‘Slip of the Knife’ is a mystery novel written by Denis Mina, cited by Publishers Weekly as a “fearless” (GQ) writer “of stunning talent and accomplishment”. This 340-page novel was published by Hachette Book Group USA in February 2008; first published in Great Britain as ‘The Last Breath’ by Bantam Press in 2007. A journalist seeks to uncover the story behind the murder of her former boyfriend only to find herself in danger.
Patricia “Paddy” Meehan, a newspaper columnist for the Daily News, receives news that her former journalist boyfriend, Terry Patterson, was dead, naked in a ditch with a single bullet shot to the head, done execution style. Police sources indicated that his death was a hit by the IRA (Irish Republic Army). Although she has not had contact with him in some time due to a rift, she is devastated.
The police requested that she identify the body as she was listed as next of kin on his passport. She soon learns that she is also the recipient of his childhood home in Ayrshire, along with several containers full of his notes. Not understanding why, she begins her own investigation into his death.
As soon as Kevin Hatcher, a freelance writer who was co-writing a book with Terry, dies from a suspicious overdose, Paddy pushes her investigation further to determine what unique story he was working on that may have contained incriminating evidence someone would kill to keep quiet.
She realizes she is in danger and the person responsible for Terry’s death may try to get to her through her family. It becomes even more critical to find answers when her five year old son, Pete, becomes a target. Ensuring her son’s safety, Paddy strives to find Terry’s murderer and will place herself in danger to protect those she loves and end the mystery. At the same time, she must face other personal issues.
This novel is a mystery that hosts many different and interesting characters. The author presented and detailed each character bringing them to light. The protagonist is great; an independent and successful woman. Especially love that she is a slightly overweight woman who is not perfect and who has committed sins against the church.
This was a complex book containing many subplots, not to mention the Scottish dialect that was slightly off-putting. This reader felt herself getting somewhat lost, although the pieces eventually fell into place making for a good mystery story. Not having read previous books in this series may have caused some difficulty in following several aspects of the story. It needed more clarification to help the reader understand.
While this book had a happy ending, it was somewhat dark, taking the major character to a place totally unexpected or anticipated. Otherwise, the author has an exceptional ability to write with a slightly unexpected and unusual sense of humor intermingled throughout. For those who love mysteries, another good one!
For additional books written by Denise Mina, go to the publisher’s web site: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/authors_Denise-Mina-(1004111).htm, or the author’s web site: http://www.denisemina.co.uk/. You can purchase or order this book through Barnes & Noble at Northpark Mall on E. Kimberly Road, Davenport, www.barnesandnoble.com, or Borders on 53rd Street, Davenport, www.borders.com.
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