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Field of Blood (Paddy Meehan #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,352 Ratings  ·  311 Reviews
Set in Glasgow in 1981, a time of hunger strikes, riots and unemployment that decimated the old industrial heartlands, The Field of Blood is the first in the tense Paddy Meehan series from Scotland's princess of crime, Denise Mina.
The vicious murder of a young child provides rookie journalist Paddy Meehan with her first big break when the suspect turns out to be her fiance
Paperback, 456 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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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 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 31, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2016
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
May 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jun 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Amanda Patterson
Nov 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Tom Swift
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book that I have read from this author, and I enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to continuing on with this series. Paddy Meehan is a young journalist earning her stripes in Scotland.
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

Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
This was about average as a stand alone novel, but I see that it is a series. I'm not sure how that's going to go, but I might be curious enough to read one more.
I felt that the inclusion of Paddy Meehan (the male one) was superfluous, and really added nothing to the story.
Anna Björklund
#1 Paddy Meehan
Lite seg men glimtar till här och där och jag gillar Paddys ganska råa humor. Jag tycker inte att "deckardelen" är särskilt tilltalande utan som vanligt mer intresserad av personerna och relationerna. Gillar att det är en tuff, ung, tjej som är huvudrollsinnehavare.
Linda Karlsson
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spännande och annorlunda , tyvärr lite seg i slutet men åhh så bra.
Cleo Bannister
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 24, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Chris Witkowski
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
BOTTOM LINE: #1 Paddy Meehan, would-be journalist, a city in Scotland; amateur sleuth, VERY dark. A young boy goes missing, and newspaper gopher Paddy sees her big chance to become a journalist - her ties to the Irish community in a Scottish slum just might give her the break she needs, but things go badly awry.

At 600 pages my large print copy was daunting, and after 100+ pages I simply gave up: too grim for my taste. Although Mina is a powerful writer and the pacing was good, if a bit erratic
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Jul 31, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. An Irish mystery, masquerading as a Scottish one--boo. Enough with the Catholics vs. the Protestants, already. I just don't care anymore.

I finished this because I wanted to know who killed whom, and only for that. I didn't like the double story (which seemed really forced--the stuff from the '60s felt really shoehorned in), I didn't care about the lead character, or her family, or her family troubles...dull, dull.
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
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)
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
May 02, 2013 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.
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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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“Don't go on holiday to Blackpool, it's fucking horrible there.” 6 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?”
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