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Still Midnight (Alex Morrow #1)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  3,818 Ratings  ·  411 Reviews
Alex Morrow is not new to the police force-or to crime-but there is nothing familiar about the call she has just received. On a still night in a quiet suburb of Glasgow, Scotland, three armed men have slipped from a van into a house, demanding a man who is not, and has never been, inside the front door. In the confusion that ensues, one family member is shot and another ki ...more
ebook, 314 pages
Published March 22nd 2010 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published 2009)
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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
Sep 21, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
I thought this was fairly decent up until the end when it all fell apart for me and I was left feeling like I'd eaten something that tasted fine at the time but left an unpleasant aftertaste.

The reader was cracking me up, though not intentionally. She sounded like she'd burnt the tip of her tongue and was trying to work around saying words that would cause her pain. At least, that's what I imagined had happened and it amused me greatly for absolutely no reason at all. I'm just weird, sometimes.

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
Mar 08, 2010 Gaby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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
Feb 03, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
I read this book in 2009 and remembered none of it. Not that it was immemorable but I tend to forget most mystery/police procedural plot details. This is the first Alex Morrow novel by Mina. I love the gritty Glasgow these novels portray and the character Morrow as well.

A group of Glasgow thugs invade the home in a modest neighborhood. When they don't find the person they are looking for, they snatch the father, a 60 year old Muslim shopkeeper. A family member is shot in the melee and Morrow com
Aug 15, 2014 J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, scotland, mina
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
Dec 27, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 storylines: crime, romance, workplace — l-o-n-g novel, a writer you like or not, no mid-ground. Profanity, torture scenes (crime and workplace - I wanted to tell her coworker a thing or two!). Narrated well with a heavy accent so keep reader at normal speed till you get accustomed.
May 31, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2013, own-h
I received this book from Hachette publishing as a participant on the book club at

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
Aug 16, 2012 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Apr 06, 2010 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, scotland
I've really enjoyed Mina's previous books but this one disappointed me. I found the shifting narration to be jarring. The characters were flat and unconvincing, and the vast majority of them were unlikeable, including the lead detective, Alex Morrow. The story just didn't seem to have any meat on its bones; parts (Pat's infatuation with the kidnap victim's daughter) were unbelievable, parts were extraneous (the entire side story about Alex's half-brother served no discernible point), and much of ...more
Nicole Bonia
Jun 03, 2013 Nicole Bonia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Salla Erho
Jul 13, 2016 Salla Erho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit, aikuiset
Mikä ilo löytää kirjastosta ennen lukematon dekkarisarjan aloitus, joka koukuttaa samalla hyvällä tavalla kuin telkkarin parhaat brittidekkarisarjat. Yhteiskuntakritiikkiä, huumoria, rujoutta eikä liikaa väkivallalla mässäilyä, ei ainakaan vielä tässä ensimmäisessä osassa.
I'm beginning to wonder if I just prefer detective/crime as television? This was well-written, but I found it tedious to read full chapters from the POV of the criminals and the hostage too.
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
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
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
Jan 31, 2016 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read a book written by Denise Mina as I had read some interesting reviews about her work. I chose Still Midnight because it is the first in her Alex Morrow series. So many have written a synopsis of the story that I don't think one more will add to the reviews. My impression of the book was that it was full of little surprises. Some authors lay out the back ground at the beginning of the first book in a series. I found that the author would give information along the way that surpris ...more
Mar 15, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 14, 2011 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#1 Alex Morrow mystery set in Glasgow, Scotland. Alex is a Detective Sergeant who ends up working a botched kidnapping case in which the sixty-year-old Amir Anwar is taken from his comfortable suburban home by an amateurish group of thugs. Problem is, the kidnappers seem to have gotten the wrong guy--they were after some guy named Bob. Mr. Anwar is a Ugandan political refugee who owns a small corner shop, not someone you'd expect to have a two million quid ransom lying around. The case looks to ...more
Jul 05, 2016 Msjodi777 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2016, july-2016
I'm pretty ambivalent about this book. It was good, but.... yea, doncha just hate that... At one point in the book there was a comment about how the language of some people could "make a porn star blush." Well, some of the language in this book would fit that category. The story itself was excellent, though it did move around quite a bit in time and space, but after a few minutes you get used to it. The narrator, Jane MacFarlane, was excellent! Have never heard her read anything before, but she ...more
Bookmarks Magazine
Jun 16, 2010 Bookmarks Magazine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-aug-2010
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
Aug 19, 2014 Icewineanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 20, 2009 Scotchneat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
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
Ms. Jared
Three and a half stars. It was interesting and well-paced but the ending was a little confusing and therefore dissatisfying. I read the second one of this series last year so I'm going to skim it again and try the third one and see how it goes. I did enjoy it, but it wasn't amazing or anything. I appreciate the female lead with a complicated backstory, but it was a Bechdel Test Fail so....
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.
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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 about Denise Mina...

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Alex Morrow (5 books)
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“If Morrow worked with herself she'd try and sit a few desks away.” 11 likes
“His life had no meaning. It was intolerable. The last three decades had been a hollow waste of time. Hands” 1 likes
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