Still Midnight

First book in the Alex Morrow series

A brutal attack. A mysterious demand for money. An unexpected kidnap...

It's a peaceful Sunday evening in suburban Glasgow until a battered van pulls up to one home and disgorges a group of armed men in balaclavas.

They smash into the house and hold the family at gunpoint and demand millions of pounds. Baffled, the assembled people protest that they don't have access to that sort of money. The attackers kidnap the elderly grandfather and storm off into the night.

Now senior policewoman Alex Morrow has been summoned to investigate the case. But there are so many mysteries.

Who were the men? And why did they think a normal household concealed untold riches? The family is certainly not talking.

But as she starts to delve deeper, she realises that there are dark secrets all around...


“… Ian Rankin has said that Denise Mina is one of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years – and I think he's right. She has a fresh voice, her own style and a talent for telling a good story."

Sue Magee on The BookBag website

"Mina is acutely sensitive to characters' mental states, rendering them with a precision which blurs the line between heroism and villainy. At the same time, her prose is both nimble and muscular."

John O'Connell in The Guardian newspaper

This novel was well plotted and filled with fascinating Glaswegian characters, turns and twists and surprise endings. Highly recommended for those who love dark Scottish mysteries.
— Marsha, GoodReads

More about the book


Denise explains why she wrote the book

“…. Because I’m scared of my cousin Gerry.

Gerry’s a criminal lawyer, twelve hours younger than me and we grew up like brother and sister. He was always a ferocious wee boy. Decades of conditioning meant that when he told me to look at the real case this novel was based on I had to. I was blown away.

A violent home invasion by white thugs on an intensely Glaswegian Muslim family, right in the heart of the most aspiring, sleepy suburb in the city. I knew that a lot of Asian people Anglify their names to by-pass casual racism, but the whole story hung on that fact.

Also, I was struck by the parallels between my own Irish Catholic extended family and this generation of largely assimilated Asian Brits. Like us, many of them face prejudice because of a tiny number of terrorists and a lot of people turn back to their heritage for an identity, only to find that they are very deeply British. Everyone in the book is trying to fuse conflicting identities: DI Alex Morrow came from the same idea: how does an outsider join a group like the police and make sense of that?

Writers like themes, they make us feel important, but ultimately I tried to write a thumping tale which ends with an uplifting love story, because with these big social splits, love and acceptance are the only redemption there is. I have sixty cousins and only two of them married Catholics, for the first few marrying out was a mortal crime and now it isn’t even commented upon.”

Edinburgh Book Festival event

Listen to Denise read and talk about Still Midnight at an event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival along with Glasgwegian crime writer Alex Gray and Edinburgh crime novelist Paul Johnson.

Get the book


Read the first chapter and buy the book

Published by Orion Books in 2009