From the Edgar Award-winning author of The Hours Before Dawn
Jolted from sleep by the ringing of the telephone, Imogen stumbles through the dark, empty house to answer it. At first, she can't quite understand the man on the other end of the line. Surely he can't honestly be accusing her of killing her husband, Ivor, who died in a car crash barely two months ago.
As the nights draw in, Imogen finds her home filling up with unexpected Christmas guests, who may be looking for more than simple festive cheer. Has someone been rifling through Ivor's papers? Who left the half-drunk whiskey bottle beside his favourite chair? And why won't that man stop phoning, insisting he can prove Imogen's guilt?
The Long Shadow is somewhat of an Antidote to the Christmas stories that are around at this time of year, it is the first book I have read by Celia Fremlin. I am ashamed to say that I hadn't heard of this magnificent writer before.
The Long Shadow was set around 1960 and as it was written some time ago the writing style and language used was fitting for that time but the exploration of family dynamics and the shadows that can be cast upon a home and a family were ever present throughout this taut and tensely plotted read.
Imogen is grieving, her husband Ivor has been killed in a car accident. He wasn't perfect by all accounts but Imogen is still at an utter loss by his death. One night she receives a phone call from a man she met at a drinks party. He claims to know and have proof that she killed her husband.
As christmas approaches all manner of family descend upon Imogen's house. There is Ivor's previous wife, her two stepchildren, one of their friends and one of their partners.
Imogen did not ask for any of them to arrive and is rather put out by this onslaught particularly when she would rather be alone. Since all of their arrivals strange things are happening around the house. In Ivor's study things are being moved about.
This is not a dramatic read as such but it is thrilling with a sense of dread and foreboding spreading across the pages. It is an exploration of people and families and what that means to each of the characters. It is really a story of grief and the after shocks.
Absolutely full of unreliable narrators I found this book an utter delight and would recommend to any one who likes the suspense/domestic noir genre. What really did happen to Ivor? I couldn't possibly say but I hope that you read this one to find out.
Also if anyone reading this can recommend any of the authors other books I would love to hear from you.
About the Author:
Celia Fremlin (1914–2009) was born in Kent. Her first published novel of suspense was The Hours Before Dawn (1958), which went on to win the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1960. Over the next thirty-five years Fremlin published a further eighteen titles.
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