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on 26 May 2014
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 journalism or the police service; these women are strong but full of self-doubt. Class conflict, feminism, social and psychological ambiguities, all are laid bare in the context of late 20th, early 21st century Glasgow: Mina is witty, sharp, the prose is tight and sparse yet she displays wonderful understanding of the contemporary urban environment.
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on 25 May 2017
Brilliant ! I love all of her books and characters.
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on 16 October 2016
There's some excellent stuff in this book particularly the Asian family who seem to be on the wrong end of an attempted extortion along with the inept perpetrators of said extortion. The book is reassuringly bleak (as befits a Tartan Noir novel, especially one set in Glasgow!) but lightened by some real laugh out loud moments. However, the story loses its way as the book progresses with a limp end to the extortion and kidnapping and closes with a wholly unconvincing romance. Overall - good in parts, like the proverbial egg!
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on 23 June 2017
Total rubbish, long drawn out description of everything, no twists, no story, won't be buying from this author again ever.
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Denise Mina is well known to most of us who love crime drama and in particular those from Glasgow. She has won acclaim for her novels and a John Creasey Prize for her first novel. In 'Still Midnight' she initiates a new series and it should be smashing.

The theme of this novel is the crime of kidnapping, the characters involved in the crime itself, and the detectives who follow and solve this crime. What Denise Mina has done is to give us the thoughts and actions of all involved, so that we follow the crime as it evolves and the detective work that pursues. The characters are so well drawn that we feel that we have come to know them. There are Pat and Eddy the main criminals, one is too eager and the other is too reluctant. The family of the kidnapped father, Amir, a dysfunctional one at best. DS Alex Morrow who is a woman in a man's business. She has problems at work and at home. Not much information is divulged and slowly her story ekes out. DS Bannerman, a man who thinks he deserves the job, he was born into it, and if he can't find the clues himself, he takes credit for anyone else's job. The blokes at Morrow's workplace are so well described that I could see them in my mind's eye. Each character provides a rich and sometimes humorous side in the novel.

As the kidnapping takes place and the investigation moves on, the story is more fully developed. The twists and turns are relevant and sometimes surprising. The relationship between Morrow and Bannerman is so well drawn that we can imagine the thoughts and actions that are not expressed. The Asian community is well developed, and it is a welcome side. The countryside of Glasgow takes precedent and it is a joy to read. The crime itself is so well done and the climax is so delectable that the reader is given a surprise. The pace is fast and furious, and this novel delivers!

Recommended. prisrob 05-23-13
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 February 2011
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 February 2010
This is the first book I've read by this author. It's certainly a page-turner that I finished in two afternoons as the story is well-plotted and keeps the reader guessing. The author trots out the same old cliches: the main detective character has unhappy/broken marriage; senior officers being rude/taking credit for the work of their juniors; female officers are treated badly by male colleagues and are consequently resentful and surly. It makes the book seem formulaic which is a pity as it is a gripping story. A word of warning if you're offended by the F-word you'll hate the book as most of the characters use it a catch-all adjective: probably authentic speech for Glasgow criminals!
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on 24 May 2010
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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The first, I hope, of a new series, this book follows the story of a kidnap gone wrong - bungled rather. We know what has happened, but we only find out why the hapless victim was chosen (and exactly what became of him) right at the end. And that's quite an end: just when everything seems to be resolving nicely, a couple of nicely placed charges go off under Alex Morrow, the DS trying to solve the case, and the motley collection of kidnappers.

Alex herself is a nicely drawn character, a bit annoying to begin with (moody detectives with Attitude and History being ten a penny in fiction) but she grows on you and by the end I found myself sympathising and even admiring her. Hopefully we'll find out more about her in future books.

I enjoyed this immensely, I would have given it five stars (probably still should) but I couldn't quite work out what happens on the last two pages.

Recommended.
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on 3 August 2009
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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