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The Field Of Blood Hardcover – 1 Apr 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (1 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593050975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593050972
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'... The brilliant Mina may have invented a new sub-genre: moral suspense ... unfailingly elegant in her humanity.' -- Publishers Weekly (US)

'Difficult to put down ... from a must-read writer for anyone who has an interest in crime fiction.' -- Dundee Evening Telegraph

'Remember the name. This is a major talent heading for the top' -- Literary Review, July 2005

‘... Puts Mina into the class of the serious psychological novelist.’ -- Scotland on Sunday

‘The novel retains Mina’s talent for mining Glasgow’s dark, seedy underbelly.' -- The List

Book Description

‘Scotland has found itself a new Ian Rankin.’ The Times. The first in an important new series by Scotland’s princess of crime, Denise Mina.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first in Denise Mina’s Paddy Mehan series set in early 80s Glasgow. Young Paddy Mehan is a copyboy, with ambitions to become a journalist on a Glasgow paper, full of youthful anxiety about her well-covered figure, equally in awe of, and disturbed by the older male journalists and their antics in the bar, a place they seem to spend most of their time.

There were so many fascinating layers to this story and not just connected to the horrific crime, the kidnap and murder of four-year-old Brian Wilcox and the swift arrest of two ten-year-old boys as a result. There is discourse on the divide between the Catholics and Protestants in the city, the unemployment rife at this time, the expectations of a family on the youngest daughter in terms of her behaviour and the disapproval of the wider community that Paddy Mehan managed to bring down on her young head at one point in this tale. And key to the tale is that of Police corruption.

The time is eloquently set, this is the era just before my teenage years and subsequently the one which shines brightest in my mind. I can’t remember the last time I bought a packet of refreshers, but when Paddy did so, I could feel and taste them popping on my tongue – Paddy’s clothes, her view of the world around her felt authentic to both her age and the time period. The sense of place also felt real, I could easily visualise the places described, despite never having visited Glasgow in my life, a testament to the skill of this author.

Alongside the main crime and Paddy’s investigative and journalistic skills, we also hear about an older Paddy Mehan, this man was a career criminal who was kept in solitary confinement for seven years for the murder of a young woman, a crime he insisted he had never committed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First book in a series of three with fiesty journalist Paddy Meehan. Set in Glasgow it goes away from the usual detective novel by using someone from the world of print to be the hero.This is in the days before computers had changed the industry and drink was a major player in those days.
A good read with a lot of plot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of the positive reviews and recommendation by Ian Rankin (" the most exciting crime writer to have emerged in Britain for years"), but really, really did not like it. After the gory opening, we meet the heroine, who seems to get bogged down with family and fiancé, and keeps saying the wrong things to the wrong people. The story slows down here and very little sleuthing gets done, apart from arguing and mouthing colleagues off, and having hunches. The killer almost gets her at the end of the book, but then she gets saved quite unbelievably. I will not buy the 2nd book of the series.
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Format: Hardcover
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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