Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the dead hour

Crime novel "The Dead Hour" by Scottish writer Denise Mina is unfortunately one of those books I just couldn't force myself to finish, after some 40 pages I gave up. I was very less than impressed by the first book in the series about budding journalist Paddy Meehan in 1980ies Glasgow (The Field of blood), I felt it painted such a bleak, quite depressing, unbalanced picture of the life and living there and then add one of those annoying weight obsessive main characters that can totally ruin a book.

But as I loved Mina's brilliant Garnethill-trilogy - Garnethill, Exile and Resolution - as well as enjoyed her free-standing novel "Sanctum" I was willing to give the sequel the benefit of the doubt. Turned out I shouldn't have. The story never grabbed me, the mood in the book was just as depressingly gloomy as its prequel. And an always-on-a-diet-insecure main character is just such a nuisance.

So no, not a book, or series, I would recommend at all. But do read the Garnethill-trilogy, it's a fascinating and insightful blend of an exciting thriller with a political edge add social criticism with an unexpected, ragged underdog main character.

I do hope her latest (non-series) novel "Still Midnight" (scheduled for pocket edition here in 2010) will be more Garnethill than Paddy Meehan in style. Because I still look forward to a good read when I think of Denise Mina's writing.


P.K said...

I found the Garnethill series a bit of a struggle to read. I tried to like it, I tried.

Pia K said...

well, liking a book or not depends on so much and differs from person to person (naturally), p.k, at least you had a go at it:)

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