The Long Drop

The Long Drop

by Denise Mina

Hardcover

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Overview


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316380577
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 05/23/2017
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Denise Mina is the author of the novels Blood, Salt, Water, The Red Road, Gods and Beasts, The End of the Wasp Season, Still Midnight, Slip of the Knife, The Dead Hour, Field of Blood, Deception, and the Garnethill trilogy, the first installment of which won her the John Creasey Memorial Award for best first crime novel. Mina has twice received the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. She lives in Glasgow.

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The Long Drop 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
booklover- 5 months ago
THE LONG DROP was this author's first attempt at writing true crime. This is the story of Peter Manuel and the murder of three women in the family of William Watt. In the beginning, Glasgow police held William Watt as the prime suspect in the killings. Watt determines to clear his own name since the police don't seem interested in looking any further for the real killer. When he reaches out asking for information, he receives a letter from Peter Manuel. He claims he knows who the killer is, demands a huge sum of money ... but then he's known to be a liar. So is he telling the truth this time? Or is this another play for money? Manuel wants a sit-down meeting with Watt and soon enough, the drinking gets out of hand and the two men spend a long night in many bars and clubs. 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. This is a look at crime in 1950s Glasgow. It's dark and dreary. None of the characters have any redeeming qualities .. and they just weren't likeable. I have read other books by this author and enjoyed her writing. This one was just a miss for me. Many thanks to the author / Little, Brown and Company / Netgalley for the digital copy of THE LONG DROP. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
RowingRabbit More than 1 year ago
This is a literary retelling of the final days & trial of Peter Manuel, a serial killer who was hanged in Glasgow’s Barlinnie Prison on July 11, 1958. Nicknamed “the Beast of Birkenshaw”, he was convicted of 7 murders & suspected of others. On Sept. 17, 1956 Glasgow businessman William Watt’s wife, daughter & sister-in-law were murdered while he was away on a trip. But police were under tremendous pressure to make an arrest & decided Watt was as good a suspect as any. He spent more than 2 months in prison until prominent lawyer Lawrence Dowdall secured his release. Watt went on to spend much of the next year carrying out his own investigation in an effort to clear his name. On Jan. 1,1958 another family was murdered & from then on, Manuel’s days were numbered. Much has been written about the case & the author stays true to the facts while adding her own spin on some of the unanswered questions. The story has 2 main threads that are told in alternating chapters. The first takes place over the course of one night in Dec. 1957 as she imagines a meeting between Watt & Manuel. We follow them as they hit every bar in town, both with private agendas. Watt believes Manuel knows where the murder weapon is & he wants it. And Manuel…..well, he just wants money & someone to toy with. The other thread begins 6 months later in 1958 as Peter Manuel goes on trial. One by one we hear from all those called to testify including Manuel’s parents & Watt himself. As both story lines progress, ugly truths are gradually revealed as we follow the 2 MC’s in dual time lines. Mina does a wonderful job of slowly peeling back the layers of these 2 complex characters. Watt initially comes across as a crass, nouveau riche social climber desperate for respect. But it’s her portrait of Manuel that makes your blood run cold. He can turn from charming manipulator to violent sociopath in a heartbeat & will genuinely make your skin crawl. It’s like watching a chess game between 2 well matched opponents & there’s a continuous power shift as they try to outmanoeuvre each other. It’s stylishly written & rich in period detail. Glasgow in the 1950’s is another character in itself. Parts of the blackened city would later be levelled but at the time it was a dark & gritty place with well known gangsters controlling their turf. It also illustrates the popular beliefs & societal prejudices at a time when the class system was still in effect. This is not a thriller in the traditional sense as most of the violence is described in retrospect. There is much more dialogue than action. It’s a thought provoking & psychological study of 2 flawed men that keeps you guessing & I particularly enjoyed the author’s twist on how Watt’s family ended up dead. Who knows….maybe it’s true.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
From the publisher: 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, Watts puts out a bounty for information that will lead him to the real killer. Peter Manuel claims he knows the truth that will absolve Watt 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 Watts wants, which makes him the perfect target for Manuel’s consummate con. Watts 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 yarn and the truth. The next time the unlikely pair meet 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. 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. It won’t be a spoiler to state that the eponymous “long drop” is a reference to the method of the hanging process which was still the sentence of choice in murder cases when this case occurred, although capital punishment has since been abolished. I am probably among the majority, at least in the U.S., when I confess ignorance of this crime, trial and the outcome thereof, so this True Crime novel was my first awareness of the apparent scandal that surrounded the case in the country where it took place. Manuel, 31 years old at the time, and his trial, become a sensation. The killer sought here “attacks women in the dark, hides in dusty attics, waiting for people to leave their homes so he can steal their mother’s engagement ring, lies on pristine linen bedclothes with dirty boots on or drops food on precious rugs and grinds it in with the heel of his shoe, spoiling a modest home for spite; he drags women down embankments, scattering their shopping in puddles, telling their three-year-old son to shut the f*** up or he’ll kill their mum.” A rape charge against Manuel ends in a unanimous decision of Not Proven. But there are still 8 murder charges against him, including that of two 17-year-olod girls. The trial is recounted in very convincing form by the author, whose previous books I have found extraordinarily good. The chapters alternate between early December of 1957,and January of 1958, when the crimes occurredand May of 1958, when the trial takes place. The characters are very well-drawn, especially that of Manuel and his parents, as well is Laurence Dowdall, “Glasgow’s foremost criminal lawyer. Another terrific novel from this author, and it is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved all her other books but this book doesn't feel like a story . It seems to describe characters that will somehow come alive on stage? I read it half way through and decided not to prolong the agony. Very disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, solid writing . A quicksand of a story that pulls you in and under as it unfolds. The darkness in mens hearts. Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found this book dull and somewhat boring even altho I lived in Glasgow around that time and had certainly heard of Peter Manuel.?..It read a bit like a novel and not very interesting Denise Mina will still remain one of my favourite authors
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have bought and read every book Denise Mina has written. This book is nothing like her other books. I would not be surprised to find that she did not write this book at all. It is truley that different. I struggled to get through at all. I am sorry i wasted my time and money on this. Very sad and disappointed.