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The Long Drop
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Group Read - The Long Drop > Group Read - The Long Drop chap 1-6 Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14609 comments Comments for the first chapters 1-6. What do you think of the segment?
Spoilers Welcome on this topic thread.
The first to post please briefly summarize to guide the discussion. Thanks!


Geri 1- Manuel, a career criminal, says he has information for Watt, who is under suspicion for murdering his family. They meet with the help of Dowdall, Watt's lawyer. Dowdall advises Watt not to give Manuel any money. After 10 minutes Dowdall gets up and leaves the meeting.

2- Manuel is on trial for 8 murders. Dowdall is a prosecution witness, but worries that he has been tricked into compromising himself by Manuel. Dowdall tells the story of Manuel contacting him by letter that led to Manuel giving Dowdall information about the murders that Manuel says he got from a relative. Another letter arrives where Manuel asks for money for the gun. Dowdall burns this letter but says it was misplaced.

3- back at the bar with Watt and Manuel. Both very drunk they leave bar. Manuel asks for money.

4- Watt has been in a car accident and has to be wheeled in to court. Watt testifies about what happened before and after his family was murdered. D.S. Mitchell finds Watt suspicious. Witnesses testify. It is revealed that Scout O'Neil told Watt that he sold a gun to Manuel. Watt decides he has to investigate himself. To explain why Watt had blood under fingernails, Watt said he cut his corns.

5- Watt and Manuel in car. Watt considers if he can pay Manuel and how to get police to find gun. They go to another bar. Watt and Manuel get to know each other. Watt has a drinking problem. Manuel cares most about money and has written 9 stories. Manuel offers up a man named Tallis as someone who can take the fall for Watt.

6- boys discover a car owned by Peter Smart, a man who has been missing for a week. Policemen sent to Smart's home finds a grisly murder scene.


Geri I am enjoying the book. The 1950's Glasgow setting is different and interesting for me.

The characters are feeling well developed and three dimensional. The most important thing for me to get invested in a story.

The attitudes toward women and rape are shocking as well. It was mentioned that Manuel got off on a rape charge because the women on the jury believed only "slutty" women can be raped!

I am very intrigued and want to find out how Manuel finally gets caught for the 8 murders.


Jack | 179 comments Still trying to get grabbed by this book. So far is ok but not a page turner.
Happy to persist as i like the idea manuel is going to spin some twists.
The look into the past is good too.
Geri- that was an strange point that the women jurors thought that and he got off the rape charges.


Geri Yes. I think the author is trying to give us insight into that time (1950's Glasgow). She mentions this several times about women. I live in the US and don't think it was all that different then too. I do appreciate how the author also gives us a glimpse at the economics and politics of the day too. I actually wouldn't mind more of this.

I guess I am the only one so far to get drawn in. Manuel does intrigue me a lot. He's a criminal, trying to manipulate the situation. But he goes to trial in the end.


Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments Thanks for the summaries, Geri.

So far I am really enjoying the historical aspects and setting of the book and have found both Watt and Manuel very interesting.


message 7: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14609 comments Thanks for the summaries Geri!
They are most helpful for me as I am listening and went through to chapter 13 in my first listening segment so could have been confusing the first two break points without them.
As an audio the narration is ok; the chapters that flip between 1956, 1957, and 1958 are identified well at the start which helps with the timeline shifts and the setting is vividly (though darkly) portrayed. So much occurs at night and in pubs or cars I get an almost overwhelming feeling of gloom from this first six chapters.

I am also intrigued by the smoke screens that all of the characters are putting up for their own protection and while Interested, I do not feel any connection to any of them, especially not Watts or Manuel or really any of the male characters. They all seem to be shady and self serving.

The details about the legal proceedings and court, the housing changes and other urban renewal bonanzas for developers and the archaic attitudes towards women are of interest. My questions include:
How can a man be tried for eight different and probably unconnected murders in one trial?
How much forensics evidence was lost in this era? And a comment, what a lot of drinking and driving.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8053 comments Jack wrote: "Still trying to get grabbed by this book. So far is ok but not a page turner.
Happy to persist as i like the idea manuel is going to spin some twists.
The look into the past is good too.
Geri- that..."


I agree with Jack. I've picked up and put down this book a few times. I wasn't getting the plot, and the jumping around in time was confusing. Geri's excellent summaries are helping. I'm intrigued but not yet a can't-put-down book.


message 9: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14609 comments Carol: I don't know if The Long Drop ever reached can't put down status; but I am glad I read it! Good discussions are ahead.


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