BOOK REVIEW: THE DEAD HOUR
Paddy Meehan is a reporter working for the Scottish Daily News. She had just been out in the cold rain at a car accident scene. There was a report of a disturbance at one of the villas in Bearsden, a wealthy suburb. She almost didn't want to get out of the car but when she saw a handsome man in an expensive suit standing in the doorway of an elegant house she knew there was a good story about to take place.
The man at the door told the police and Paddy that this type of incident would not happen again and handed Paddy a bribe to keep the story out of the papers. A woman in the background with blood on her face apparently didn't want any help. Paddy only took the blood stained bribe because she needed the money. Her father was unemployed and there were four children living at home and she was the only one helping out the family. She was almost sure the police saw her take the bribe. Her driver, Billy, asked her if she was going to phone in the story. Since she was sure Billy saw her take the bribe she agreed to do so.
Paddy was full of guilt and the next morning she felt even worse. She learned that the woman was murdered. The handsome man was not her husband or boyfriend. The main question in Paddy's mind was why didn't this woman ask for help when the police were there?
Paddy soon runs into another story. The police pulled a suicide victim out of the river. Police were convinced he was the man who murdered the woman. However, after Paddy saw the body she knew this was not the same man who she believes killed the woman. Where is the handsome man that was present that night? Who is the suicide victim?
Paddy begins to make connections between the two deaths. She is now determined to do the right thing to make amends for what she has done. Does Paddy succeed?
We can always count on Denise Mina to write a novel of high quality. This is an excellent mystery filled with the dialect of the Scottish people. Paddy Meehan is a believable and very likeable character that makes the story interesting because of her personal problems with her family and being overweight. The author does a great job of making the reader feel Paddy's guilt over the bribe and her hope to redeem herself. This is a good one! Don't pass on reading it.
REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON
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