The Long Drop: A Novel (Paperback)
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Basing her story on a notorious true crime, one of a spree of violent murders that rocked Glasgow in the late 1950s, Mina burrows deep into the psyches of the two characters closest to the crime. William Watt is an aspiring local businessman who has been accused of the brutal murder of his wife and daughter. Peter Manuel is the vaguely charismatic local hoodlum with aspirations of his own. These two spend a long winter night traipsing from pub to pub, each pursuing his own agenda. Intercut with vivid prison and courtroom scenes, Mina gives us a fascinating account of criminal psychology in action.— From Peter
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year, this 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.
About the Author
Denise Mina is the author of more than ten novels, including The Long Drop, winner of the 2017 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish crime book of the year, and the Garnethill trilogy, the first installment of which won the John Creasey Memorial Award for best first crime novel. Mina has twice received the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. She lives in Glasgow.
PRAISE FOR THE LONG DROP:
"The Long Drop takes readers on a suspenseful tour into the past, through psyches and situations far grimmer than even those sooty Glasgow streets."
—Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post
"Mina has always been a close observer of the brutality drunkards can inflict on their wives and children... this one feels painfully real."
—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"A terrific exploration of crime and oppression."—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"The emerging story is an intricate and suspenseful unveiling of a murderer's mind while taking readers on a compelling journey through Glasgow's historic underworld...This stand-alone thriller showcases Mina at her best, capturing the nuanced psychological suspense and ethical shadows of her Alex Morrow series as well as the electric dialogue and tangible grit of her Paddy Meehan novels."—Booklist (Starred Review)
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
Praise for BLOOD, SALT, WATER:
"An atmospheric, chilling thriller...The power of Mina's writing is such that she can transport readers from placidity to violent pandemonium in the space of a paragraph."
—Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post
"A whip-smart Scottish crime novel...you'll find yourself hooked."—Kim Hubbard, People
"Mina's riveting sixth novel featuring Glasgow Detective Inspector Alex Morrow...(is) an installment that exposes the bleakness of small-town Scotland as skillfully as it does the bustling mean streets of Glasgow."
The "always dependable Mina...delivers another atmospheric, well crafted mystery."—Library Journal
"Mina's gift at unveiling the relatable quandaries, desires, and missteps that create criminals provides an irresistible hook...Recommend to readers who appreciate driven, conflicted female detectives like Anne Holt's Hanne Wilhelmsen, Val McDermid's Carol Jordan, and Tana French's Cassie Maddox."—Booklist