Laura Gonzalez


17 Mar 2014

The Field of Blood by Denise Mina ****

Reading dates: 09 February – 14 March 2014

Glasgow is an eerie place, the perfect setting for crime fiction, and if the stories are told by as talented a writer as Denise Mina, even better. The central character of this novel, Paddy Meehan, shares her name with the infamous robber who suffered a miscarriage of justice. Their two narratives are intertwined and, in a sense, this gives the novel a body others don’t have. Makes it graspable, not just a tale of some crime that happens to someone and is committed by someone who takes shape as the reading progresses. This novel offers a situated reading, in a particular time and place in history, just like her Garnethill trilogy. This is not to say that it is historical crime fiction, just that the work is rooted, nicely weighted.

I give very few 4* or above for crime fiction: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which Mina adapted for a comic book), The Black Dahlia and Nineteen Seventy Four. Sure, Mina’s prose is frictionless, perhaps too easy to read, but this does not mean that it is as poor writing as some Lee Child or Jo Nesbo. Her style is rhythmic, well crafted and elegant, even if it does not stick as much as it should. I love the vernacular too. She is my favourite crime writer and I cannot wait to hear her speak at Aye write this year.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.