Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour A Long Shadow by Caroline Kington. It’s a rural mystery, women’s fiction and suspense drama.
Enter the Giveaway below to Win 5 x PB copies of A Long Shadow (UK Only)
Caroline Kington spent most of her working life in theatre and television, as a director, producer and founder of the fringe theatre company Antidote Theatre.
Since the death of her husband Miles Kington, the columnist and broadcaster, she has posthumously published three of his books: a humorous memoir of his illness, called How Shall I Tell the Dog?; a collection of his columns and other writings, The Best By Miles; and a collection of his celebrated ‘Franglais’ columns that had not appeared in book form before, Le Bumper Book of Franglais.
In her own right, she is the author of the Summerstoke trilogy of rural comedies. She insists that no character in the series is based on anybody from the small village near Bath where she has lived for many years. Nobody believes her.
Her novel A Long Shadow had its origins in a feature she made for Channel 4 News at the turn of this century about the pressures on farmers as a result of BSE and foot-and-mouth disease.
Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURSHAD
About the book
When farmer Dan Maddicott is found shot dead in one of his fields, he leaves behind a young family and a farm deep in debt. Although the coroner records accidental death, village rumours suggest he has taken his own life so that the insurance payout can save his family from ruin.
Dan’s wife, Kate, refuses to believe the gossip and is determined to prove to herself, and her children, that his death was an accident. But could it have been murder? Kate discovers a set of old diaries containing secrets that may reveal how Dan really died.
Set against the backdrop of the farming crisis of the turn of the millennium, Caroline Kington’s absorbing family drama also tells the secret history of another resident of the farm, decades before, whose tragic tale will come to have major repercussions in the present day.
In the midst of the characters and the different story-lines is a fight to maintain control of a certain parcel of land. When local farmer Dan dies under tragic but suspicious circumstances the topic of ownership of the farm and surrounding areas becomes relevant again, which ruffles feathers and awakens sleeping dogs.
Kate finds herself alone with two children and the massive responsibility of a debt-ridden farm and employees who need jobs. She has to make a decision about standing up and shouldering the responsibility or passing the burden on to someone else. Sell up or buckle down and get on with it.
Kington also takes the reader back a few years to Dan, his life on the family farm, his close friends and how he meets Kate. However the book begins with the story of Susan in the 1940s, when she escapes from a mother and child institution. The author cleverly weaves the different timelines and stories in and out to create a set of circumstances that determines the lives of each one of them.
The story is presented via multiple timelines and characters. It shows us how a secret can travel across decades and influence the lives of many families, despite nobody knowing about it. The title is very apt, because it does cast a very long shadow.
It’s a rural mystery, women’s fiction and suspense drama. Even though everything is based on this one secret that casts ripples across the decades, Kington has also incorporated issues such as abuse, gender equality (Kate being accepted as the boss), and coming to terms with a sudden and unexpected loss.
Enter the Giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of A Long Shadow (UK Only)
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