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Still Midnight (Alex Morrow, #1)
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Still Midnight (Alex Morrow #1)

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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  2,634 ratings  ·  299 reviews
A family's peaceful Sunday evening in suburban Glasgow is shattered by a group of armed men in balaclavas. Held at gunpoint for a ransom of millions, the family insist they don't have access to that sort of money, only for the attackers to kidnap the elderly grandfather. DS Alex Morrow investigates.
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Orion Books
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James Thane
This novel features a cast of tortured characters, some good, some bad, and others somewhere in between. It opens when two relatively incompetent thugs named Pat and Eddy burst into a home in Glasgow, intent on kidnapping some guy named Bob. But there’s no Bob there, and the panicked family in the home insists that they don’t know anyone named Bob. The thugs refuse to believe them and, since Bob isn’t available, they kidnap the family’s elderly father instead, this after Pat accidentally shoots ...more
Steve
Mina's work is not for everyone. Her vicious, visceral style spews and spills across the page, messy as a first draft until you notice the control and subtlety hiding under the anger and violence.

Alex Morrow is a Glasgow police detective coping with a crumbling marriage and her shame at growing up on the wrong side of the tracks. When her commander assigns the lead in a volatile kidnapping to her loathed male colleague, she feels slighted about that, too. As the case gets more complex, she deci
...more
Tim
This was my first exposure to the author, who apparently scored much praise for her debut novel. This one I have to say disappointed sufficiently to perhaps put me off attempting another. Certainly it captured the hopeless, gray, damp and seedy Scottish underworld. Wonderfully graphic images of council tenements, flaking paintwork and dead flowers in the garden but where was the story? The devil as they say is in the detail and to me the detail was misplaced. Of the numerous threads through the ...more
J.
London Road Police Station was down the road from Bridgeton Cross... The door was always open to the public, welcoming them into an empty lobby with freestanding poster displays of friendly policemen and women chortling happily. For safety reasons the front bar wasn't manned. The duty sergeant could see the lobby through a one-way mirror and CCTV. He came out in his shirtsleeves if the member of the public didn't look tooled up or mad with the drink, but if they had as much as an air of melancho ...more
Kristina
I really hate to add another book to my "can't finish 2014" shelf so soon, but I have no interest in this book. It's rather clumsily written and I'm not interested in the crime, the police officers, anything. Some of the problem is the point of view switches between the criminals and the main officer, Alex Morrow. Since I already know who did the crime (if not exactly why), I'm not so interested in watching the police find the culprits. If an author is going to tell me right up front who did wha ...more
Gaby
I'd heard Tartan Noir thrown about and found this definition from the Double Tongued Word Wrester Dictionary: "Scottish detective fiction, or Tartan Noir as it’s called, with its brooding sensibility, brutal humor and fixation on the nature of guilt and punishment, has more in common with the Russian novel than it does with traditional detective writing." Set in Glasgow, Still Midnight falls within this umbrella of Tartan Noir with the flawed detective hero, Alex Morrow.

Alex Morrow, is prickly,
...more
Mark
"Transcending the genre" implies something backhanded about "the genre" and i am a big fan of the genre. Denise Mina is a big star of the genre and I'm a big fan of hers so I expected something great with this book. What I didn't expect was how great it was going to be. It starts off very straightforward but as it progresses the spotlight of the story seems to pull back and illuminate the depths of all the characters tangled in the plot. It's here that Mina shines even brighter with writing that ...more
Marsha
I really loved Denise Mina's 'Paddy Meehan' series and was not disappointed by this first in a new series featuring Alex Morrow. Like Paddy, Alex is a disenfranchised, lower class, independent-thinking female who is trying to make her way in Glasgow, bastion of sexist men. Alex is a detective, however, and battles against the prejudices of her squad members while hiding her underworld roots as well as the hidden pain of a lost child. She becomes second in command of a kidnapping case involving t ...more
Naomi V
Two gunmen burst into the middle-class home of immigrant Muslims in Glasgow, looking for "Bob," whom residents claim not to know. After demanding money, and accidentally shooting the hand off the teenage daughter, the gunmen leave with the father of the extended family living in the house, expecting ransom in the future.

Alex Morrow is a dedicated police investigator who isn't a "people-person". I empathize. I always thought that it was more important to do a good job than to stroke the egos of t
...more
Heather
I really enjoyed this book! It's a mystery set in Glasgow with a grumpy police woman as the main character. It reminded me of books by two other mysteries from across the pond-Tana French and Kate Atkinson. But while both French and Atkinson's main characters and their personal stories tend to dominate the books, this one alternated between Alex Morrow, the policewoman, and some of the people involved in the crime. I liked knowing what was going on with the criminals, one of them I thought was p ...more
Craig Sisterson
Denise Mina is one of the new generation of exciting Scottish authors who’ve stood on the shoulders of Val McDermid and Ian Rankin to push ‘Tartan Noir’ even more to the forefront of contemporary crime fiction in recent years.

Detective Sergeant Alex Morrow is summoned to investigate a bizarre case where armed men in balaclavas burst into a suburban Glasgow home, held a family at gunpoint while asking for a million pounds, and then kidnapped the elderly patriarch when the family protest they don
...more
Karen
I received this book from Hachette publishing as a participant on the book club at http://www.devourerofbooks.com.

Initially I had difficulty with this book. Upon reflection, I found that the chapters that held the character of DS Alex Morrow and the investigation really held my interest. However the chapters that was from the point of view of one of the criminals, Pat was less engaging. After finishing the book I saw that this was a shame as his story and that of his family was part of a intere
...more
Tony
Back in the late '90s I was on a kick where I was reading every Scottish author I could get my hands on, and in the course of that, came across Denise Mina's excellent 1998 debut, Garnethill. Since then, I've moved on to other reading jags, but when I saw her latest crime novel was available, I thought I should see if she's as good as I remember. While this one didn't blow me away like her debut did, it does succeed as a very good police procedural stocked with interesting characters and good pa ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Critics called Still Midnight an auspicious debut to Mina's new police procedural series, and its heroine "just as beguiling as O'Donnell and Meehan"--and just as dark, rude, and troubled by gender politics (Times). Although the novel contains the same wry wit and compassion that mark her other books, here Mina casts a sharp eye on her characters' mental states, blurring the lines between the villains and the good guys as she explores their life trajectories. The only criticism was that this foc ...more
Angela
This is a story of a Scottish woman detective. She is determined, stubborn, the only woman at work, trying to compete with the men who do not like her. I really liked her character and found the story really good. I will be reading some of the other books by this author. Great read.
Scotchneat
I wanted to like this one more than I did. The lead detective is in the classic tradition of the outside/alkie/dark outlook tradition, except she's a she, which is a bit unusual.

What wasn't handled well is her "cause of darkness" - something that could and should have more emotional weight and attention in the narrative than it does, as well as her relationship with her husband. Where Mina does focus on this for small moments, I can see where she could have gone and I think it would have made a
...more
Gina
I listened to the audiobook as well as had the written book and this was just a confusing book. I can say that now that I'm done with the book that I really have no idea why the events happened nor understand the ending. The audiobook is read by a narrator with an extremely heavy Scottish accent which was very difficult to understand. So because I don't understand the book, plot, or ending I have to give this book 1 star, and that's even reading along in the actual book when things got really co ...more
Elizabeth Olmedo
Denise Mina’s Still Midnight is an average story. The plot or characters don’t offer anything new or extraordinary, but I found it interesting enough for a one-time-read. Alex is annoyingly bitter at times, which Mina could have easily remedied if she had taken more time with the challenges the main character faced outside of work, e.g., a her broken marriage. Alex’s home-life, or lack thereof, provide the potential for a compelling subplot, but Mina barely taps into it. She only deals with Alex ...more
JoAnne
Alex Morrow #1 Morrow is supposed to catch the next case but her boss has hard feelings against her - the reader does not know why - perhaps it's because she is a woman and does not play police politics? The case is given to Bannerman, who shares an office with her. They have a strange relationship. Again we don't know why. I felt like I was missing a lot of background. A house was broken into by two masked men, Eddy and Pat. They demanded to talk to "Bob" and when they did not find out who he w ...more
Allison
I listened to the audio version of this book and I enjoyed the multiple accents voiced by narrator Jane MacFarlane. The story follows police detective Alex Morrow as she and her team search for a group of gunmen after a home invasion and case of mistaken identity. The story is character driven and gritty and the reader gets a great sense of Glasgow and it's environs.
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Clean, straightforward prose and an interesting peek into the multicultural side of the UK. The story is so controlled, it's a bit slight. There's at least one character (the detective's half-brother) that feels like a loose end, just barely tied up. On the positive side, the violence is not excessive, which I appreciate.
Nicole Bonia
Told through the frame of a home invasion gone wrong, Mina's complex narrative is a less crime story than it is an intricate and thoughtful probing of family life, workplace politics,and the inescapable organizing structure of the past on identity and life choices.
Ann Boytim
A home invasion ending in a kidnapping of an elderly man. Three amateurs do this job and actually get the wrong man wrong man, a young woman is shot in the hand and all hell breaks loose as the thee men haul the old man out of the house. These men want a large ransom and the police are of course involved. Rivalry in the police department between to DC's one a woman and the other man both wanting control. The old man is driven away with a pillowcase over his head. Strange goings on as his family ...more
Larry
Alex Morrow, detective sergeant in Glasgow, has some sharp edges, but then she works in a male-dominated politically backward force. Her first case (in the series, not in the character's life) involves the abduction of an older East Asian male from an assimilated family by a couple of would-be paramilitary oafs. The question is, who do they work for, and how do the police retrieve the captive, especially since he was the wrong target. Morrow's situation is complicated by her social awkwardness, ...more
A.J.
An intriguing police procedural story, which heads off in interesting and unexpected directions. I warmed to the spiky main character and enjoyed the glimpses of Glasgow in the language and the descriptions.

There were a few moments where I wasn't entirely clear what had just happened, where a bit more explanation would have been helpful - and I was completely confused by one line: "Someone...had put down retranslating but a long-ago flood had warped the boards." Is retranslating a kind of Glasw
...more
MaryJeanne
I just can't like a book where ALL the characters are as unappealing as these. "Liking" a character isn't necessary, but I need to empathize, or respect, or care about some of them before the end of the book. That wasn't possible with this cast. Morrow, our protagonist, is nasty to everyone, including herself. The criminals include Eddy, who is sadistic and dumb, and Pat, who is weak and deluded. When he finally has had enough and stops following Eddy's stupid lead, he goes off on a stupid path ...more
Andrew
I've read a couple of Denise Mina's books so far and last year really enjoyed the second in the Alex Morrow series 'End of the wasp season'. This is the first book in the series and it was really good, Alex is a great character , a working class DI in the tough Glasgow police department who is battling her male collleagues prejudices, her criminal family background, and her personal relationships. She is tough but vulnerable and I can't wait to read more. The plot is interesting as a Ugandan Asi ...more
Joan
Odd, quirky mystery book. Two men break into a home to kidnap a man named Bob who is not in the house so they take the father. They demand two million. From the onset these men are a mess, even shooting the hand of a girl in the house. The story is told through the eyes of a female detective in the land of men. She is not even the case, but she must help a man with less talent than her. Many usual characters and events are in the book like the female detective is a half sister to a criminal. Lot ...more
Icewineanne
This book began with so much promise. The beginning was hilarious, focusing on three bumbling criminals who reminded me of something out of a three stooges film. I actually laughed out loud. Unfortunately it was all downhill after that.

All of the characters, including the main character, detective Alex Morrow, are unlikable. This book managed to be both boring and annoying. I almost quit reading several times, and why I kept going was more intriguing to me, than the plot of this book.

This book w
...more
Saura
I chose this one next because I wanted to read about a female detective. The Silkworm made me crave more mysteries and this one sounded very interesting.

My feelings for this book are conflicted. I liked it, because of the characters in the story (you know me and well-written characters by now!) but the mystery didn’t make much sense. I never really understood the motivations behind the main crime in this book. Also the ending freaked me out (in a bad way). I did not expect it to go the way it d
...more
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Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father's job as an Engineer, the family followed the north sea oil boom of the seventies around Europe
She left school at sixteen and did a number of poorly paid jobs, including working in a meat factory, as a bar maid, kitchen porter and cook.
Eventually she settled in auxiliary nursing for geriatric and terminal care patients.
At twenty one sh
...more
More about Denise Mina...

Other Books in the Series

Alex Morrow (5 books)
  • The End of the Wasp Season (Alex Morrow, #2)
  • Gods and Beasts (Alex Morrow, #3)
  • The Red Road (Alex Morrow #4)
  • Blood, Salt, Water (Alex Morrow #5)
Garnethill (Garnethill #1) The End of the Wasp Season (Alex Morrow, #2) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium: The Graphic Novels, #1.1) Field of Blood (Paddy Meehan, #1) Hellblazer: Empathy is the Enemy

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“If Morrow worked with herself she'd try and sit a few desks away.” 9 likes
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