonia Fraser THE LADY

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 957 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (1 July 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002U3CCS8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,223 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father's job as an engineer, her family moved twenty-one times in eighteen years from Paris to the Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen. After leaving school at sixteen and a run of poorly paid jobs, she went on to study Law at Glasgow University and researched a PhD thesis at Strathclyde.

Misusing her grant, she stayed at home and wrote her first novel, Garnethill, which was published in 1998 and won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasy Dagger for best first crime novel.

Since 1998 she has written seven further novels, including most recently, Still Midnight. She also writes comics and in 2006 wrote her first play, 'Ida Tamson'. As well as all of this she writes short stories and is a regular contributor to TV and radio.

Author photo (c) Colin McPherson

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Midnight 3 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover
Two young men, cloaked in balaclavas burst into a non-descript residence in suburban Glasgow in a home invasion. When the attack is over, they have kidnapped the elderly grandfather, terrorizing the family and demanding a huge ransom. The police who investigate the crime are baffled - did they have the wrong house? It would appear that the family is of modest means and could only manage to scrape up a fracture of the millions of pounds demanded. The answer to this question is not made clear till very near the end of this character-driven novel, although the reader is teased with small hints from time to time.

DCI MacKechnie, DS Bannerman and DS Alex Morrow of Strathclyde CID are assigned the case, but it is the latter who is the most interesting of these. The reader is told little of her backstory, although similarly teased with occasional small hints. We are made aware, early on, that her career has been and is affected by office and societal politics of class, race and sex, but her personal problems appear to have put up somewhat of a buffer against much of the anger and resentment thus aroused. She is a careful and clever detective, and is determined to find the kidnap victim before the kidnappers' threats are made good.

I have read and loved the Garnethill trilogy written by this author, and found this standalone an engrossing read. Ms. Mina captures even small roles eloquently: A college professor whose "office and personal appearance spoke of a man who lived for pretentious obfuscation and all things dusty," an automobile showroom where "the cars were even shinier inside, their lines beguiling and the colours bright, like perfect children lined up for adoption." Despite an ending that was unexpected in its suddenness, I very much enjoyed this book, and recommend it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
A very competent and lucid police procedural, starring DS Alex Morrow, haunted by a domestic life that has gone badly wrong, up against a kidnapping that threatens the life of an Indian man, Aamir who arrived in Glasgow from Uganda with his two sons and a daughter and now runs a small local newsagent's shop. Why have a criminal gang abducted him asking for £2m in ransom? Morrow has to work out what's going on while fending off the self-serving DS Bannerman who seems to have become their DCI's golden boy.

Meanwhile, one of the kidnappers, Pat, can't stop thinking about the beautiful Indian daughter and fantasizing that they will get together, if she can get past the fact that he shot three fingers off her hand by mistake. Aamir is being held in a wrecked old house where Malki, the driver of the getaway car and a mild-mannered drug addict is left in charge, along with Shugie, a wreck of a man who, sent out for refreshments, buys a loaf of white bread and half a ton of lager. Things get complicated for DS Morrow who is surprised to find herself working well with Bannerman for a change, but then, just as things begin to look positive, the case stirs up Morrow's past connection to a very well-known crime family and the difficulties seem to multiply.

I enjoyed this thriller enormously. It is fast-paced, intelligently worked out and rife with wry humour and dark and dirty impulses. Excellent work.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves... 24 May 2010
Format:Hardcover
Having previously enjoyed Mina's Sanctum, I looked forward to this book. For about half the novel, I enjoyed it. The plot was interesting and had some substance in it; the key detective was shaping up nicely.

But then? Well, what went wrong? Did Mina run out of energy or time? Something happened. The plot itself petered out quite miserably; I can't imagine any reader finding the conclusion satisfying. Key details emerge in a quite unrealistic way; the tension in the basic set-up just dissolves; and so there is no drama in the final third at all.

Still Midnight is frustrating. There was enough there in the first half of the book to make you feel that Mina is a writer of some talent; you want her to succeed. But really, to do so she needs to think through the second half of her novel more convincingly than this. Crime books depend on a certain momentum and ratcheting up of the tension as it proceeds to a climax. This did not have it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glasgow's Ian Rankin? Not with this book 6 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
This is the first Denise Mina book I've read and I've obviously started with the wrong one, because I can't imagine the likes of Ian Rankin calling her 'the most exciting crime writer to have emerged in Britain for years' on the basis of this effort.
It's basically a police procedural story, the crime being a botched kidnapping, and with the usual flawed investigator trying to solve it alongside their own problems. I like this sort of thing normally, but I thought that the prose in this one was over-written and the story was weak: it's not much of a crime, and not much of a character study, either. I've seen half-hour episodes of The Bill that were better than this.
She spends far too long describing everything in a very cinematic way, almost as if she's dressing a set, but she hasn't created a very believable world. Every now and then a new revelation is thrown in for effect, but it all comes across as a bit desperate and random. I can see that she was trying to say something about second generation Asian immigrants in today's Glasgow but it all seemed a bit off, and the kidnapped shopkeeper's flashbacks about his early life in Uganda seemed to be in a different book altogether.
In the end it just fizzles out, hinting at a ludicrously unlikely love story. She's told us a lot of things about DS Alex Morrow but she hasn't created a character you recognise or care about. If this turns into a series, and it reads as if it might, I can't imagine ever looking for 'the latest Alex Morrow' as you would the latest Rebus or Scarpetta.
I suppose I'll have to try the Garnethill trilogy to see what all the fuss is about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Denise Mina - the Caitlin Moran of crime fiction
Mina's protagonists are clever, feisty and very funny, usually struggling with loyalty to various dysfunctional family members and the effort to hang on to low paid jobs in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by S. Campbell
3.0 out of 5 stars she's still got it
I did enjoy this book, some decent twists, but some events which jarred a bit, loose ends tied up very quickly, but some good touches...
Published 2 months ago by Yvonne
5.0 out of 5 stars gritty, intense and keeps you in suspence
I picked this up in a rumble sale and loved it. I'm on amazon looking for other things Mina has written - complex plot but believable, funny but sad too. Couldn't put it down
Published 3 months ago by Grainne Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars top notch
As a big Val McDiarmid fan, I love Denise Mina, and am delighted to have read this, my second book of hers. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. Sarah J. Anderson
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting start to a well-received series
The south side of Glasgow, home to an underclass of criminals and immigrants, is the setting for this novel. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Plucked Highbrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I love everything denise Mina writes and she does not disappoint here. Couldn't wait to pick this novel up again
Published 9 months ago by ELC
2.0 out of 5 stars not bad
The story was ok not brilliant but had to read till the end as I wanted to find out what happened
Published 9 months ago by Alex Blevins
5.0 out of 5 stars book
Also bought for my wife and she liked it. I don't read much at all
so can't ad any more.
Published 10 months ago by no
4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read!
Daughters a cop and I'm from Glasgow's south side, so I found it very evocative, accurate and well written! A cracking read!
Published 11 months ago by A. M. Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Glasgow's kiss
I decided to order the first book in various new detective series to test them out and got this first of the Alex Morrow novels because I remembered Mina's Garnet Hill trilogy as... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Arachne Jones
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