The Field of Blood Denise Mina

If you like the crime genre, then here is a gem for you. I’m very glad to have found this one. It is a Scottish tale and be warned – the opening crime is rather nasty. Even nastier when you find out it was based on a real event. Don’t be put off, you are starting a great read. Our heroine is Paddy Meehan and in fact, there is another Paddy Meehan in the novel. It isn’t as confusing as it seems, one is a fictional account of a real Paddy Meehan, small time crook framed for murder. You won’t confuse this guy with our teenage heroine of the same name.

The novel is set in Glasgow in 1981. Poverty, sexism and religious bigotry  combine to make it an unappealing place. Paddy is a copy ‘boy’ with aspirations to become a journalist. She constantly worries about her weight and is alternately full of self doubts and bold as brass. There isn’t a lot of support for Paddy. Her family expect that she will marry and have children. Work is dominated by hard drinking men who are rather disparaging and have no regard for her.

The stories run side by side. As our heroine is testing out her investigative journalism skills and getting into trouble with her family, we are being told the story of the other Paddy Meehan. It is all works well. And to make it even more wothwhile, a portrait of Scotland in the early 80’s is thrown in with great skill.

It’s pretty dark, but with some nice Scottish humour added.

It all mixes to become a great piece of literature. Great news for me is that there are more Paddy Meehan novels to read AND this was apparently made into a movie for me to have a look at. I’m a happy camper.

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