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Denise Mina on The Red Road

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 14 July 2013

Denise Mina talks to Mariella Frostrup about her latest crime novel The Red Road. Denise explains why she felt it was important to tell the story of a young teenage girl groomed for sex and why she set part of the novel on the night that Diana, Princess of Wales died.

While going about the daily tasks of our jobs, many of us feel that the japes, the wacky scenarios and the bizarre workings of the place could often make a great plotline for a novel. Well two new writers have done just that. Michael Honig's novel Goldblatt's Descent is set in a London NHS hospital and his acerbic registrar battles with the idiosyncrasies of his colleagues and the system - so it's no surprise to find he's a former senior registrar himself, and serving police officer Lisa Cutts whose debut novel Never Forget has as its heroine the determined Detective Constable Nina Foster. So what's the appeal of writing about your work and what insights do readers get into these high profile public service occupations?

On the 22nd of September 1943, a twenty nine year old secretary called Pearl Witherington, AKA Agent Marie, was parachuted into Occupied France. She joined a number of civilians who volunteered as agents of the secret Special Operations Executive, specialising in guerrilla warfare and "the sabotage and subversion of the enemy." From resourceful courier, she went on to command a troop of highly effective French resistance fighters and ended up with a bounty of one million francs on her head. Biographer Carole Seymour-Jones brings her amazing story to life.

Producer: Andrea Kidd.

  • Read the Opening Chapter of The Red Road by Denise Mina

    Chapter 1: The Red Road by Denise Mina

    The Red Road by Denise Mina
  • Get ahead with Mariella’s next book: Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew

    Find Chapter 1 of Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew

    Kind of Kin by Rilla Askew

    The Red Road by Denise Mina
    Publisher: Orion

    Goldblatt’s Descent by Michael Honig
    Publisher: Atlantic

    Never Forget by Lisa Cutts
    Publisher: Myriad Editions

    She Landed by Moonlight
    by Carole Seymour-Jones
    Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
    She landed at Moonlight….


Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest
Denise Mina
Andrea Kidd


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