As Ms. Mina grippingly reveals the implications of these events, it's clear that she is something more than a crime writer. Like Dennis Lehane with Mystic River, she describes a close-knit, secretive community in a substantial novel that happens to be centered on a crime.
The New York Times
It's a pleasure to listen to O'Neill's lovely Scottish rhythms and accent narrating this alternately amusing and chilling mystery of the recent death of a three-year-old-a death intricately connected with a similar murder a decade earlier. O'Neill's diction is so clear that not a word is lost within her accent, and she easily differentiates the characters, youthful and elderly, male and female, Scottish and Irish. Though her squeaky, high-pitched voice for Paddy Meehan, our young protagonist, "copyboy" and aspiring journalist, is often irksome, she helps us empathize with Paddy's struggles with body-image, sexual yearnings, and her desire to make it in the male domains of the newsroom and the barroom. Paddy's small town near Glasgow, populated by Scottish Protestants and Irish Catholic immigrants, is fraught with political and religious tensions that complicate her life as much as the murder plot. The abridgment occasionally leaves listeners slightly puzzled, but all is satisfyingly resolved at the end of this psychologically complex tale of a girl seeking her identity and her values as a woman and would-be professional in relation to family, friends and community. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, May 9). (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
A bonny wean is brutally murdered in gritty Glasgow (a city where a bloke can earn himself a beating for flourishing an umbrella), and the guilty parties seem all too obvious-two children barely older than the victim. Paddy Meehan is working as a lowly gofer at the city newspaper and trying desperately to placate her multiple demons: her Catholic heritage, her ambition, her family's grinding poverty, and her weight. When she discovers that one of the alleged murderers is her fianc 's cousin, she starts her own investigation, using the name of a real reporter at the paper. When that reporter turns up dead, it's an open question if Paddy has bitten off more than even she can chew. The first volume in a promised, and promising, new series from Mina (Deception), this should earn her even more fans and cement her position as Glasgow's retort to other Scottish luminaries like Val McDermid and Ian Rankin. A thoroughly engaging read; suitable for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/05.]-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
It's 1981 when the murder of a three-year-old boy, based on the notorious James Bulger case, leads to another walk on Glasgow's wild side. Patricia Meehan is so shocked to find that one of the two boys arrested for the murder of little Brian Wilcox is her fiance Sean Ogilvy's cousin Callum that she blurts out the news to Heather Allen, an ambitious columnist at the Scottish Daily News, where Paddy works as a copyboy. Heather, who's everything Paddy isn't-thin, well-bred, college-educated-urges her to write a feature on the boy and his family and, when Paddy refuses, files the story herself. Now Paddy, already snubbed by her hard-drinking colleagues, gets a massive cold shoulder from her own family, convinced she's sold them out to advance her career. Paddy's only hope for what passes for redemption in Mina's brutal cityscape is to join forces with raffish reporter Terry Hewitt-the one who calls her a fat lassie-in looking more closely into a case everyone in town has already closed with a bang. As if her own investigation weren't dark enough, Mina (Deception, 2004, etc.) introduces a running counterpoint: the real-life case of Paddy's namesake, a burglar convicted in 1969 of murder despite his pleas of innocence and released only after seven years in a solitary confinement little more stifling than the Scottish Daily News. Mina is a ruthlessly accomplished surgeon of souls who can strip her living characters as bare as Patricia Cornwell does her corpses. Author tour
Mina . . . has helped make Scotland a leading exporter of
world-class crime fiction.
Mina's writing, her sense of place and social fabric and her keenly delineated characters surpass genre designation. This is more than crime fiction, and Heather O'Neill's intelligent performance with its authentic Scot's burr is a perfect match for it.
"As Ms. Mina grippingly reveals the implications of these events, it's clear that she is something more than a crime writer. Like Dennis Lehane with Mystic River, she describes a close-knit, secretive community in a substantial novel that happens to be centered on a crime."Janet Maslin, New York Times
"One of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years."Ian Rankin,
"Splendidly written...Magnificently readable....Her characters breathe with an almost Dickensian life."The Times
"Her characterizations and settings are so authentic....There are probably now as many crime writers in Scotland as criminals, but Mina may be the pick of the bunch."Daily Telegraph