I just finished ‘the Long Drop’ by Denise Mina and I really loved it!
This book focusses on the story of real life 50’s serial killer Peter Manuel and he desperately tries to frame someone, anyone else, for his crimes. He thinks he’s the best liar, the best storyteller in the world, but everyone around him sees through him like glass. He meets with William Watt, the husband, father and brother-in-law of three of his recent victims, and together they go drinking as Watt tries to decipher who really killed his family. Watt himself has been accused of the murders, and his personal life and business are both suffering for it.
Mina tells a twisted and engaging story about murders and sex attacks in Glasgow, alluding to the deep and dangerous crime world in the city. We see complex characters in Watt, Manuel’s mother Brigit and Manuel himself – sometimes we like these characters, sometimes we pity them and sometimes we absolutely deplore them. These people are realistic – we see the fronts that the characters want the world to see and we see what they really are in equal part.
Mysteries are strung together and threaded throughout the story, some with answers and some without. Crimes are left unsolved. Mina doesn’t shy away from the gory details of real life murders, and shows us real time, shocking images in her pages.
I found it so hard to put the book down, and got through large chunks of it in short reading sessions. It was so engaging and interesting, and every word really invited me to read the next. It was interesting, and an in depth look at a real story told in so much detail that you might think it’s actually fiction.
Interesting ideas surrounding gender, particularly toxic masculinity are presented as we see men in this novel struggle to express emotions like embarrassment, desperation and deep depression. Not dealing with these issues often cause more trouble for the men who neglect their emotions, who could have found solutions to their problems way faster and easier if they had.
Language is clear and paints a vivid, comprehensive picture. Character descriptions are detailed so it is so easy to see the people and places in the book in your hear. The story was so interesting and dark that, I cannot stress this enough, I really didn’t want to put this down. I don’t think I can sing this books’ praises enough. It’s only my third book of the year but I loved it and rate it my favourite so far.