The Long Drop

The Long Drop

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
4
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In 1958 Peter Manuel breaks into a suburban villa in Glasgow and murders three members of the Watt family. William Watt, the father, a successful businessman is promptly arrested for the crime. But police aren't able to find enough evidence to charge him so he is released. Determined to clear his own name, Watt offers to pay for information. Peter Manuel contacts him and offers to help. The two men meet in a bar and spend the next twelve hours drinking together. But no one knows what happened that night. The novel reimagines the night Peter Manuel and William Watt meet, attempting to make sense of one of the most intriguing true crime cases in legal history.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : HarperAvenue, [2017]
Edition: First Canadian edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781443452519
1443452513
Branch Call Number: FIC MINA
Characteristics: 236 pages

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uncommonreader
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.

e
EmilyEm
Jan 15, 2018

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

s
susanchyn
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.

e
emerge
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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