As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Orion, 4 July 2013. ISBN:
Fiction, they say, hinges on crisis moments in people’s lives, and
crisis is what the policespend much of
their time dealing with.
I liked most about this book, and what I suspect I’m going to like most about
Denise Mina when I get round to exploring her work further, is the way she
turns crisis into an everyday occurrence without losing any of the drama and
dynamic that makes good crime fiction.
series protagonist D I Alex Morrow is a normal, likeable human being with
flaws, foibles and a life outside being a senior detective. She misses her
year-old twins when she’s at work, has to battle with a reluctant attraction to
a man which might threaten her marriage, has gratifyingly mixed feelings about
her criminal brother. Though she climbs several flights of half-demolished
stairs to view a crime scene, she hates every second of it and doesn’t pretend
otherwise. And she quietly pieces the clues together to come up with the
solution to several murders, and doesn’t baulk when that solution is
politically unpopular, or when someone else gets the credit; she’s never going
to progress beyond detective inspector and has resigned herself to it.
Red Road is set in two time frames,
and Alex Morrow finds herself looking for answers in both. As usual, Glasgow’s
less savoury side is the setting for most of the action, and it comes across
with sometimes sickening clarity – but in a way which makes it seem, if not
exactly ordinary according to most people’s experience, then at least part of
manifestation of Mina’s knack of making her fiction feel as if it really could
happen is that the characters, good and bad, aren’t wholly either. One of the most
sympathetic is revealed as a double murderer early in the narrative; one of the
strangest is a victim; and Morrow finds herself faced with the possibility that
a thoroughly unpleasant convicted criminal night not be guilty after all.
for most of us, crime doesn’t form part of our daily routine, but for some
sections of the police force it’s exactly that. Denise Mina never loses sight
of this – but neither does she turn her back on the first requirement of the
kind of good fiction she sets out to write: to engage, inform and entertain.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
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 settled 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 researching and writing her thesis.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, The Last Breath in the UK and Slip
of the Knife in the US.Still
Midnight, the first of the Alex
Morrow books was followed by The End of
the Wasp Season.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.