The Paddy Meehan series

Paddy Meehan is an aspiring reporter on the Scottish Daily News, a fictional newspaper in Glasgow in the 1980s and 1990s. As she digs for stories, the crimes she uncovers shock her family, the city and herself.

The books in order

The Field of Blood

In the first book in the series, a child goes missing in the city. But unlike everyone else Paddy Meehan doesn't believe the young boys who are blamed acted on their own.

But her investigation leads her into conflict with her family, her community, and puts her own life in danger.

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The Dead Hour

Reporter Paddy Meehan has been promoted to the night shift. Arriving at what seems like a domestic incident she accepts a bribe to keep it out of the paper.

But then the woman is found dead the next morning and Paddy could lose everything.

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The Last Breath

Published as A Slip of the Knife in the USA

In the third book, Paddy now has it all: car, flat, dream job. But when her ex-lover and fellow reporter Terry Patterson is found dead he leaves all his notes to her. And so she becomes the next target...

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More about Glasgow in the 1980s

The books are set in the 1980s and 1990s, when industrial cities like Glasgow saw traditional sources of work such as shipyards and factories close down, leaving thousands of people unemployed and unable to get another a job.

The Glasgow Story website has more about the economic changes in the city since the 1950s and what daily life was like for Glaswegians during the last half of the 20th century.

The books also reflect the decline of the newspaper industry and the impact on journalism from commercial pressure and reduced sales.


TV adaptation

The Field of Blood and The Dead Hour were both adapted for BBC television. In this BBC clip Denise talks about her character Paddy Meehan.