Set in Glasgow in 1981, a time of hunger strikes, riots and unemployment that decimated the old industrial heartlands, The Field of Blood is the first in the tense Paddy Meehan series from Scotland's princess of crime, Denise Mina.
The vicious murder of a young child provides rookie journalist Paddy Meehan with her first big break when the suspect turns out to be her fiance's 11-year old cousin. Launching her own investigation into the horrific crime, Paddy uncovers lines of deception deep in Glasgow's past, with more horrific crimes in the future if she fails to solve the mystery.
Infused with Mina's unique blend of dark humor, personal insights and social injustice, the story grips the reader while challenging our perceptions of childhood innocence, crime and punishment, and right or wrong.
If this novel were a movie, filmgoers would tag it the one to beat for the Oscars. Beyond creating sweaty physical tension, the brilliant Mina may have invented a subgenre: moral suspense. Patricia "Paddy" Meehan, a copygirl at Glasgow's Daily News, has struggled with issues of goodness since childhood. "I knew I was lying when I made my first communion," she confesses to fianc Sean Ogilvy the night she delivers other shockers. She won't marry him. And she wants his help interviewing his 10-year-old cousin, Callum, who's been charged with murdering a toddler. Scots are deemed legally responsible at eight, but Paddy sees Callum as another victim. Paddy, who shares a nickname with a career criminal wrongfully imprisoned for murder, can't tolerate injustice. At the heart of the plot is her decision pose as colleague Heather Allen when she makes dangerous inquiries, a choice that spells death for the real Heather, who's everything Paddy isn't: slim blonde whistle bait and ambitious enough to steal a story from Paddy. After Heather's murder, the reader writhes, not just because Paddy's in danger but because a moment of awful truth awaits her. Mina spins the complexities in the rough music of her working-class Scots, unsparing of brutal details, but unfailingly elegant in her humanity.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Mina has a good way with characters and reeling out a story. Learned a lot about Glasgow and it's people. Liked the news room with handy adjoining pub and also Paddy's family dynamics.