A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.
The Long Shadow, by Mark Mills (Headline Review UK):
Although he’s best known for his works of historical crime fiction, such as last year’s languid but nonetheless gripping House of the Hunted, British author Mills takes a different course with his fifth novel. The Long Shadow is set in the present day and draws readers into the circle of Ben Makepeace, a self-loathing and nearly ruined screenwriter in his 40s, who’s been living in one of London’s drearier corners ever since his wife ditched him for a flourishing businessman. But then a seeming miracle happens: a “hedge-fund whiz” determines to back Ben’s latest screenplay. What could go wrong? Well, maybe everything, for this deep-pocketed supporter turns out to be none other than Victor Sheldon, whom Ben knew when they were both boys. Their relationship back then was complicated by assorted jealousies, deceptions, and resentments; and as much as Ben would really like everything to work out in his favor now--giving him a chance to put aside recent disappointments and do right by his teenage son--it soon becomes clear that there is more behind Sheldon’s reappearance in his life than chance or good fortune. Mills, who won the Crime Writers’ Association’s New Blood Dagger in 2004 for his first novel, Amagansett, brings to his latest tale poignancy and
psychodrama, as well as elegantly rendered sentences that make the plot go down that much easier.