Glamour is a feature of distance. Paddy
Meehan now has her dream job, as a junior reporter in The Scottish
Daily News, working
the night shift on the calls car. She and Billy, her driver,
drift through the midnight city attending casualty wards and
police stations, scavenging for stories.
the golden opportunity she’d hoped
for. She’s so tired she can hardly write a paragraph without
the benefit of biscuits. Until one innocuous call about a noise
disturbance in a posh area to the north of the city...
handsome. That’s the first thing she notices.
He’s well dressed, knows the policeman at his door
and he’s not letting anyone into the house.
flirting with him, Paddy notices flecks of blood on his neck
and collar. The door falls open behind him and
catches the frightened woman’s eye in the hall mirror.
Her blonde bob is stained with blood and she cartwheels the
hair behind her ear, showing Paddy her bloody jaw and neck.
done something to her mouth, something to her teeth. Paddy
raises her eyebrows, inviting the woman to walk the two steps
door and come with her, but the woman drops her eyes, shakes
her head and steps back out of the mirror.
The handsome man
takes charge. He presses fifty quid into Paddy’s
hand to keep the story out of the paper and shuts the door
on her. The note is damp with blood but Paddy’s
hand closes over it.
Not through a crisis of conscience but
in case Billy saw the money and will think less of her,
Paddy goes straight
call box and phones the story into the paper.
morning the blonde is found dead. The attending police officers
claim there was no man at the door and
Paddy has published
the story as a news in brief so everyone knows she was
there. And the blonde- why did she stay? Why would anyone
a man who did that to them?
THE DEAD HOUR by Denise Mina
on from The Field of Blood, the first in the Paddy Meehan
series, the Dead Hour takes Paddy through
- fuelled aspirations of the nineteen eighties, through
the poverty and riches of the age, in a pair of suede
and a second
hand green leather jacket.
Moving through the comedy
scene and the upheavals in the print press, Paddy tries to
carve a place for herself
in a company
of ner-do-wells and misanthropes without loosing
her integrity entirely.
Watch out for the earth-shattering
shock at the end.