The Field of Blood
written by Denise Mina (2005)
This is the fifth book that I recommend from Denise Mina, and it might very well be my favorite one so far, and I loved her series with Alex Morrow, so that says something.
The Field of Blood is a first book of a series with Paddy Meehan, an 18 year-old catholic girl who dreams of becoming a journalist in Glasgow in the 80’s, but is tortured by the weight of her professional ambitions against her family’s expectations to stay within the herd and comply.
Mina is a master at building multi-layered female characters and this Paddy Meehan is one of the most interesting character I’ve read about since day zero of my existence. She is not a heroine nor an anti-heroine, she is the girl in the middle, that wants a lot but also wants to fit in. And her problems and conflicting desire are, I believe, very much in sink with many of us.
But that’s not it. There is a definitive charm reading a novel that takes place in the 80s in the press. The way of communicating, dealing with the news, investigating. All that is gone now, and yet, that was only a few decades ago.
And last but not least, Mina has “a feather” as we say in French. She nails the human condition in witty sentences that you just want to highlight on your kindle, even though you never re-read your highlights. And that’s what I did so many times. Which has become rare for a fiction.
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