Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Long, Long afternoon by Inga Vesper . Thanks so much to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for the invite and to the publishers for my ARC. Before I share my review here’s what the book is all about:

cover205041-mediumIt’s the summer of 1959, and the well-trimmed lawns of Sunnylakes wilt under the California sun.
At some point during the long, long afternoon Joyce Haney, a seemingly happy housewife and mother, vanishes from her home, leaving behind only two terrified young children and a bloodstain on the kitchen floor.
With the stifling heat of Tangerine and the gripping pace of Little Deaths, The Long, Long Afternoon is at once a page-turning mystery and an intoxicating vision of the ways in which women everywhere are diminished, silenced and, ultimately, underestimated.


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My Review

I really enjoyed this historical crime novel set in 1950s California. I really felt like I was there on that hot afternoon when the story began.

This was a slow burn of a story but it suited the book very well. The sense of place was so strong I could almost feel the heat of the Californian sun and the tension behind the closed doors of the neat neighbourhood of Sunnylakes. The descriptions of the homes and the women was so vivid especially of Joyce Haney the missing woman of the story.

Just like in The Help by Kathryn Stockett these women are really bored housewives, living in perfect homes full of gadgets and small children. They think they are living the dream but are they really? Ruby Wright, Joyce Haney’s black maid knows what really goes on in these homes, but is too frightened to speak out, as she knows she won’t be treated well if she gave any of their secrets away. Ruby does get a chance though when Mick Blanke, the detective in charge of the missing person case asks for her help in discovering what happened to Joyce.

I really liked Ruby and Mick, and Joyce too.  Joyce had treated Ruby as a friend and confidante, and Ruby wanted to help find her. I loved that she cared about Joyce, and was willing to risk her future to find out what had happened. She was brave and wanted a better future for herself, but also realistic and terrified at times too.

I had my theories about who was responsible, and like Ruby wasn’t convinced the police had the right suspect. I guessed ‘who dunnit’ just before the big reveal came and loved the dramatic why it played out!

I definitely recommend this one if you enjoy historical crime fiction and can really see it being made into a film or TV series!


About The Author

13621373Inga Vesper is a journalist and editor. She moved to the UK from Germany to work as a carer, before the urge to write and explore brought her to journalism. As a reporter, she covered the coroner’s court and was able to observe how family, neighbours and police react to a suspicious death. Inga has worked and lived in Syria and Tanzania, but always returned to London, because there’s no better place to find a good story than the top deck of a bus.
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