The Dead Hour Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Dead Hour

The characters in books by Denise Mina don't live in elegant travel poster locations nor do they live comfortable lives. As factories in Scotland close as a response to economic decline, men who formerly supported their families are out of work.
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Paddy Meaghan is a young woman and the only person in her large family who has a job. She is painfully aware of her responsibilities to the rest of her family, particularly her mother who struggles to keep the household intact. Paddy has an assignment with a Glasgow newspaper on the night shift - cruising through darkened streets with a company driver at the wheel of a company car, monitoring the police radio and checking out late night and early morning situations for snippets to appear in next morning's edition.

A call to a late night domestic disturbance in a wealthy neighborhood gives Paddy a brief glimpse of an injured woman with blood streaming across her face. The well dressed man who has answered the door presses money into Paddy's hands and persuades her and the beat policemen to leave and let him handle things. As Paddy ponders keeping the money, she learns the next day that the woman has been found dead in the house and the man has disappeared.

Mina presents a skillful contrast between Paddy's struggle to gain a toehold in her career and to persevere as her family's sole source of support, and the wasted life of a beautiful young woman, the key to the events in the late night assault.
The review of this Book prepared by A R Pickett

Chapter Analysis of The Dead Hour

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Denise Mina Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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