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The Long Drop
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Group Read - The Long Drop > Group Read -The Long Drop chaps 7-12 Spoilers Welcome

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

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Comments for chapters 7-12. 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 I am listening to audiobook. Some names may not be spelled correctly. Apologies!

7- Watt takes Manuel to Watt's Bakery & Dairy to introduce him to his brother John. Watt tells his brother Manuel can help him. Watt and Manuel end up at another bar and Manuel ruminates about his writing and how it makes him yearn for the man he might have been. Moira, who thinks she is psychic, points a finger at Manuel and tells Watt that"He will help you. Your paths will cross. He will pay the debt that hangs over him". At John's flat, Manuel tells John he can get them the gun and implicate Tallis.

8- Back at trial. Father of Isabelle, a murder victim, testifies.

9- Nettie Watt overhears conversation between John, Watt and Manuel. Manuel says Tallis meant to kill the Valenti's but killed Watt's family by mistake. Manuel says he loaned Tallis the gun. Nettie realizes Manuel is the actual murderer. Everyone confronts Manuel about knowing too much. Watt says Manuel's story won't help him. Manuel says it might if Tallis is shot dead and found holding the gun. Watt and Manuel leave. Nettie says she never wants "that man" in her house again, referring to Watt.

10- Watt and Manuel drive away and are heading to a bar featuring naked women. Watt realizes Manuel cannot see what other people think and thus is inconsistent with his plans. Manuel finds money in his pocket.

11- Day 5 of trial. More testimony. Everyone is lying about how the guns that killed Watt and Smart family got in to Manuel's hands.

12- Watt and Manuel leave strip bar. Neither is all that interested but know they need to seem like they are. Scout and Shifty drive the men to the Gordon Club, where they are ushered to the office of Deckoff (sp?) and McKay (so?).


Geri As I continue reading this book, I keep asking myself, just how many bars can 2 men frequent! LOL I can't believe the story of Watt and Manuel's evening together still has not ended. I am enjoying how these 2 interact. But cannot figure out how Manuel goes on trial for these murders. And what does the Smart family have to do with anything?

I enjoyed chapter 11 and the testimonies regarding the gun. Too many facts thrown at me fast and furious to write them all down! I laughed about
Hamilton giving testimony and waving to the crowd before he took the stand. Giving the impression he had never been in court before. I could imagine this in my mind. LOL

This is a quick read for me.


Jack | 179 comments Feeling a little more comfortable with the story and characters. Getting into it more now.

I agree the night seems to keep going and looks to go longer still. I dont know what dandy mckay wants with manuel.

The courtroom scenes are good, its interesting how much lying goes on and how people try to act differently in court. The whole class system plays such a big part in the way people behave and what bar or neighbourhood they can frequent. Manuel seems to struggle with it a lot.

Watts is slimey. He thinks more about his money and reputation than his family that were killed.


Geri Yes. I think Watt is trying to win him over in a way by taking him to all these places in the better parts of town. I agree. Watt does not seem to be grieving much!


Sandi (sandin954) | 1189 comments Jack wrote: "Feeling a little more comfortable with the story and characters. Getting into it more now.

I agree the night seems to keep going and looks to go longer still. I dont know what dandy mckay wants w..."


I especially liked Nettie Watt in this section and her eavesdropping and her realization that Manuel was the murderer.

I also have enjoyed the trial scenes and how well each character who is testifying is so well defined.


Jack | 179 comments Nettie was great. That image of the times and role as a wife was well done. It was good how she begrudgingly has to follow what john says but listens in on the sly and feels the responsibility of protecting her family to almost run off to get the police.


message 8: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Geri: I was finding the various witnesses and theories about the guns to be wildly confusing and yes almost comical as the lying on the stand and coaching of testimony seems so accepted.
I am curious about the reason that sixty women queue up the evening before to bed down on the sidewalk to be able to get inside watch the trial in the balcony. Trial procedure seems so predominantly male and yet we hear of the female jury aquiting a rapist.


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

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Jack: I especially liked Nettie's character inc chapter nine too. I think it sad that she wasn't able to testify about the Watt family murders and that she had to hear about the murder of her own sister-in-law and niece and stay silent. The attitude of the men towards women in the 1950's was maddening, with demands from John like "wife, the ashtray"; and a comment that a man served time for beating his wife [that meant he must have nearly killed her] sheesh.
Jack wrote: "Nettie was great. That image of the times and role as a wife was well done. It was good how she begrudgingly has to follow what john says but listens in on the sly and feels the responsibility of p..."


message 10: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Sandi: The trial is quite fascinating and the descriptions of the characters and their attitudes are well defined. We even get a picture of their lives outside of court with the gambling and "bridge playing"; and the crazy line-ups for witnesses to identify suspects seem little better than ones where the police finger the perps. For a witness to have to touch the person seems especially creepy.
I am eager to know more about the actual charges against Manuel and how he ended up on trial for the Watt murders instead of William Watt.
Sandi wrote: "I also have enjoyed the trial scenes and how well each character who is testifying is so well defined. "


message 11: by Geri (new) - rated it 4 stars

Geri Ann wrote: "Geri: I was finding the various witnesses and theories about the guns to be wildly confusing and yes almost comical as the lying on the stand and coaching of testimony seems so accepted.
I am curi..."


I agree it is confusing, this fascination with Manuel. But I think it still occurs today. Women professing their love for a serial killer. Even marrying inmates when there is no hope of ever living together. Probably a good thing since these men would not make good partners.

The message on women was confusing. They are definitely second class citizens. But then we also get told that Manuel was acquitted because only slutty women can be raped. Manuel's looks also helped, I think. Maybe the thinking was why would an attractive man have to rape a woman?


message 12: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Geri:
Related to Manuel's acquittal on the rape charge his attractiveness could have been a factor; and it was mentioned his past arrest on a similar attack wasn't introduced. Similar double standards continue today [the woman must have asked for it] [the man only did what seemed natural to him]
Sadly in general I think it was more that simply men could do whatever they wanted with impunity in the 1950's in the eyes of law when it came to sex or attacking women.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments I too found the chapter with Nettie most interesting. I was really getting annoyed at the "Wife! Do this!" utterances but at the end notice she addresses John as "Husband!" so at least the naming made sense if not the ordering.

That Watt is one slimey so-and-so. It was interesting how finding out Manuel was an unsuccessful author humanized him in my mind, made him seem vulnerable. But he is slimey also.

And all that drinking! I was getting a hangover just reading about it. Watt in particular has a real problem there.


message 14: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Carol:
How they functioned with all the booze was not easily apparent and Nettie's chapter still sticks in my head! Women did not have it easy at all.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I too found the chapter with Nettie most interesting. I was really getting annoyed at the "Wife! Do this!" utterances but at the end notice she addresses John as "Husband!"......
And all that drinking! I was getting a hangover just reading about it. Watt in particular has a real problem there. "



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