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.

It seemed like a typical domestic: a woman bleeding from a head injury behind a smart front door in one of Glasgow's nicer suburbs. She insists she doesn't need help. But Paddy is not convinced. Especially when she is given a £50 note to keep the story out the papers.

The next morning, the woman is dead. Paddy has the story - but will lose everything if word gets out about the bribe. And it seems the police have their own reasons for twisting the evidence.

The Dead Hour takes Paddy through the poverty and the riches of the 1980s, against the background of the bitter Miners' Strike, in a pair of suede pixie boots and a second-hand green leather jacket.

As she pursues the brutal truth, it could make her career - or end her life.



"Mina's detached but unsentimental view of man's inhumanity to man (and, more often, woman) never flinches and her deadpan style serves her purpose well. This is crime writing as morality tale."

Maxim Jakubowski in The Guardian


 “The Dead Hour takes its heroine a long way... With regret but determination, she has edged at least part of the way out of the Meehan nest. And she is moving into the boys’ club dominated by her male colleagues. Ms. Mina, who is on a footing with Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson with this new book, has done the same. ”

Janet Maslin in The New York Times

I’m a big Denise Mina fan girl and can easily put her in the company of the likes of Dennis Lehane and Jo Nesbo. She’s so smart about human nature and such a compelling story spinner, she’s a pleasure to read.
— Vanessa, GoodReads

BBC TV adaptation

The Dead Hour was adapted by BBC TV in 2013 as the second part of the Field of Blood series.

It starred David Morrissey, Jayd Johnson, Ford Kiernan and Katherine Kelly.

You can see clips and cast interviews from the series on the BBC website.

There was also an adaptation for BBC Radio 4 in 2009.

Get the book

Read the first chapter and buy the book

Published in 2006