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The Dead Hour: A Novel Hardcover – July 10, 2006

Book 2 of 3 in the Paddy Meehan Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Glasgow in 1984, Mina's riveting second thriller to feature Patricia "Paddy" Meehan (after 2005's A Field of Blood) opens with the 21-year-old crime reporter for the Scottish Daily News following up a late-night disturbance complaint at a Victorian villa in the posh suburb of Bearsden. The tall, attractive man at the door assures Paddy, as he had the police, that the incident won't happen again. Behind him is a blond woman with a bloody face"Vhari Burnett, a well-respected political activist and lawyer. The man bribes Paddy, as he had the police, to keep quiet. The next day the news of Vhari's murder dismays the normally scrupulous Paddy. When a suicide is fished out of the river, Paddy begins to connect the two deaths. Meanwhile, Vhari's cokehead sister, Kate, is on the run from Vhari's killer, and Mina skillfully alternates Kate's desperate point-of-view with that of Paddy, who's determined to do the right thing and bag the story. Hopefully, this won't be the last breathless adventure for one of the most entertaining reporter sleuths in recent crime fiction. 6-city author tour. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Critics agree that Paddy Meehan may just be one of the most fascinating investigators in recent crime fiction—and that The Dead Hour is a gripping sequel to The Field of Blood. Purportedly about spousal abuse, the novel also features a secondary story about a woman on the run, ruminations on human nature and experience, and depictions of class and religious tensions during the Thatcher era. Paddy has evolved since the last novel; reviewers identified with her moral uncertainty and praised her hard-won confidence. The other Glasgow characters are equally lively, though their regional dialect confused some American critics. The novel's cliffhanger will make readers anxious for the third installment's arrival.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (July 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316735949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316735940
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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, moving twenty one times in eighteen years from Paris to the Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen. She left school at sixteen and did a number of poorly paid jobs: working in a meat factory, bar maid, kitchen porter and cook. Eventually she settle in auxiliary nursing for geriatric and terminal care patients.
At twenty one she passed exams, got into study Law at Glasgow University and went on to research a PhD thesis at Strathclyde University on the ascription of mental illness to female offenders, teaching criminology and criminal law in the mean time.
Misusing her grant she stayed at home and wrote a novel, 'Garnethill' when she was supposed to be studying instead.
'Garnethill' won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasy Dagger for the best first crime novel and was the start of a trilogy completed by 'Exile' and 'Resolution'.
A fourth novel followed, a stand alone, named 'Sanctum' in the UK and 'Deception' in the US.

In 2005 'The Field of Blood' was published, the first of a series of five books following the career and life of journalist Paddy Meehan from the newsrooms of the early 1980s, through the momentous events of the nineteen nineties. The second in the series was published in 2006, 'The Dead Hour' and the third will follow in 2007.
She also writes comics and wrote 'Hellblazer', the John Constantine series for Vertigo, for a year, published soon as graphic novels called 'Empathy is the Enemy' and 'The Red Right Hand'. She has also written a one-off graphic novel about spree killing and property prices called 'A Sickness in the Family' (DC Comics forthcoming).
In 2006 she wrote her first play, "Ida Tamson" an adaptation of a short story which was serialised in the Evening Times over five nights. The play was part of the Oran Mor 'A Play, a Pie and a Pint' series, starred Elaine C. Smith and was, frankly, rather super.
As well as all of this she writes short stories published various collections, stories for BBC Radio 4, contributes to TV and radio as a big red face at the corner of the sofa who interjects occasionally, is writing a film adaptation of Ida Tamson and has a number of other projects on the go.

Customer Reviews

Denise Mina is as good as it gets.
S. Emrick
The final surprise was simply irritating to me as even that was no surprise and I am certainly not going to read another book by Mina to see what comes of it.
Cicada Nymph
It will be great to see what happens in the next book in this series.
Tracy L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Richard Cumming on July 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Fans of Ian Rankin's marvelous Inspector Rebus series are quite depressed at the prospect of the mandatory retirement of John Rebus after 20 books (we have only 2 to go). Fortunately, Edinburgh has produced another incredible crime fiction talent: Denise Mina.

Mina, a former attorney, has just penned the second book in a series that features Paddy Meehan, now crime reporter. In the first book Paddy was a lowly copy boy. Now she has worked her way up to late night crime beat coverage. She follows the police on calls. Her driver waits in the car while Paddy looks for the scoop.

The Dead Hour opens with a late night call to a mansion. A man has bloodied a woman but he bribes the police (and Paddy) to go away. Later, that same woman is found dead. Next stop, a suicide, a man has thrown himself in the river. Paddy is there and she wonders; what's the connection here?

A beautiful woman, her looks ravaged by drugs, drives a car with a trunkfull of cocaine, the baddies are on her tail. Where does she fit in? Paddy wants to know.

While she is sleuthing she finds time for a tryst with a married police officer (in his car). She becomes the laughingstock of the newsroom. Reporter does cop.

Mina does a lovely job of creating her tough but vulnerable cub reporter. The solving of crimes is less interesting that the development of the lovely Paddy. She is overweight, the sole support for her family, young and frivolous, part of a Catholic minority and she has desires for justice, sex and sweets. So human. So lovely. So fragile. So tough. A marvelous read!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
From time to time a story and narrator seem perfectly matched - such is the case with Heather O'Neill and her narration of The Dead Hour. O'Neill's Scottish burr precisely suits; it's both distinctive and distinct. Her reading is firm, thoughtful, apt voice for this story of a bold young reporter, Paddy Meehan.

Paddy works for the Scottish Daily News where she's subject to verba; jabs from males on the staff. Granted, Paddy is a bit over weight, still there's no need to call her "wee hen" or "fat cow," is there? However, Paddy has much more on her mind than eternal dieting and the insultings comments levied at her - she's working the night shift when she goes to what has been called a domestic dispute in a well-to-do suburb. Once there she sees what appears to be a beautiful blonde woman - it's somewhat difficult to tell as the woman is bleeding from a head wound and rejecting offers of help, first from the police and now from Paddy.

The next morning Paddy is shocked to seee on the TV news that the woman she saw last evening has been found murdered. Remembering that she accepted a 50 pound note to go away, Paddy determines to find the woman's killer although that will, as she soon discovers, put her own life in jeopardy.

With this, the second in a five book Paddy Meehan series, Denise Mina establishes herself as a writer of note, sketching the city of Glasgow with authenticity and its people with color while spinning a first-rate crime novel.

- Gail Cooke
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"She looked up from her desk. Three copyboys were perched on their desks, scanning the room for the faintest signal. The newsroom was packed with men going about their business, but everyone seemed altered. The energy of the room seemed to move around her and the scoop she was writing up. No one came near her desk. This was t he respect of her peers."

Paddy Meehan thought she would be an investigative journalist, but here she was still on the night shift, chasing stories. And, by golly, one came her way. She followed the police to a home where a domestic dispute had unfolded. The woman, a young blonde lawyer refused to file charges, and the good looking young man who appeared to have caused her injury was walking free. Plus he gave Paddy a 50 pound note to keep this quiet. A bribe, well, sort of. Paddy needed the money, she was the sole support for her family and they needed the money. She took it. The next morning she discovered this woman was dead, was she partly responsible for not writing about this incident? Maybe, but who would know? Paddy would, and she could not live with it. She begins an investigation into what really happened.

All this while she is a decent young woman trying to make her way in a lfie full of bitter, nasty men, and her wish to get out of the dead-end world she grew up in without cutting herself off from her roots. The graveyard shift, hence the name "The Dead Hour' where things can get loose in the wee small hours. Even though Paddy has the ability for detection, she does not exhibit an aptitude as a journalist. She is self conscious particularly about her weight and is not as curious as one might expect. But she grows on you. She is likable.

As Paddy delves into the mystery of this murder, she becomes a little more sure of herself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith on October 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I picked this novel up as a page turner but quickly became caught up in the life and times of Paddy Meehan as she tried to make sense of a late night disturbance complaint. The disturbance quickly turns into a case of murder, and Paddy is one of the last to have seen the victim alive.

This novel combines with fast action and investigative skills with social commentary (if you are interested). The novel is well written, and the end of the novel has me waiting for the next installment, as surely Paddy's story must continue.

In the meantime, I need to seek out the first novel.

Highly recommended.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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