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Field of Blood by Denise Mina
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Field of Blood (2005)

by Denise Mina

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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-and-shut case, Paddy is convinced that there is more to the story than meets the eye. Delving through the newspaper's own clippings library she uncovers a similar crime from eight years ago, and starts to investigate further.

As the story of the murdered boy unfolds we are given flashbacks to the story of another Paddy Meehan, this one male, who had been imprisoned, erroneously, for the brutal murder of the wife of an Ayrshire businessman. Mina weaves the two narrative together very deftly, and offers up a very convincing and engaging story. Glasgow itself is an ever-present character with its air of menace and religious bigotry.

Very entertaining. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Oct 13, 2014 |
Warning: this review contains spoilers.

Glasgow, 1981: Patricia "Paddy" Meehan, an aspiring journalist, is a copyboy at the Scottish Daily News, trying to make her way in a predominantly male profession. The paper is swept up in covering the brutal murder of a four-year-old boy, and one of the suspects turns out to be a relative of Paddy's fiancé. Where do her loyalties lie, the family or her career? And how much risk is she prepared to take to uncover the truth?

I really enjoyed this book. The portrayal of Glasgow in the early 80s was one of the selling points for me, and it delivered. It also taught me a few things about the religious background of the city; as a Catholic, Paddy feels like an outsider in a predominantly Protestant town. Paddy herself makes a likeable and relatable heroine, especially when she's trying to figure out what she wants to do and how to reconcile that with what everyone else wants her to do---who hasn't had that struggle?

Of the other characters, Dr Pete struck a particular chord with me. I'm not sure if it's because Peter Capaldi plays him in the 2011 TV adaptation of this novel or what, but I was touched by his quiet mentoring of Paddy and his swansong at the very end of the book. It still makes me cry a little even now as I write about it.

I would recommend this if you want to know about Glasgow in between the eras covered by Gordon Ferris in his Douglas Brodie series and Christopher Brookmyre in his Jasmine Sharp/Catherine Macleod series. I'd also recommend it if you are fond of stories involving pre-Internet journalism and female protagonists. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Sep 30, 2014 |
I got this at a library sale. It was published in 2005 but the bulk of the story takes place in 1981 (there are some parts that took place in the mid-1960's). It features Paddy Meehan, and it is the first book in a series. There were three of them published in 05, 06 and 07. She is a young copyboy at a Glasgow newpaper. When a young boy is brutally murdered and the young cousin of her fiancee is arrested with another boy, she doubts the police's theory of the crime which holds that the two boys acted alone. So, she starts to investigate.
It is high quality writing. We see almost everything from Paddy's perspective. We get to know her well, seeing her with her family and co-workers. The city of Glasgow also plays a major role. I'll read the rest of the books of the trilogy.
You can read the book here: http://www.rulit.net/books/field-of-blood-read-205778-1.html ( )
1 vote BillPilgrim | Feb 25, 2014 |
Another Mina, and another Mina protagonist -- Paddy Meehan, aspiring journalist, working as a "copy boy" at a Glasgow newspaper. Like all Mina heroines, Paddy has self esteem problems and a troubled relationship with her family; I warmed to her as I was reading, but she doesn't quite stand up to Maureen O'Donnell or Alex Morrow in the other series by Mina I've read. The mystery deals with the brutal murder of a three-year old boy, presumably by other boys (so a warning for people who can's read about children killing children). Is this murder connected to a similar one eight years ago? How does the fate of another Paddy Meehan, a man framed for and convicted of a murder he didn't commit, influence the thinking of this Paddy? Of course, in a Mina book, there is more to it than a mystery, and this one eventually explores how parents treat their children, and what they will and won't do for them, as well as giving a little insight into the world of newspaper journalism back in the 80s.
1 vote rebeccanyc | Jan 15, 2014 |
It is not a good thing that it was only when I went to put this on the site that I was alerted to the fact that I had read it before by the duplication of works.
Dont get me wrong I loved this book. the characters are so belevable, especially the women. I can understand the beginning of life problems of the young jurnalist (paddy). The not quite understading her position and having to make decisions and not wanting too. Relaising that what she might want out of life is conflicting with what other people assumed that she was going to do. However the story simply has not stuck in my head - even after reading this for the second time I find it difficult to remember quite how it went. I venver quite figured out how the second story of the other paddy was supposed to fit in, other than to confuse me.
  jessicariddoch | Dec 15, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Judas . . . purchased a field with the reward of iniquity . . . And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem . . . that [the] field is called . . . the field of blood.

ACTS 1: 16-19 (King James Version)
Dedication
For Fergus.

Fight on, baby.
First words
They were still traveling, into the dark.
Quotations
He could see figures running, melting into the brightness, and then, as if the fact of other people had been a mistake, he was alone again.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031615458X, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When her fiance's cousin is implicated in the murder of a young boy and a rival reporter leaks the story, fledgling Scottish journalist Paddy Meehan is forced to salvage her relationship with her future in-laws by clearing the cousin's name.

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