Ishmael Seaward's Reviews > The Dead Hour

The Dead Hour by Denise Mina
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's review
Mar 18, 12

Read in March, 2012

Excellent novel about an investigative reporter who is on the crime beat, night shift, for the local Glasgow paper. It is told primarily from her point of view. The other POV is that of a cocaine addict, and her inevitable decline.

Paddy is witness to an apparent case of physical abuse, but the victim declines to take advantage of the appearance of cops and Paddy to extricate her from the situation. The next day she is found dead. Later, she witnesses the removal of an apparent suicide from the river. In the process of writing about both events, Paddy uncovers some connections that others seem to be deliberately ignoring. As she pursues the investigation, she places herself more and more at risk, including people close to her.

Her life is complicated by the fact that she is the sole support for her family, includeing a father and brother who are both unemployed. Nor is she well-respected in the news room, for purely misogynistic reasons that were so prevalent in the 80's. This is Thatcher's UK, and the free market reforms that Thatcher is putting in place are wreaking havoc with the working class and uneducated. Glasgow in particular is hard hit.

She has been trying to write a book about Patrick Meehan, but can't seem to get started. During an arranged meeting with Patrick, Paddy finally gets the insight she needs to reveal the evidence that will convict the murderer.

Like her other books, the prose is excellent, which makes for compelling reading. Hard to put down. I just learned that this is actually the second book in a trilogy about Paddy. The first is Field of Blood. But first I want to read the Garnet Hill trilogy, because those are her first books.


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