This mini review is based on the Sneak Peek of The Long Drop.
You have to be at the top of your game to be able to pull in the readers with literally just the first chapter of the book to go on. A sample of goods, a taste of what is yet to come, and leaving the reader with a burning need to know what comes next.
It’s almost like opening the door just a smidgen and letting you peer round the corner at the unfolding story, only to be yanked back and have the door shut in your face rather abruptly.
The Long Drop is based on the true crime story about an American born Scottish serial killer called Peter Manuel and the man accused of three of his crimes. In 1956 William Watt was accused of killing his wife, daughter and his sister-in-law. He would have been tried and executed for the crimes, if the police hadn’t cottoned on to the fact they had a serial killer in their midst.
Mina turns a meeting of the two men into a cat and mouse game between killer and accused. A literary thriller with the dark city of Glasgow as a backdrop. A city on the brink of change, just about to take a step into literally a lighter brighter time, well at least optically. The black stones of buildings were cleaned, trees planted, whole neighbourhoods ripped down and rebuilt. A massive health and x-ray initiative was launched to combat and eradicate tuberculosis.
It will be interesting to see whether Mina draws parallels between the meeting of Watts and Manuel, and the essence, core and subsequent change in Glasgow.
Mina’s writing is expressive, sharp and memorable. Her knowledge of Glasgow and it’s people is filtered into her stories in an almost subconscious layering. Mina writes noir with a twist, the psychological tear-downs between her characters is what sets her stories apart from the rest.
The Long Drop looks as if it’s going to be an interesting read.