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The Dead Hour by Denise Mina

The Dead Hour (2006)

by Denise Mina

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Paddy Meehan (2)

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This continues the story of Paddy Meehan, now a journalist at the Glasgow Daily News after having been promoted from the ranks of the copyboys (or in her case, copygirl). There is upheaval at the paper, both technological and personal, and Paddy is trying to make her mark with a story. She finds a domestic dispute in which the man bribes her to stop her printing anything about it, and in which the woman winds up dead after being beaten and tortured. This becomes connected with other incidents, as well as with the police's strange reluctance to pursue the investigation along the expected avenues. Paddy is on her own if she wants to solve this case.

I really enjoyed both books in this series. I read primarily for the setting and the time period: Glasgow is once again evoked excellently in these pages. This book was also good for showcasing the relationship between Paddy and her mother, Trisha, and their differing perspectives on life. Trisha reminded me of all the relatives I know of only as "Aunties", my grandmother's aunts from Scotland who would have been contemporaries of Trisha, and so for that reason I was a bit wobbly reading the scene where Paddy and Trisha attend the schmaltzy concert, and the scene where Trisha brings Paddy provisions for an extended stay in a hotel during the latter stages of the investigation. And the ending prompted me to request the third book immediately. I have to know what happens next! ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jun 8, 2017 |
Paddy Meehan, a spirited night-shift journalist, is trying desperately to take home regular pay cheques to her Mum while establishing her career. She follows police calls to try to get a story that will give her a boost at the newspaper, a newspaper ruthlessly cutting back and paring costs. What a great character: smart, quick on the uptake, yet considerate of anyone in need, she has enough street smarts to spot fib or felon. This was a page-turner and kept my attention throughout, especially closing in on the exciting finish. Mina has created a feisty, strong female protagonist who has normal insecurities normal of a teenager carrying the responsibility of being the only wage-earner at home. Although the series is a mere three volumes. I hope someday Paddy makes a comeback. The atmosphere is truly Glaswegian. A cliffhanger at the end means I'll be starting the next in the series as soon as possible! ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Sep 12, 2016 |
Investigative journalist Patricia 'Paddy' Meehan had always thought that she would be further along on her career path after spending three years in her chosen field. Yet, even three years after breaking a big story, Paddy is still working the perpetual night shift with her newspaper - The Scottish Daily News. She's still chasing police calls for that one story which will finally promote her out of the solitary, twilight existence that makes mountains of candy bars and multiple cups of coffee practically a medical necessity. With her father and brothers chronically unemployed and her family perilously short of money, Paddy desperately needs the work.

Responding with the police to a particular late-night call, Paddy arrives at an elegant villa. The loud noise complaint called into the police seems to be fairly run-of-the-mill to her; especially when the domestic dispute that prompted such a call seems to be calming down. As a matter of fact, a domestic disturbance in such a wealthy Scottish suburb doesn't seem all that unusual an occurrence to Paddy - at first. The police officers actually don't seem all that concerned by the situation before them; letting the man who answers the door off with just a warning to keep the noise down.

Paddy can see that the elegant blonde woman standing in the shadows of the doorway is bleeding from an apparent head injury. But the woman also clearly doesn't want any help; and the well-dressed, ingratiating man at the front door assures Paddy that everything is just fine and that she should leave. Paddy wonders how the police were so easily convinced to leave the area after issuing just a warning. She soon has her answer when the man slips a significant amount of cash into her hand; asking her to make sure that she keeps any mention of the incident, whatever it is, out of the press. Then he firmly closes the door in her face.

The next morning Paddy happens to see a television news report. The lead news story is absolutely horrific: the blonde woman's body has been discovered. She was murdered; brutally beaten, tortured and left to die. Far from being the spoiled trophy wife Paddy had assumed her to be, the victim turns out to be a prosecution lawyer with a social conscience.

Bewildered as to why the woman wouldn't accept any help and leave the house when she could, Paddy begins to make connections that no one else can see. When she witnesses the body of a suicide victim being pulled from the river shortly afterwards, Paddy suspects that the two deaths are linked in some way. Paddy is determined to follow her reporter's instincts all the way with this particular story; it's exactly the type of story that will make her or break her...or kill her.

Denise Mina is a new author for me, and this is the first book that I've ever read by her. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, I found myself really connecting with the main character, Paddy. She was a feisty, capable person, a hardworking woman in a man's world who doesn't suffer fools kindly. She's not afraid to call things as she sees them; and she is quite willing to go head to head with whomever it is that she suspects is in the wrong. She is also vulnerable, fallible, and she makes mistakes; yet she also does her utmost to fix those mistakes to the best of her ability.

In my opinion, this was a fast-paced and very involved mystery. I found that I really had to concentrate while reading because with all the intricate twists and turns in the plot, this book really kept me on my toes with regards to potential suspects. Overall, I would give this book a definite A! and look forward to reading more from this author in the future. ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Jul 16, 2015 |
It's been a stressful week, so what better than another Denise Mina to distract me? This one, another featuring Paddy Meehan, who now has moved up from "copy boy" to the night reporter who goes to police calls, takes a look at police corruption (a topic Mina has examined before) and the drug trade as Paddy tries to figure out why a woman who was brutally beaten didn't take a chance she had to escape. Paddy's search is interwoven with the tale of a beautiful but desperate cocaine addict; it isn't clear to the reader how they are connected at first. Some of the most interesting parts of this book are about Paddy's own development; having a real job seems to have given her self-assurance she didn't have in the first novel in the trilogy and she seems to have negotiated her relationship with her family and her ex-fiancé pretty well. Of course, she still has to deal with the rampant sexism of the newsroom and the police, but she stands up to it. Atypically for Mina, there is some graphic sex in this book, as well as some grisly descriptions of the impact of overuse of cocaine; these marred the book slightly for me. I also don't like Paddy as much as Mina's other protagonists. However, as there is a real cliffhanger at the end of this novel, I'll definitely be reading the final book in the trilogy to find out where Paddy ends up.
  rebeccanyc | Jan 20, 2014 |
This poor book has been on my "currently-reading" shelf since June, when I read the first few pages. I started reading it again just recently, but had to put it aside as too depressing in January, while I was also reading [b:The Working Poor: Invisible in America|11095|The Working Poor Invisible in America|David K. Shipler|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1166403431s/11095.jpg|430062]. The protagonist of [b:The Dead Hour|94176|The Dead Hour A Novel|Denise Mina|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171278302s/94176.jpg|404664] is the only one working in her family of Irish-background Glaswegians. It's set during the Thatcher era. I've heard good things about Denise Mina's work, so I will go back to this book in a sunnier time!
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Denise Minaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ahokas, JuhaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bonis, OristelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Świerkocki, MaciejTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Unnerstad, BoelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Owen,
who knows how to make an entrance
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Paddy Meehan was comfortable in the back of the car.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316735949, Hardcover)

The most praised thriller writer to burst onto the scene in years returns with a brilliant new story of suicide, murder, violence, and greed.Responding to a late night-call, Paddy Meehan arrives at an elegant villa, where a calm blonde with blood running from her mouth answers the door. She has already convinced the police to leave and soon Paddy realizes how-she slips 50 bucks into Paddy's hands and begs her to keep the incident, whatever it is, out of the press.The next morning Paddy sees the lead news story: The blonde woman has been murdered, and far from the spoiled trophy wife Paddy assumed her to be, the victim turns out to be a prosecution lawyer with a social conscience.Bewildered why the woman didn't take the chance to leave the house when she could, Paddy begins to make connections no one else has seen. When she witnesses the body of a suicide victim being pulled from the river shortly afterward, Paddy suspects links between the two deaths and follows her idea to its shocking-and deadly-conclusion.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:38 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The domestic dispute in a wealthy suburb seems like nothing unusual. The elegant blonde bleeding in the shadows doesn't want help; and the well-dressed, ingratiating man at the front door tells investigative journalist Paddy Meehan everything's fine. Then he asks her to make sure nothing appears in the paper, slipping cash into her hand. The next morning Paddy sees on TV: the blond woman had been tortured, beaten, and left to die. The untraceable man was neither her boyfriend nor her husband. Soon Paddy begins to make connections, and after a suicide is pulled from the river, she finds links between the two deaths. It's the story she's dreamed of, but she'll lose all credibility if word gets out about the bribe, and her boss at the newspaper is impatient with her hunches. Only Paddy cares enough to pursue a brutal truth that could make her career--or kill her.--From publisher description.… (more)

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