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Adrian

The Field of Blood

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Notionally C of E as a child, and now a Militant Agnostic - I don't know and you don't either - I find it hard to understand the differences between the Protestant and Catholic branches of the Christian faith. It was a theme that appeared in Brian McGilloway's Borderlands, and here in Denise Mina's The Field of Blood, the same sense of disbelief comes over me. A large part of the novel is given over to the problems (she's a Prod, the fiancee's a Pape).

 

Anyway, a wee Glasgae lassie frae the rough part aye...no, I can't do the accent. Paddy Meehan (named after the guy involved in a famous miscarriage of justice) is a young female copyboy at the Scottish Daily News. It's 1981, and the big story is the murder of a toddler by two ten-year old boys. Oh no! Not another "fictional" crime drawn from the real world. Use your imagination, writers.

 

But Mina does a good job and although it's a pretty decent-sized book, a quick read. The pressroom of that era is wonderfully evoked, like this from when the baby's body is found:

 

Through the open door, Paddy heard Farquarson cursing and ordering this schedule to be moved, that to be dropped, the police statement for page one, telling someone to get JT down to Steps with a photographer. 'Check that those kids are still being held and tell one of the boys to get me a large whisky from the Press bar.'

 

And she has a good eye for the locals of what I presume is her native city. Paddy's Ma watches telly:

 

She couldn't be bothered watching the news. She twisted the channel dial to ITV and sat down before the picture had resolved itself. It was a quiz show. A saccharine host was asking a portly woman from Southampton questions about her tiny bespectacled husband, trapped in a soundproof booth and smiling like a baby sitting in warm shit.

 

Also, there's a nice sub-plot involving the historical story of the real Paddy Meehan. His times and crimes, trials, lies, and release.

 

This is the first in the Paddy Meehan trilogy, and I'm looking forward to following her as she matures.

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Hi Adrian

I have read all of Denise Mina's books and found them well done and a jolly good read. I hope she continues writing.

 

ENJOY

GERBAM

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I actually read the second book 'The Dead Hour' before this one but I still liked it although I think it is too focussed on Paddy's life and religion and not enough about the actual crime in hand. The rest of the series is also very good.

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The rest of the series is also very good.

That's good news. I must read some more of Mina as I remember The Field of Blood being a good read and I'd like to see how the Paddy character matures.

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