Monday, June 28, 2010

Denise Mina, STILL MIDNIGHT -- A Couple of Thoughts

I enjoyed Marilyn Stasio's New York Times review of Denise Mina's 2010 book, STILL MIDNIGHT, but didn't rush to read the book -- Mina writes such strong and dark books that I saved my copy for a long quiet moment. I won't get into this one in depth, as it turns out to be hard to avoid "spoilers," but it's the first in a new series featuring the angry but aggressively effective Detective Alex Morrow, a woman with multiple chips on the shoulders. The action (and it is very active indeed!) revolves around a home invasion and kidnapping that seems to have randomly victimized a Muslim family. Morrow not only has to sort out the crime -- she has to find a way to hold onto the case, in the face of some nasty departmental politics. Prejudice and bigotry are key to both strands.

There's been some online discussion of the ending of this one, and I'd be interested to hear from anyone with an considered opinion on it, if you can frame it so as not to spoil the book for other readers. I found it a bit too sweet for Mina's form of noir -- but then again, this volume also has a huge amount of humor in it, so maybe it's best seen as a new medley of flavors in her dark version of Glasgow crime.

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