The Long Drop

The Long Drop

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

A standalone psychological thriller from the acclaimed author of the Alex Morrow novels that exposes the dark hearts of the guilty...and the innocent.

William Watt's wife, daughter, and sister-in-law are dead, slaughtered in their own home in a brutal crime that scandalized Glasgow. Despite an ironclad alibi, police zero in on Watt as the primary suspect, but he maintains his innocence. Distraught and desperate to clear his name, Watt puts out a bounty for information that will lead him to the real killer.

Peter Manuel claims he knows the truth that will set Watt free and has information that only the killer would know. It won't come cheap. Manuel is an infamous career criminal, a degenerate liar who can't be trusted and will say, or do, anything to make a buck.

But Manuel has something that Watt wants, which makes him the perfect target for Manuel's consummate con. Watt agrees to sit down with Manuel and before they know it, one drink has turned into an epic, forgotten night of carousing across the city's bars and clubs that exposes the thin line between a good yarn and the truth.

The next time the unlikely pair meets is across the witness stand in court--where Manuel is on trial for the murder of Watt's family. Manuel calls Watt to the stand to testify about the long, shady night they shared together. And the shocking testimony that Manuel coaxes out of Watt threatens to expose the dark hearts of the guilty...and the innocent.

Based on true events, THE LONG DROP is an explosive, unsettling novel about guilt, innocence and the power of a good story to hide the difference.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
Edition: First United States edition.
ISBN: 9780316380577
Characteristics: 236 pages ; 25 cm


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Apr 24, 2018

This true crime novel is based partially on court transcripts and other documentation and partially on the author's imagination and speculation.

Jan 15, 2018

Serial killer loose in 1950s Glasgow. Atmospheric, based on real events. Lost my interest, but finished.

Aug 21, 2017

I liked this book, Scottish noir based on real incidents, but it took real effort for me to piece together the pieces. By the end, it was (for the most part) clear what had happened in 1950s Glasgow, but the first one hundred pages required patience and faith in Ms. Mina...

Who are Watt and Manuel? What are they playing at? Why is everyone so scared of Dandy McKay? And what is “the long drop,” anyway? Even the meaning of the title is kept from readers till the very end.

What kept me going was Mina’s uncanny recreation of the ethos of crime-ridden streets, the seedy pubs, the descriptions of the drunken stupors and psyches driving the Glaswegian crews. The dynamic between Watt and Mull is captured particularly well; but again, there is a lot of murkiness in this noir (ha hah), and all is not revealed until very late in the game.

So maybe this is one of those books you have to read a couple times, to fully appreciate its meaning and craft.

Apr 09, 2017

This is not part of any of the author's previous series. Instead it's a literary retelling of the trial of real life serial killer Peter Manuel in 1958 Glasgow.
The author sticks closely to the facts while adding her own twist on some of the unanswered questions. It's in these grey areas that she takes fictional license to tell a story that's creepy & richly atmospheric. Not a typical thriller, most of the violence is alluded to after the fact & it's a story that is heavy on dialogue.
There's a large cast but we spend most of our time with Watt & Manuel as they make the rounds of the city's bars over the course of one night. Both were suspects after Watt's family was slaughtered. Mina does an excellent job of slowly peeling back the layers of these 2 complex characters & comes up with an interesting theory on why Watt's family was killed.


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