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Field of Blood [Mass Market Paperback]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book by Mina, Denise

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite author!!! Oct. 7 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
All I am going to say is that I read one book by her and immediately purchased the remaining books by her that feature the same main character. Denise Minas rocks. She has a wonderful sense of humour and the story lines are fantastic. If you like Ian Rankin (and I love Ian Rankin, I have all his books), you will thoroughly enjoy Denise Minas.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected, but I enjoyed it anyway Aug. 10 2005
By tregatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Over the past few years, Denise Mina has earned herself the reputation of being one of the best suspense writers currently published. With "The Field of Blood" she's done something very different from her previous books, and something slightly more ambitious. So that while "The Field of Blood" may not be her best mystery offering, ("GarnetHill" was definitely the best one so far) -- mainly because this is not a very suspenseful read --it was a very absorbing and emotionally charged read, and one that gave readers not completely familiar with the social history of Scotland in the '60s, '70s & and the '80s, an idea of the prejudices that somone from a poor, working-class Irish-Catholic background would have experienced in Scotland during that period.

Young "Paddy" Meehan longs for the day when she will be a real journalist, writing articles and being taken seriously by the male journalists she works with, feeling quite dismal about her current status as a glorified gofer for the Scottish Daily News. But she never expected that it would take the brutal murder of a child, and the ostracism of her family and her fiance, Sean, in order for her dreams to be realised. For when the body of Brian Wilcox is found, and two other children are arrested for the murder, Paddy realises that one of the suspects is Sean's young cousin. Unwittingly, Paddy confides in the wrong person, and the story is splashed all over the news. Her family and Sean are furious with her, but that's the least of Paddy's problems. For Paddy refuses to believe that the two boys were solely responsible for Brian's death, and begins to do some investigative work on her own, and in doing so makes a very dangerous and determined person very, very nervous...

I enjoyed "Field of Blood" immensely, though it probably will not be everyone's cup of tea. The subject matter is shocking and brutal, even with Denise Mina's restrained handling of the subject matter. The violence and brutality of the crime is, thankfully, never explicit or sensationalised. Could this be one reason why the book is not as suspenseful as other novels dealing with the murder of children? I'm not sure, and I would like to think not. The truth of the matter though is that "Field of Blood" is not so much about the investigation into the murder of Brian Wilcox, so much as it is an examination of Paddy's life, her identity and her ambitions and her sense of right and wrong. From that point of view, "Field of Blood" is a standout read. Paddy is the kind of protagonist that most will readily take to and find engaging. So that for me, it didn't matter that about two-thirds of the book was not very suspenseful or edge-of-your-seat gripping. It still was an engrossing and absorbing read. And if I had one criticism about this book, it was that I thought that the entire subplot dealing with the other Paddy Meehan, the safecracker who was found guilty of a high profile murder case, detracted from the smooth flow of the book. How this fitted into "The Field of Blood" was a bit of a mystery to me, and I really do think that the book would have been a much better one without it.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'It's justice that's rare - truth is relative.' Jan. 25 2008
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While this is the first of Denise Mina's novels featuring Paddy Meehan it is the second that I have read. No matter: it was nice to make her acquaintance again.

Ms Mina writes tough, uncompromising crime fiction and Paddy Meehan, aspiring journalist is on one level a most unlikely hero. Of uncompromising blue collar Catholic stock in a time and a place where such things matter, Paddy dares dream of a career. Her chance comes after an horrific crime in which three year old Brian is murdered and one of the suspects, a young lad, is part of her extended family circle.

Follow the twists and turns of this novel and a linked but secondary story about the 'other' Paddy Meehan which, while it forms part of the rich backdrop is not directly relevant. Or is it?

I'm delighted to read that Ms Mina intends to write five books about Paddy Meehan. The third is available now, and I'm off to hunt it down.

Highly recommended to those who like rich, gritty crime fiction.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff.... Nov. 22 2006
By Michael H. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
I own a country store and am a serious book junkie. I put all my stuff on the shelves, free for the taking, and encourage others to do the same. I just happened upon this book in this fashion, a dog-eared paperback left by a stranger.

For reference I am a Michael Connoly, Robert Crais, James Lee Burke sort of a person. Denise Mina is right up there with the best of them.

I always feel like apologizing for the time I give up to mysteries...but I have to say that I love the writing, the characters, the insights these authors bring to the table....it is not just plot and action.

Denise Mina writes about Glasgow. Her heroine is an Irish Catholic girl from a working class family....not an upwardly mobile LA male. Her heroine is quiet, self deprecating, subtle...and so is the writing. This was something completely different.....but I loved the characters, the insights, the writing.....Enough to drop everything and go out to Borders and buy the hardback of her new book.

Highly recommended.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another tough but brilliant Mina offering May 18 2007
By Laurie Fletcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Denise Mina is without peer in her detailed portrayal of the underbelly population of England's cities. Hers are the bluest-of-blue-collared people with whom we avoid eye contact if we notice them at all. And if we do notice, we look quickly away, likely without any curiosity. She uses our stereotypes of the underclass to introduce us to her stories and then smacks us down with brilliant characterizations. Unlike a previous reviewer, I think it is absolutely essential that her settings are British and that she doesn't always provide a regional thesaurus for our ease of comprehension. In fact, there isn't any pandering to the audience in any of Mina's books; she seems to write for herself without a shred of coyness or trickery and if she catches us unawares, it may be because we weren't paying attention.

In "Field of Blood", Mina uses a sensational true murder as her departure point: In 1993, two 10-year-old boys murdered a toddler in Liverpool and the resulting trial was predictably sensational, even by British standards. In her similar story, Mina delves into the background of not only the boys and their families but also the community from which they arose. Our guide is Paddy Nelson, the new copygirl at the Scottish Daily News who has visions of a life as a tough, incisive reporter but a reality that is much drearier, even in its complexity. The story weaves through the official investigation, Paddy's hit-and-miss investigation, and Paddy's fractured personal life. Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that I was initially repulsed but then truly captivated by the slobby, sophomoric girl who grew and matured over the course of the book.

Make no mistake, Denise Mina writes very tough books with mature subject matter and unflinching plotlines and these books aren't for everyone, but they are for me. In fact, she's one of a new breed of lady writers coming out of the British Isles who write big, beautifully plotted, very dark psychological thrillers. That club includes Mo Hayder, Minette Walters, and my favorite (favourite?), Val McDermid, who provided Denise Mina with the detailed workings of a regional newsroom.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First in the Paddy Meehan series Jan. 8 2007
By bumuling - Published on Amazon.com
This is a satisfying, well-written, dark and violent example of "tartan noir," beginning with a child's murder (based on the 1993 James Bulger case).

Paddy Meehan is overweight and insecure but deeply ambitious and verbally holds her own with the men at the newspaper where she works as a gofer. Paddy is perfectly willing to lie, break the law-- or shove a rival's head in a toilet-- as a means to a just end, or to jumpstart her career.

Paddy is shunned by her family, ridiculed by the police, rejected sexually by her staid Catholic boyfriend, and inadvertently causes one gruesome death while investigating another. She grows up a bit in the course of the novel; her desire for justice and her natural talent for journalism make her sympathetic in spite of her continual bad judgment.

This is a terrific read but a graphic and dark one.
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