Review - The Long Weekend, Terry R Barca
THE LONG WEEKEND is the debut, self-published crime fiction novel from Victorian based author Terry R. Barca. Set in inner Melbourne, using the beautiful Windsor Hotel as a backdrop for most of the action, it features recently retired / newly married Sam and his wife Scarlett on a relaxing long weekend. It's not long before their idyllic time is interrupted by a high profile murder which takes place not that far from where they are.
A quick review of the blurb to this book will give potential readers a very good feeling for the style of the novel overall. What shines through is the author's love of his characters, and his desire to spin a good yarn, but the style sometimes doesn't serve that love as well as it could. A tendency for long, drawn out sentences is very prominent as is the use of a lot of information dumps and sidetracks and byways along the main thread of the murder. It does make THE LONG WEEKEND read very much like an early draft that needs paring, cleaning, tightening, focus and work. With that effort, it could be an interesting interpretation of a latter day Tommy and Tuppence style novel.
Sam and Scarlett have been married for a little over a year. Scarlett has recently inherited her fathers multimillion dollar business empire and Sam has retired from being a private detective to help Scarlett run the business. A four day weekend at the Windsor, designed as a ‘getaway’ from the pressures of their new life is interrupted by Detective Inspector Blank, who tries to entice Sam out of retirement to help him with a high profile murder committed not far from Sam and Scarlett’s iconic hotel, The Windsor.
Sam and Scarlett are determined to enjoy their time together but Sam’s fame as a mystery writer and private detective seem determined to drag them into this mystery.
Melbourne’s finest old hotel, wine, whisky, cafes, restaurants, fashion, daggers, policemen, beautiful cars, and a mature couple very much in love, all play their part in an adventure that unfolds over a LONG WEEKEND.
As for ‘whodunit?’
The ending lays out the likely killer but the story does not need a capture, arrest and conviction.