x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Book review: The Long Shadow explores friendship and betrayal

A struggling screenwriter appears to land a career-making deal when an offer to adapt his new script to film arrives from a generous benefactor in Mark Mills' latest thriller The Long Shadow.

The Long Shadow

Mark Mills

Headline Review

After successful stints in the genre of historical crime fiction, Mark Mills' latest thriller unfolds in contemporary settings and focuses on characters far removed from the espionage world. As the plot picks up pace after the prologue, the familiar surroundings of his native England entwine with the protagonist's uncomfortable discovery of the illusions thrust before him.

Ben Makepeace, a struggling screenwriter saddled with an ex-wife, young son and overzealous agent, appears to land a career-making deal when an offer to buy his new film script arrives from a generous benefactor. As things often stand in fiction though, the deal comes laced with a nostalgic hit when he finds himself face-to-face with an old childhood friend. Now reinvented as a wildly successful hedge-fund billionaire, Victor Sheldon has changed drastically since the aimless days of his youth. However, there are wounds that time leaves ignored.

As expected from Mills, The Long Shadow is an intriguing exploration of friendship and betrayal with the tension balanced over the web of relationships stretching back to the past.

* Noori Passela