Long Shadows by Derek Thompson

Title: Long Shadows (Detective Craig Wild Mysteries #1)

Author: Derek Thompson

Published on: 31 May 2020

Genre: Mystery and Thriller | Police Procedural

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Rating: 3 out of 5.

Detective Craig Wild has been moved from Met to Mayberry, a sleepy Wiltshire backwater where hardly any crime occurs. It is a second chance for Wild – a chance to prove his dedication to his profession.

A local farmer Alexander Porter is found shot dead in his own field. It is believed to be suicide – but the shotgun is nowhere to be found. Determined to uncover the truth, Detective Wild digs deeper into the mystery surrounding the farmer’s death.

Long Shadows is the first book in Derek Thompson’s Detective Craig Wild Mystery series.

Detective Craig Wild does not feel welcomed at his new job. His teammates do not talk to him, someone is vandalizing his car and his boss is not helping him either. Wild was married to a detective back in London. Steph (the wife) climbed the ladder faster and Wild felt their relationship was toxic. To add to this was a mistake that costed Wild dearly. He was caught in a crossfire while attempting to nab a notorious armed robber. Tending to his physical injuries was not easy as Steph told him she wants a divorce…

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Wild was moved to Mayberry soon after. His new teammates are no better. But soon, he gets paired with Marnie Olsen, a young detective-in-the-making who helps him out with the Porter murder case. Halfway through the story, we see Olsen follow Wild to London and help him nab the armed robber – the same guy who escaped after injuring Wild months ago.

Back home, the mystery behind the farmer found dead in his own field has something to do with a dark past. A well-kept family-secret that results in a motive for murder. Two farmers who rented a portion of Porter’s field are named as beneficiaries in Porter’s Wills, thus making them the initial suspects. But there’s also Porter’s son to consider – after all, the man is not grieving the death of his father.

Then comes a twist in the form of an American who has come to the place looking for clues that lead to his relative’s disappearance during the war.

As much as I liked the mystery behind the murder, I cannot say the same about the characterizations or the storytelling. Craig Wild is not a very good detective; he does solve the case, all right, but he’s too slow to realize the motive or the identity of the perp. Also, there was some mix-up with the pronouns. Craig is talking about a man and the other person replies telling Craig about a woman… he, she, who?

The dialogs were okay. It was hard to follow Craig’s emotions/thought process at times. Also, there were scenes with TMI which spoiled the read a tad.

Overall, Long Shadows by Derek Thompson was an okay read. Not really the kind of police procedural I was hoping for, but I am looking forward to reading the next book. This book has a lot of 4 and 5 starred reviews on Goodreads and looks like I am one of the few who did not like the book as much as others did.


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