Denise Mina’s beginning to give me the heebie-jeebies. Her voice sounds like my own. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not implying I’m a talented writer too, it’s simply that we were both born in the same year, grew up in the same city, went to the same university, and have young weans and therefore mushrooms growing in our showers, so when her characters wax nostalgic for that damp exit off the motorway near dour Haggs Castle and get teary thinking about a cozy council house with a telly flickering in the window and the smell of toast, my toes curl in recognition. There is something eerie about reading an author who’s footering about in your own social and cultural back green. Still Midnight, Mina’s latest novel, is set in Glasgow’s south side, meaning she’s moved even closer to my youthful stomping ground than in her previous brill creations; I had pals called Shug and Malki (everybody did), and haunted Shawlands Academy though attended Hillpark; I, too, trolled up and down Allison street and visited the Vicky (Victoria Hospital) more times than I care to recall, while it extracted its pounds of flesh from our family life.
Still Midnight is utterly gallus, dark and funny. I shudder to think what she might write next. A heist set in my granny’s flat?