Field of Blood
Denise Mina, , read by Heather O'Neill. . HighBridge Audio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-56511-964-2
It's a pleasure to listen to O'Neill's lovely Scottish rhythms and accent narrating this alternately amusing and chilling mystery of the recent death of a three-year-old—a death intricately connected with a similar murder a decade earlier. O'Neill's diction is so clear that not a word is lost within her accent, and she easily differentiates the characters, youthful and elderly, male and female, Scottish and Irish. Though her squeaky, high-pitched voice for Paddy Meehan, our young protagonist, "copyboy" and aspiring journalist, is often irksome, she helps us empathize with Paddy's struggles with body-image, sexual yearnings, and her desire to make it in the male domains of the newsroom and the barroom. Paddy's small town near Glasgow, populated by Scottish Protestants and Irish Catholic immigrants, is fraught with political and religious tensions that complicate her life as much as the murder plot. The abridgment occasionally leaves listeners slightly puzzled, but all is satisfyingly resolved at the end of this psychologically complex tale of a girl seeking her identity and her values as a woman and would-be professional in relation to family, friends and community.
Reviewed on: 09/05/2005