Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father’s job as an engineer, the family followed the North Sea oil boom of the 1970s around Europe, moving 21 times in 18 years from Paris to the Hague, London, Scotland, and Bergen. She left school at 16 and did a number of poorly paid jobs: working in a meat factory, as a bar maid, kitchen porter, and cook. Eventually she settled in auxiliary nursing for geriatric and terminal care patients. At 21 she passed exams, got into study Law at Glasgow University, and went on to research a Ph.D. thesis at Strathclyde University.
Misusing her grant she stayed at home and wrote a novel, Garnethill ,when she was supposed to be studying instead. Garnethill won the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasy Dagger for the best first crime novel and was the start of a trilogy completed by Exile and Resolution. A fourth novel followed, a stand alone, named Sanctum in the U.K. and Deception in the U.S. In 2005 The Field of Blood was published, the first of a series of five books following the career and life of journalist Paddy Meehan from the newsrooms of the early 1980s, through the momentous events of the 1990s. The second in the series, published in 2006 was The Dead Hour, the third was published in 2007. She also writes comics and wrote the critically acclaimed Hellblazer, the John Constantine series for Vertigo, for a year, published as graphic novels called Empathy Is the Enemy and The Red Right Hand.