Denise Mina, Still Midnight (2009)

This Scottish police procedural is the first in the Alex Morrow series.

Meet Pat and Eddy, two old pals from Glasgow:

“They´d watched films together, met and dumped women together, went to the gym together and, in the manner of married couples, their style had harmonised.”

Their style has indeed harmonised, so much that when Eddy´s wife leaves him, Eddy takes it for granted that Pat is prepared to join him when he embarks on a rather haphazard kidnapping scheme. Pat begins to realize that he is growing away from Eddy and that it is time to leave his infatuation behind, but it is not that easy to get away from a frustrated and armed Eddy.

DS Alex Morrow´s superior also takes it for granted that as the crime happened among Muslims, he has to give the case to DS Grant Bannerman, her less experienced male colleague. Furthermore, Bannerman is the type who steals his colleagues´ ideas and pretend they were his own. So throughout most of the book the two of them fight to get the bright ideas first and look good in the eyes of the boss.

Alex Morrow, a new acquaintance of mine, is a controlled workaholic, and only slowly do we realize why she is so unwilling to go home.

I found it rather difficult to make up my mind about this police procedural. I was so impressed by Mina´s wonderful Garnethill trilogy, but though this story was not bad at all, Alex Morrow was the only character who really caught my attention.

I bought the book myself.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in Denise Mina, review, review 2011, Scottish. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Denise Mina, Still Midnight (2009)

  1. Petty Witter says:

    I’m surprised that more wasn’t made of Pat and Eddy, they sound like quite a pair reading about their harmonised lifestyles.

  2. Jose Ignacio says:

    Thanks for your interesting views Dorte. Have still to read the Garnethill trilogy, and you have just remind me about it.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    That book has been in my TBR pile since its debut. I wonder if I should try the Garnethill instead.

  4. Margot Kinberg says:

    Dorte – Thanks for this review. I liked the Garnethill books, too, so I’ve been wanting to read this one. And Patti, I suggest the Garnethill books. They are impressively done.

  5. kathy d. says:

    Truthfully, Garnethill series is better. I didn’t like Still Midnight particularly and its sleazy criminals. I loved the Garnethill trilogy from start to finish.

  6. Maxine says:

    I too thought this one a bit of a curate’s egg. I thought the author was trying far too hard not to appear racist (or to appear politically correct) to the detriment of the story. The protagonist was the best part, I agree, though she was a bit irritating at times. The follow-up is out now but I was a bit put off it by the various reviews I’ve seen. She’s never come anywhere near Garnethill (trilogy) and Sanctum, in my view. I hated the Paddy Meehan (spelling?) books mainly because they seemed teen romance/saga-level.

  7. Tracy: they ARE quite a pair, I just didn´t like them.
    Jose: and I´m sure you will love that one.
    Patti: that is what I would do, but I was afraid I was unfair to this one because I loved Garnethill so much.
    Margot: it will be interesting to see what you think of this one.
    Kathy: ´sleazy criminals´is a perfect way of putting it 😉
    Maxine: perhaps she was afraid of offending the immigrants, but she is certainly not afraid to offend male characters. They are either mean, dumb or drugged 😉

  8. Kerrie says:

    I’m listening to this Dorte in the car, but these days the car trips are short so I’m having to think of another strategy.

  9. Kiwicraig says:

    I’d heard a lot of great things about Mina, so was really looking forward to reading this book last year (my first try of any of her novels), and was left underwhelmed, even disappointed. There were moments when you thought ‘man that’s good’, but far too many others that were just middling and mediocre – leaving me with a feeling that it could have been a much better book.

    Unlike some, I thought the protagonist was one of the main problems with the book – just irritating and all ‘the world is against me’, ‘everything is someone else’s (usually a man’s) fault’ – the reasons for this are explained late in the book, and I just felt if Mina had woven some more of that in earlier, I might have found the character more interesting, or worth following. For me, I continued with the book despite Morrow, rather than because of her.

  10. Barbara says:

    I’ve read one Denise Mina and liked her a lot. Maybe I’ll give this series a try and hope I like it better than you did.

  11. Kerrie: you must do what parents do when their babies won´t fall aslepp – take an extra trip 😉

    Craig: I agree completely that the book would have gone down easier if she had let us know much earlier why Morrow was so tetchy. In Garnethill, the main character´s attitude to men is justified from the beginning which makes all the difference.

    Barbara: you may; one of my problems with it was huge expectations after Garnethill.

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