West Country novelist turns from light rural comedies to a saga of secrets, bitterness and revenge set in the toughest decade for farmers since the Thirties
A Long Shadow is a rural saga of secrets, bitterness and revenge set at the beginning of the millennium. When a young farmer is found with his brains blown out, his wife takes on his mantle while trying to solve the mystery of his death.
The novel had its origins in a feature that Kington, a former TV director and producer, made for Channel 4 News at the turn of this century about the pressures on farmers as a result of BSE and foot-and-mouth disease.
As well as A Long Shadow, Lightning has acquired the rights to her three previous novels, A Summerstoke Affair, Spring Mischief and A Tangled Summer, which were first published by Orion. Like A Long Shadow, this trilogy of light comedies is set in rural Somerset, where Kington has lived for many years.
Scott Pack, Lightning's editor-at-large, acquired world rights directly from the author.
He said: “I have been working with Caroline for the past year or so, editing a collection of Miles Kington's letters, and at some point we ended up discussing her own work. I must confess I persuaded her to let me have a sneak peek and I knew right away that I wanted to publish it. Fortunately, the rest of the team at Lightning Books felt the same way.”
Caroline Kington spent most of her working life in theatre and television, as a director and producer.
Since her husband’s death in 2008, she has posthumously published three of his books: a humorous memoir of his illness, called How Shall I Tell the Dog?; a collection of his columns and other writings, The Best By Miles; and a collection of his celebrated ‘Franglais’ columns that had not appeared in book form before, Le Bumper Book of Franglais.
Lightning will publish the Summerstoke trilogy as ebooks in 2018 and A Long Shadow in 2019.