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The Field of Blood (Paddy Meehan 1) [Paperback]

Denise Mina
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Feb 2014 Paddy Meehan 1

In Glasgow, a child goes missing, taken from the front garden of his home - and the investigation leads the police to the doors of two young boys.

Paddy Meehan has just started her new job working for a local newspaper, where she dreams of becoming an investigative journalist. She starts looking into the case of the missing child but, unlike everyone else, does not believe the boys acted on their own. Convinced there is more to it than this, she begins to ask some very awkward questions.

But Paddy's investigation has repercussions she never anticipated. Shunned by those closest to her, she finds herself dangerously alone...

Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (13 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409150623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409150626
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,548,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Product Description


One of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years (Ian Rankin)

Splendidly written . . . magnificently readable (The Times)

Her characterisations and settings are so authentic . . . There are probably now as many crime writers in Scotland as criminals, but Mina may be the pick of the bunch (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Funny, raw, compassionate, often brutal, GARNETHILL turns a wry humour on the shortcomings of its very human characters (INDEPENDENT)

Book Description

A powerfully gripping thriller from the two-time winner of the THEAKSTONS AWARD, 'one of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years' Ian Rankin.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mina's trademark investigative thriller… 10 Nov 2005
By A Customer
Two Paddy Meehan 's are the central protagonists in Field of Blood and although they both live in different times, they are inextricably linked, even though they never actually cross paths. Alternating between 1969 and 1981, author Denise Mina skillfully tells the story of Soviet spy Paddy Meehan who was wrongly convicted of murder. Paddy's trial and subsequent incarceration sent shockwaves through Scotland.
In 1981, Patricia "Paddy" Meehan is working as a copygirl at the Scottish Daily News, much to the chagrin of her Catholic working class parents and Sean, her fiancé, who scorns her ambition and mocks her desire for feminine independence. Indeed, Paddy hopes someday to become a journalist; she's overjoyed to be working with some of the hottest reporters in Scotland, even if they are misogynists.
The chubby young neophyte finds it hard to fit in with the newsroom boys; they're hard drinking, hard cussing men, who pick on her for being overweight, and who spend most of their time hanging out in the local press bar. Paddy's constantly jealous of her coworker Heather, who is thin and blond and college educated; Heather simultaneously strikes the admiration and fear in all of the men.
The chance opportunity to ride along with law enforcement puts Paddy in close proximity to one of the paper’s biggest stories, the murder of three-year-old Brian Wilcox, his body found beaten to death near the local train station. Brian's murder sends shockwaves through the community and even raised eyebrows within the jaded newsroom. When Paddy learns of a previously unknown personal connection to the case – one of the accused is actually Sean's cousin - she takes this chance of confiding what she knows to Heather to gain status in the office.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special 7 Feb 2012
By Bookwoman TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Much as I feel I should agree with Ian Rankin, who (according to the blurb) thinks that Denise Mina is 'one of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years', I'm afraid that this book just didn't do it for me.
But if you like crime novels that are all about what the investigator is thinking and doing rather than the crime itself, then you might like this.
Set in the early 1980s, it's the story of Patricia 'Paddy' Meehan, a lowly 'copyboy' and aspiring reporter on the Glasgow Daily News, who decides to investigate when two young boys are charged with the kidnap and murder of a toddler (the parallels with the Jamie Bulger case are shameless).
Mina is good at conjuring up the dour and dirty streets of 80s Glasgow, the smothering atmosphere of a working class Catholic community, and a typically sexist, alcohol-soaked newsroom of the time.
But as this is a crime novel without much to solve (it's an obvious villain) it all rests on the shoulders of young Paddy, and that was this book's main problem for me. I neither liked her nor found her to be very convincing. We're constantly being reminded of her insecurities (she tells us how fat she is on nearly every page) so all those smart remarks she manages to deliver sound very unlikely. There are far too many repetitive scenes with her boyfriend and family, talking about Paddy and Paddy's problems, when I needed to know more about the crime and the suspects.
I also couldn't understand why the narrative is interrupted at random points to give us episodes in the life of the real Paddy Meehan, a career criminal wrongly jailed for murder and the subject of a miscarriage of justice campaign in the 1970s. Yes, they've got the same name, but it seemed both gimmicky and clunky.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and compulsive 25 April 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book and can't wait for the future installments. I found it totally compulsive to read and was forever sneaking a page here and there when supposedly doing other things like the dishes - wife not impressed. To those who say the 'real' Paddy Meehan story spoils it, I say it couldn't be further from the truth, it enhances this novel. I had never heard of Paddy Meehan before but Field of Blood inspired me to find out more about him. Her telling of his story strays very little from the truth which makes it even more interesting. As to the main tale, Mina's Paddy Meehan is a wonderful character who i felt very sympathetic towards. All I would say is read this book, you will not be disappointed and thank you Denise for following up Garnethill with another wonderful novel.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an uncanny comparison 21 Feb 2006
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am half way through this book at the minute and am enjoying it enough to make me want to finish it.... depsite the amount of time Mina is spending on Meehan and NOT on the case!!
However, is it just me or is there an uncanny resemblence to the Bulger case of 1993? Does anyone know if this was Mina's intention? Surely there can't be so many similarities for her not to be basing her book on the James Bulger killing?!!!
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Field of Blood, Denise Mina 27 April 2005
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
As much a fan of Mina as I am (the Garnethill trilogy is excellent, especially Resolution), this new venture did not wholly live up to my expectations, and I don't really know why. Maybe it's because, as a journalist, Paddy Meehan is too distanced from the actual crime to make it fully engaging and immediate, coupled with the fact that the secondary real-life Paddy Meehan story seems, most of the time, entirely irrelevant and adds nothing much to the main plot at all. Indeed, I got quite annoyed by it and was SO very tempted to skip it entirely. I get the sense that Mina just really wanted to write about it, so did, whereas in fact the book would survive perfectly well with it.
That said, it's still a very good crime novel. 18-year-old Paddy Meehan is an excellent character, a slightly naive and confused young lady, rather struggling with the world, its expectations of her and her expectations of it, not to mention her deeply Catholic family. Her ambitions clearly don't sit comfortably with the mould tradition would deem Paddy grow into. Mina's evocation of 80's Glasgow is absolutely excellent (really - it's superb), and life at the Daily News is really brought to life. It's a very atmospheric and effective writing piece of writing in this sense, a claustrophobic and sometimes dark piece.
However, it's not as good a book as it could be, which is the problem. Mina spends SO much time on Paddy Meehan that the plot suffers, and seems to be more in the background than it should. Because of this I never felt as interested in it as I should be, because Mina's own concerns clearly lie elsewhere. And I SHOULD have been very interested in it: two young boys killing a toddler should really grab my attention and not let go.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars How can you send Dr Atkins instead of Field of Blood
Who picks the orders? A robot who has been badly programmed?
So disappointing to receive an item that has absolutely nothing to do with the order.
Published 12 months ago by Feedback when necessary
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read where fact and fiction collide!
Until recently I had'nt heard anything about this author or book but decided I would borrow it from the library this week and I have to say initially I did'nt think it was up to... Read more
Published on 17 Jun 2011 by Stais
4.0 out of 5 stars Meet Paddy Meehan; She Might Not Know It, But She's Going to Go Far
"Field of Blood," a British mystery, is penned by a fast-developing young writer Denise Mina, who has been enthusiastically welcomed into the tartan noir school of British mystery... Read more
Published on 11 July 2010 by Stephanie De Pue
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two Meehans
I enjoyed this book, not quite as much as Mina's earlier works, but enough to want to go on to read the other Paddy Meehan books. It is a good yarn with good characterisations. Read more
Published on 16 Nov 2008 by seeyoujimmy
4.0 out of 5 stars Two for the price of one
This is my first Denise Mina novel and my expectations were high when I noted the location - Glasgow - murder of a small child, an overweight would-be teenage investagative... Read more
Published on 19 Sep 2008 by Michael Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars One Paddy Meehan too many
I enjoyed this book, but felt the story of the real Paddy Meehan was shoe-horned in and did not add anything positive to the novel. Read more
Published on 5 Jan 2008 by Lovetoread
4.0 out of 5 stars Minority detective in culture clash
Mina tells a story well, as evidenced by her previous books. Here, she introduces a new character who will appear in a series. Read more
Published on 28 Nov 2007 by Dr. J. Baird
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best modern Scottish writer's around...
I love Denise Mina's writing and this is the first in a new series which promises to be a cracker. Set in 80s Glasgow (when many still held values more akin to the 50s) it follows... Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2006 by M. Hughes
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