Paperback: 448pp

Published: Lightning Books (May 2019)

ISBN: 9781785631184

A Long Shadow

Caroline Kington


‘Brilliantly weaves the past with the present…I couldn’t put it down’ – Joanna Lumley

When farmer Dan Maddicott is found shot dead in one of his fields, he leaves behind a young family and a farm deep in debt. Although the coroner records accidental death, village rumours suggest he has taken his own life so that the insurance payout can save his family from ruin.

Dan’s wife, Kate, refuses to believe the gossip and is determined to prove to herself, and her children, that his death was an accident. But could it have been murder? Kate discovers a set of old diaries containing secrets that may reveal how Dan really died.

Set against the backdrop of the farming crisis of the turn of the 21st century, Caroline Kington’s absorbing family drama also tells the secret history of another resident of the farm, decades before, whose tragic tale will come to have major repercussions in the present day.





A Long Shadow brilliantly weaves the past with the present, unravelling secrets and tragedies, drawing us ever closer to the heart of a story of love lost and found. I read it straight through, cover to cover: I couldn’t put it down’

Joanna Lumley


‘This is such an absorbing story of beautifully drawn characters, set against harsh historical realities, a story of bereavement with a central mystery and a thrilling finale….It deserves to do very well indeed’

Bel Mooney

‘A courageous book in many ways...compelling and at times heartbreaking, this is a gripping and suspenseful read, delivering a satisfying ending. I couldn’t put it down’

The Lady

‘A gripping murder mystery that kept me going right until the end’

The Book Chief

‘A compelling novel about love, trust and courage. If you love a good romance and a family tragedy, this book is for you’

In de Boekenkast

‘An engrossing family history with a very satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended’

Books and Winegums

A Long Shadow is an emotionally intense, moving story of love, obsession, secrets and lies… Convincing... engrossing… this gripping novel perfectly captures the sights and smells of rural life’

Chez Maximka

‘A compelling and emotional family drama…heart-breaking at times’

Over the Rainbow

‘A fabulous family drama full of secrets and tragedy...Caroline Kington has penned a beautifully written novel. I loved the characters and the perfectly paced plot’

Jessica Belmont

‘A beautifully written family saga by a talented author who really knows how to keep the reader engrossed. The story draws you in from the beginning, with characters who soon become as familiar as friends, and who, you hope, will find the answers to the dark mystery which threatens to engulf them all’

Jaffa Reads Too

‘Suspenseful drama… thoroughly engrossing writing’

The Bookwormery

‘A gripping family drama ... plenty of suspense’

Jera’s Jamboree

‘One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the various points of view, each one set in a different time’

Rea’s Reads

‘This thought-provoking novel moved me and I would recommend to anyone who is interested in family drama and mystery. It is one that will stay with me and I can see it being a hugely popular read’

Cup of Toast

‘A really enjoyable read’

The Divine Write

‘It shows us how a secret can travel across decades and influence the lives of many families’

Cheryl M-M's Book Blog


Caroline talks to Claire Cavanagh of BBC Radio Bristol about her determination to complete A Long Shadow (‘it was the child that hadn’t left home’) and her project to publish her late husband Mles’ letters. Listen from about 14 mins.

Read a Q&A with Caroline about the genesis of A Long Shadow.


Caroline Kington

Caroline Kington spent most of her working life in theatre and television, as a director, producer and founder of the fringe theatre company Antidote Theatre.

Since the death of her husband Miles Kington, the columnist and broadcaster, 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.

In her own right, she is the author of the Summerstoke trilogy of rural comedies. She insists that no character in the series is based on anybody from the small village near Bath where she has lived for many years. Nobody believes her.

Her novel A Long Shadow had its origins in a feature she 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.