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Field Of Blood (Paddy Meehan #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  2,797 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
A sensational murder provides the young journalist Paddy Meehan with her big professional break when she realizes that she has a personal connection to one of the suspects.Launching her own investigation, Paddy uncovers lines of deception that go deep into the past - and that could spell even more horrible crimes in the future if she doesn't get the story right.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 11th 2005 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tim The Enchanter
Posted to The Literary

An Excellent Character novel with Format Issues 3.5 Stars

This novel is an exercise is what could have been. It is a great story with an incredibly engaging protagonist. Unfortunately, questionable story formatting and unnecessary side stories lead to confusion and frustration in the first half of the book. This had the potential to be a 5 star read but was ultimately weighed down by these issues.

Plot summary

Patricia "Paddy" Meehan is a 20/21 year old "copy
Jul 11, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it
Man, Denise Mina. Just really good stuff. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I have yet to be disappointed and Field of Blood continues that tradition. This is the first book in a series about young, up-and-coming journalist Paddy Meehan, a remarkable character.

It’s Glasgow, early 80s, and the goal of most girls Paddy knows is to get married and have babies as soon as they can snag a husband. Meanwhile, in the newsroom, it’s still very much a man’s world and Paddy wants in. While her fami
Oct 02, 2012 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How did this book make it past an editor? I love Denise Mina, but this book is terrible. The randomly-placed chapters that cut away from the narrative to tell the story of a real-life criminal from the 60s who happens to have the same name as the protagonist slow the momentum of the book and add little to the story. This book is also full of tiny continuity errors -- Paddy lights a cigarette, then immediately stuffs both hands into her pockets and starts talking or crying. . . so, what happened ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Denise Mina is a hot new Scottish mystery writer. I was drawn to this book partly because the protagonist works in a seedy newsroom at a second-rate newspaper, where she is regularly abused by the dyspeptic employees, partly because she's new and mostly because she's a woman, and partly because this puts the murder mystery genre in a newly fascinating place, the roughest sections of Glasgow. It also vividly works in the Protestant-Catholic tensions of that city, which mirrors Belfast in many res ...more
Nick Davies
Aug 11, 2016 Nick Davies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
The more Denise Mina I read, even out of order as I did with this (#1 in the Paddy Meehan trilogy, I read #2 a couple of years ago) the more impressed I generally am. The quality of writing coming off each page, the skill with which the cast of characters and the situations in which they live and loathe in, the not simple but not OTT and realistic plot at the centre of things, this is highly impressive Scottish crime/noir.

The story follows Paddy Meehan, a young ambitious copy-girl at a Glasgow n
Mar 31, 2011 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
The first book in Denise Mina's trilogy about 80's era Glasgow newspaper reporter Paddy Meehan is a little slow to get started and the heroine is so young (18ish) and subservient to her coldly Catholic family that the beginning is just a bit of a slog. There are also some flashbacks inserted that detail the story of real-life petty criminal Paddy Meehan, whom the heroine is obsessed with as they share a namesake, that seem to break up the momentum.

Keep going. The story does gather steam and I lo
Basically, I think this review pretty much says what I thought.

But just so that this wouldn't be a "oh, look at that other person's words instead" sort of review ... this was, well, okay. I liked it.

It had a solid enough story - young protagonist, girl from a Catholic family in very early 1980s Glasgow, really wanting to follow her dream and be a journalist instead of doing what her family circle expects and demands of her, i.e. settle down young with a suitable man, get married and dedicate th
Jun 21, 2007 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Great fun - as Mina always is. I can't wait to read the second one when it's out in a cheap edition. This goes swiftly - in reading and in narrative. And Mina writes plucky, loveable, less-than-perfect female leads that seem somehow familiar and interesting, damaged but smart.
Marianne Williams
The first book in a trilogy. Set in 1980's Glasgow, Scotland. Eighteen year old, Paddy Meehan has an entry level position at a newspaper called a "copyboy" and wants to be a investigative journalist. A child murder happens and Paddy makes a link to a previous child murder eight year prior and put her life in danger to get her first byline and solve two murder cases. I am on the fence on this book, I thought it story and characters were so-so. The historical details of Glasgow under Thatcherism a ...more
Cleo Bannister
This is the first in Denise Mina’s Paddy Mehan series set in early 80s Glasgow. Young Paddy Mehan is a copyboy, with ambitions to become a journalist on a Glasgow paper, full of youthful anxiety about her well-covered figure, equally in awe of, and disturbed by the older male journalists and their antics in the bar, a place they seem to spend most of their time.

There were so many fascinating layers to this story and not just connected to the horrific crime, the kidnap and murder of four-year-old
Apr 27, 2008 Rhona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of a series with Paddy Meehan, a fledgling reporter in Glasgow. It came highly recommended as part of the "Tartan Noir" genre (Scottish detective books). I almost thought I couldn't read it with the horrifying first chapter, but Paddy really grew on me and I had to continue with the series.
Chris Witkowski
Mar 04, 2012 Chris Witkowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Denise Mina is one heck of a writer. She not only gives us taut, suspenseful mysteries, but she fills them with expertly drawn characters, real people who feel pain, hurt,shame and eventually, triumph. Set in gritty Glasgow in 1981, with a back story set in the 60's, this novel gives us the inside scoop on newsrooms, with a myriad of colorful, drunken newsmen, and at the same time sheds light on the poverty stricken inhabitants of that failing city, giving insight into how horrendous crimes can ...more
Paddy is an 18-year old working as a copyboy at the newspaper office with dreams of being a reporter. Although she considers herself fat, she has a fiancé named Sean whose family is close to hers. A 3-year old is murdered and two 10-year old boys are arrested for the crime -- one of them is Sean’s cousin. Paddy finds herself torn between her ambitions and the beliefs of her Catholic family and fiancé. The chasm gets wider when a confidence to a friend at the paper leads to a newspaper article on ...more
Amanda Patterson
This is the first in a new series by Scotland’s top new female crime writer, Denise Mina.

Glasgow, 1981. The body of a four-year-old boy is found tortured and battered to death. The police find out that two eleven-year-old boys are the culprits.
Paddy (Patricia) Meehan has started work on the Scottish Daily News. She wants to be an independant investigative journalist. But all around her is the pressure to conform. Her colleagues and family want her to get married to her fiancé, Sean, and have ch
Bookmarks Magazine

From the author of the acclaimed Garnethill trilogy comes the much-praised debut of a projected five-part series starring Paddy Meehan. In this hardboiled Scottish crime thriller, Mina takes on journalistic ethics, newsroom culture, sexism, and coming-of-age dilemmas. Critics agree that her well-rounded characters, including the nuanced Paddy, fit seamlessly into her compelling descriptions of a tight working-class community in the early 1980s. But it's not all dark; Mina peppers her frightening

Mar 11, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a bad habit, but I keeping acquiring more books even though I have given myself a fairly specific goal for 2011 Reading. Several months ago, I picked up Field of Blood by Denise Mina at Schuler's Bookstore in Lansing in the used book section. Partly I was surprised by the large used section, which had some tempting titles. It took great fortitude to limit myself to one book.

I discovered Denise Mina early and read her Garnethill Trilogy. When I started Field of Blood, I was concerned that I
This is the first book in Mina's series starring Paddy Meehan. Paddy is a great, if not always likable character, and her struggles to balance her ambitions as a reporter with her family's demands and Catholic morals are fascinating. The prose is dark and lush. The mystery itself is okay, although I guessed the murderer long before Paddy did. The scene that opens the novel is stomach-churning, and I would warn readers that it features not only a crime against a very small child, but a graphic de ...more
Minty McBunny
Nov 27, 2014 Minty McBunny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: november-2014
Many thanks to Ms Vicki at the Bay County Public Library who special ordered this series for me, so I could read the only Mina books I had yet to get my hands on.

I crave Mina's writing, her gritty Glaswegian world is like nothing else I have read. This book was delightful in that Paddy is so lovable. Maureen is pitiable and i want to take care of her, Alex Morrow is terrifying and a character I deeply respect, but Paddy has a sweetness I haven't seen in a Mina heroine before. It was refreshing.
Nov 15, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just found this author, and I am really glad I did. Paddy Meehan is a young woman who works in a newspaper office as a copyboy. An murder in the community draws her into the role of detective, which she does exceedingly well. This is the first book, which I actually read second because it wasn't available. It is not necessary to read them in order, although the second does refer to the initial work. The setting in and around Glasgow is unique as well. Paddy is a strong female character that is ...more
Christina Sampson
Nov 07, 2015 Christina Sampson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Denise Mina, as I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of her work, certainly falls on the darker side of the spectrum in terms of setting, characters (even protagonists) and stories. The residents of Mina's Glasgow are often flawed in ways we can all recognize, if not relate to, and usually struggle to keep their head above water as they deal with circumstances of ethnicity, geography and, usually, class.

To read a Denise Mina novel is to see the world reflected in a brutally objective, but always c
Ian Brydon
Paddy Meehan is a young Catholic girl growing up in an Irish family in Glasgow in 1981. She has managed to land a fairly job on the Scottish Daily News where she dreams of becoming a reporter in her own right. As winter draws in the population Glasgow is shocked by the cruel murder of a young babywhose mutilated body is discovered abandoned and abused in a poor slum area. Worse still, it transpires that the baby had been tortured and then killed by young boys.

While the murder seems to be an open
Julie Decker
Paddy is a wannabe journalist who's warming the bench, so to speak, and she has her eyes on the writing prize as she wrangles her Catholic guilt and insecure fiancé. She fantasizes that one day she will lose weight, write amazing stories, and be able to punish the people who mocked her or underestimated her. But when the biggest murder case of the decade turns out to incorporate a family member of her fiancé--and it's a ten-year-old kid--she feels torn between her writing chances and her family' ...more
Set in Glasgow in the early eighties. The book had great descriptions of of the city, the class and sectarian divides of the time, and how a daily newspaper runs. The characters were all very believable and Paddy was a compelling though young and flawed heroine. The only slight quibble I had was that the plot was fairly pedestrian and the entire subplot about the real life Paddy Meehan, while interesting, seemed a bit like page filler.
At first, I didn't like this book--found the protagonist Paddy to be sulky, petty, whiny, and unlikable. As the story went on, I started to think maybe I was warming up to her. She was earnest sometimes, she wasn't content with being a good Catholic housewife and found it offensive that her fiancé didn't want her to have a career, and she really kicked some butts when she was wronged. But despite her belief that she was smart and shrewd, she bungled everything. She didn't make connections that w ...more
Jun 21, 2009 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book recommended by Anna Quindlen on the Daily Beast and checked it out. It was great. It is a very tender subject--the murder by children of a toddler but was told so well from the point of view of a young woman who is working for a newspaper and trying to find her way in journalism and also within her traditional Glaswegian family. I loved it.
Apr 03, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chubby, ambitious, and hot-tempered--with a nose for sniffing out criminal motive-- aspiring journalist Paddy Meehan is a heroine you can really sink your teeth into. Set in the mean streets of the Glasgow housing projects, this mystery thriller is most successful as a coming-of-age story.
Thomas Strömquist
This was my first Denise Mina (a Christmas gift from my wife) and I was instantly hooked! Fantastic crime noir and a wonderful author. Make sure to read the brilliant Garnethill trilogy (and then everything else, but I really don't have to tell you, I'm sure)
May 05, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, in-my-house
A really good crime novel here. This story combines an actual historic case with a very well written fictional one. The added sectarianism does lend veracity to the sense of time and place.
Kim Moyer
Sep 08, 2014 Kim Moyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book started out a little slowly but it picked up a few chapters in and overall was an enjoyable read. Paddy is pretty believable as an amateur investigator/journalist (particularly because of the couple of mistakes she makes along the way). I also thought the newsroom culture was interesting to see as it is something I didn't previously have much familiarity with.

I will admit that the protagonist's constant self-loathing and her complete lack of confidence did wear on me a bit an
Gary Van Cott
Apr 24, 2014 Gary Van Cott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I have read so far by Denise Mina. Unfortunately her Alex Morrow and Garnethill series are mostly about dysfunctional families, violence against women and other social ills. This book may have originally been intended to be about criminal behavior in children. However, that concept has taken a back seat to what is now a coming of age story mostly set in 1981 Glasgow. The main character is Paddy Meehan, a young woman (despite the nickname) of 18 working at a large daily news ...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 about Denise Mina...

Other Books in the Series

Paddy Meehan (3 books)
  • The Dead Hour (Paddy Meehan, #2)
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“Don't go on holiday to Blackpool, it's fucking horrible there.” 5 likes
“When I first came here copyboys wouldn't have been allowed to eat in the canteen with journalists." A smile twitched at one corner of his mouth. "I was a copyboy once, at the Lanarkshire Gazette. Can ye believe that?"

He left a space for her to respond, so she did.

"Can I believe that a man as important as you was ever a copyboy or that Lanarkshire has its own gazette?”
More quotes…