For The First Time In Years, Ann Cleeves International Bestselling And Award Winning Author Of The Vera And Shetland Series, Both Of Which Are Hit TV Shows Embarks On A Gripping New SeriesIn North Devon, Where Two Rivers Converge And Run Into The Sea, Detective Matthew Venn Stands Outside The Church As His Father S Funeral Takes Place Once Loved And Cherished, The Day Matthew Left The Strict Evangelical Community He Grew Up In, He Lost His Family TooNow, As He Turns And Walks Away Again, He Receives A Call From One Of His Team A Body Has Been Found On The Beach Nearby A Man With A Tattoo Of An Albatross On His Neck, Stabbed To Death The Case Calls Matthew Back Into The Community He Thought He Had Left Behind, As Deadly Secrets Hidden At Its Heart Are Revealed, And His Past And Present CollideAn Astonishing New Novel Told With Compassion And Searing Insight, The Long Call Will Captivate Fans Of Vera And Shetland, As Well As New Readers What a pleasure it is to read such a well written character driven mystery British author, Ann Cleeves, has brought to life a very fine new character in Senior Detective Matthew Venn He is not your typical drunken, wise ass detective Instead, Cleeves has given us a compassionate and introspective mind Matthew is a senior investigator who is unsure of himself when leading his evening briefings with his team, unbeknownst to them, which is very endearing Also to my liking is the way Matthew s mind works when deducting clues from all his sources of information Smartly done.Matthew s background is very nicely brought to light in the first of Cleeves new series A body is found on a beach in North Devon, England, which brings him back to his former life as a member of a strict religious group called The Brethren and his estranged family The book explores the power of the church and the blind faith of it s followers Also, there are ties to the place of his husband s employment called The Woodyard a sanctuary for the disabled and mentally impaired A big highlight for me is Matthew and Jonathan s relationship Matthew likes to be dressed in suits, whereas, Jonathan can always be found in shorts and sandals no matter what season of the year very much like my household THE LONG CALL is a slow burn mystery peaking at the back end of the book It is a very compelling read with multiple plots and characters The plots are interwoven well and complicated than expected Down s Syndrome is touched upon with characters Lucy and Christine in an insightful manner.This is a refreshing novel and a series which I intend to continue Highly recommend.4.5 out of 5 starsReview posted on Goodreads June 28, 2019Publication date September 3, 2019I received a free ARC of THE LONG CALL by Ann Cleeves from Macmillan in an exchange for an honest review readinginsidersclub 4 stars for a well done police procedural.I have read 1 other book by Ann Cleeves, The Crow Trap which is book 1 in the Vera Stanhope series I gave that book 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because it moved very slowly at times This book moved along well and held my interest The characters were believable and I was not sure who did what until towards the end, The DI Detective Inspector in charge of a murder investigation is Matthew Venn He is a gay man married to Jonathan, head of The Woodyard, a day centre for learning disabled adults and a craft art centre The murdered man volunteered at The Woodyard..One quote He d left the window down and now he could hear the surf on the beach and the cry of a herring gull, the sound the naturalists named the long call, the cry which always sounded to him like an inarticulate howl of pain.Thank You Minotaur Books St Martin s Press for sending me this eARC through NetGalley. Ann Cleeves has started a new series with The Long Call The book, named for the cry of a herring gull, The cry which always sounded to him like an inarticulate howl of pain Cleeves has developed a great set of characters here Our main character, Matthew is a DI in Barnstaple He s smart, a complex thinker, a loving and loved man in a healthy relationship The story starts with Matthew watching from afar the funeral of his father He s left the evangelical church he grew up in It soon becomes apparent it s because he s gay But Jen is probably my favorite character She s one of Matthew s DS s and she s transferred to Barnstaple to escape her abusive husband She s got great instincts and I love her insights, not only into motherhood, but into the people she s interviewing Even Ross, the brown noser, is eventually shown as a complex person Cleeves also gives us a true sense of the area It s easily apparent why her books are turned into TV series as they re accessible, smart and engaging The same is true for this new series It s suspenseful and I had no idea how things were going to shake out until almost the end I can only hope that Cleeves writes enough of these books so that some wise tv producer can pick up this series as well My thanks to netgalley and St Martin s Press for an advance copy of this book. The veteran crime writer Anne Cleeves begins a new series set in North Devon, between the 2 rivers, Taw and Torridge, where DI Matthew Venn, a gay man is his 40s married to his husband, Jonathan, is about to lead his first big murder inquiry when the dead body of a man is discovered on the sands, the victim has a tattoo of a albatross on his neck and has been stabbed Venn is a local boy who grew up with his parents, part of a strict evangelical church, known as the Barum Brethren His family and the church ostracised him when he renounced their faith, their God a creation in their own image, as hard, cold and inflexible as they are He is feeling a sense of regret, his father has just died, and he never got to see him as his health deteriorated Venn s partner, Jonathan is the head of The Woodyard, a community hub combining the arts, a cafe, and a day centre for learning disabled adults.Within Barnstaple Police, Matt is primarily helped by DS Jen Rafferty, a woman who left her abusive husband in Liverpool, settling locally with her children, although she still misses city life The other main cop, Ross May, is deemed to be the eyes and ears of DCI Joe Oldham, a fact that makes others wary of him The victim turns out to be Simon Walden, a former forces man, whose marriage had broken down after he killed a child whilst driving under the influence of drink He had been working as a seasonal chef at a hotel, been homeless, with alcohol and depression issues He had been provided with a home by Caroline Preece and artist, Gaby Henry Attending the Day Centre at The Woodyard are Down s Syndrome women, Lucy Braddock and Chrissie Shapland As connections between the murder and The Woodyard begin to emerge, Venn is plagued by his personal connections to the case which should mean he should not be part of the investigating team, whilst his past history with The Brethren proves to be invaluable to the case Anne Cleeves provides her trademark vibrant sense of location, I felt as if I was right there in North Devon I have high hopes for this series, a lot of effort went into establishing and embedding the sense of place and the characters This is not a fast paced read, it s a character driven novel, I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of the learning disabled women, Lucy, Chrissie and Rosa Holsworthy and their central role in the mystery For the most part, this book was a 4 star read, but somehow in the last quarter it became a 5 star read as the multiple threads begin to come together so skilfully I found this an absorbing and engaging crime read, although it might possibly be a little too slow moving for some readers I am eagerly looking forward to the next in the series Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for an ARC. I have been wanting to try Ann Cleeves for several years now When I saw she was starting a new series and I had a chance to get an advanced review copy, I decided it was time to pull the trigger AKA click the green button and finally dive into her works After reading The Long Call, I now have my eyes on the first books of her Vera Stanhope and Shetland series The Long Call is a one of those murder mysteries that clicks all the boxes for me The characters have depth and are likeable though it took a while for DC Ross s admirable side to come forth There are a number of intriguing townspeople that I wasn t sure if I could trust or not always fun The plot is intricate and twisty with a storyline that I had no idea whatsoever how to put together I want all my crime fiction and thriller books to be this way The author is an outstanding writer with a flair for creating atmosphere including the title that is explained early on and the type of suspense that sneaks up on you out of the blue She also deals with interesting concepts such as adults with Down s syndrome and their vulnerability and the challenges facing gay people as they struggle to overcome the disapproval of small two meanings of small here town folks I am pleased to see this will be a series I think there is much to explore in this town and with these characters, and I am very curious as to where Ms Cleeves goes with book 2 I do know I will be reading it Until then, I will be lining up in the library queue for a look at The Black Raven and The Crow Trap, the first books of her two most popular long running series Pleased to meet you, Ms Cleeves Many thanks to Net Galley, Minotaur Books, and Ms Ann Cleeves for an ARC of this novel Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. CulpabilityThe new series opener from the prolific crime writer Ann Cleeves establishes the foundation for another enthralling series, that I m sure will receive many justified accolades The Long Call builds wonderful depth to a location, a community, multiple complex characters and a plot with enterprising threads that continuously surprise.DI Matthew Venn is the main character and will lead the investigation of a man found murdered on the beach at Crow Point The area is situated where the rivers Taw and Torridge join at the North Devon coast, a location that Ann Cleeves brings vividly to life The region between the two rivers is set to be the focal point for the series, giving it its name.Matthew s father has recently died and because Matthew left the Barum Brethren church, he has been disowned by his family and has to watch his father s funeral from a distance He is now married to Jonathan, a man opposite to Matthew in many ways, including dress and outgoing persona, but a trusted partner where they can provide strength and support to each other Ann Cleeves works with great detail and depth to create main and supporting characters that individually generate interest and empathy The characters from the police force and the community are so richly portrayed, it is a pleasure to enjoy and contemplate each personality I hope DS Jen Rafferty, herself a very appealing character, remains with Matthew in this series Her background has had its troubles, including an abusive ex husband, but she is astute and her instinctive insights provide an intriguing dimension in the investigative team At another level, Ann unmasks some societal prejudices and exposes trite behaviour towards gays and disabled and mentally impaired people It is wonderful to experience the diversity of our people as an integral part of society, and an integral part of a crime story.The main plot is slowly developed and the investigation into the victim connects him with the Day Centre at The Woodyard The Woodyard is a haven for disabled, impaired, recovering and disenfranchised people and is managed by Jonathan, which causes Matthew to consider how appropriate his connections affect the investigation While the pace of the story is sedate than other thrillers, the momentum does shift into a higher gear towards the end with surprises and story plots that weave together to bring the story to a fascinating conclusion Nothing that Ann Cleeves does is stereotypical, uniqueness captivates every page and her writing style is clever and accomplished This is a series that I m going to invest time reading each book she publishes I would highly recommend this book and I d like to thank Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC version in return for an honest review. A new series from Sleeves takes us to North Devon, and introduces us to police detective Matthew Venn Venn, an ex member of the religious sect the Brethren has been booted out for non belief He and his husband Jonathan live on the shore, where a body of a young man will be discovered An interesting case that unravels many different threads, uncovering multiple layers that will drag others into its net Really, Cleve has the enviable knack of conjuring atmospheric reads and characters with fascinating back stories In fact, I read today that this new series has already been optioned for a TV series I have a feeling Matthew will grow on me in subsequent reads as the series progresses That said, I will still miss Shetland and Jimmy Perez ARC from Netgalley. The body lay lifeless and unattended on the shore except for the distant, mournful cry of the herring gull The irony of the albatross tattoo on the dead man s neck gave the message of an unknown burden..too much to bear.DI Matthew Venn had been secreted behind the tall bushes near the church It was to be his father s funeral for the invited Matthew had been disowned by his family for his lifestyle and his marriage to Jonathan But there was to be no closure for Matthew on that day or for any day to come thereafter.The call that came from the police station in North Devon alerted him to that abandoned body found by a dog walker on the beach near Crow Point Duty called and duty had to be acted upon.Matthew was already familiar with the area where the body lay He and Jonathan had purchased a fixer upper beachhouse near there that served them well with no frills and plenty of use for a hammer and nails Jonathan worked nearby at The Woodyard, a renovated warehouse that served special needs individuals and community members with counseling, art lessons, and finely cooked foods It was a labor of love for Jonathan.Ann Cleeves has opened the door at the ground level for the first offering in her new Two Rivers Series If you ve ever read an Ann Cleeves novel, you know that the writing is top notch Her books are definitely character driven and she keeps their exact involvement at bay until the very end Her main character of Matthew is going to be a highly complicated one His analytical skills are finely tuned, but his personal skills are tightly buttoned around his past He, too, may be concealing burdens that he s tapped down out of the light.Cleeves includes Matthew s partners as quite an unexpected pair DS Jen Rafferty has been transferred to North Devon with two teenagers in tow in order to avoid an abusive husband Constable Ross May is a complainer and has a tendency to test the waters too many times out But they will prove themselves in this distinct police procedural that gives nothing away The Long Call is one to keep an eye out for.I received a copy of The Long Call through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Minotaur Books and to Ann Cleeves for the opportunity. The long call is a term used to describe the cry of the herring gull although to main character DI Matthew Venn, it always sounds like someone howling in pain This observation gives you immediate insight into Venn, a smart tightly wound copper in North Devon.There are a few things you need to know about Venn as they inform his character how he conducts himself His mother father belonged to a strict evangelical community he did too until the day he no longer believed in God And it turns out when you re banished from the church, you also lose your family in the deal Years went by Venn ended up living in the area so his family were aware he became a cop Then he married another man.I m guessing Mom Dad probably didn t see that coming Needless to say they ve had zero contact as the book opens, we find Venn standing outside his father s funeral service after reading about it in the paper He doesn t know it yet but he s about to begin a murder investigation that will bring his life full circle A man s body has just been found on the beach at Crow Point Eventually he s identified as a recovering alcoholic who volunteered at the Woodyard, a multi use community centre run by Venn s husband Jon It s a place we become very familiar with as characters join the story In alternate chapters we meet a counsellor, an art teacher, a philanthropist, a priest some of the people who attend programs there All of them have ties to the Woodyard And all of them have secrets Venn his team have their work cut out as they try to prise the truth from people who would rather it stay hidden This is a good old fashioned murder mystery that reserves the chills thrills for the final chapters There are plenty of descriptions of the area residents, lending the story a moody atmosphere Sprinkled through the investigation we get details on Venn s background his relationship with Jon The supporting cast is large full of distinct, well developed characters Standouts for me were DS Jen Rafferty, a smart cop who throws out comments that shock her conservative boss from time to time And Lucy Braddick, a 30 year old woman with Down s Syndrome who s desire for independence ends up putting her in danger.The plot takes its time as the team gradually accumulates information, clues red herrings It s a book that is just as much about the characters as the investigation Other crimes pop up the trick is trying to figure out which ones are related The pace is consistent until the last quarter when pieces fall into place it s a full on sprint to the finish My one reservation is Venn himself We understand where his baggage comes from through vignettes from the past Behind his buttoned up demeanor are conflicting emotions he goes to great lengths to keep in check He s a man who is never at ease, even with his husband the result was I found it difficult to connect with him But this is book 1 in a series The groundwork is done no doubt the author has great plans for how his character develops.Like Cleeves other series, this is a character driven procedural with a plot that keeps you guessing And maybe wondering if you know your neighbours as well as you thought 3.5 stars My first Ann Cleeves and first in her new Two Rivers detective series.
North Devon A dead body is found and Inspector Matthew Venn and his two detectives are on the case one who tries his patience daily and the other the best he s ever worked with.
The murder mystery is a good one, multi layered with quite the cast of diverse characters, but none of them really stood out to steal the show or retain my interest enough to continue on with the series.
A bit slow moving for me UNTIL the last quarter.
Many thanks to St Martin s Press Minotaur Books via NetGalley for the arc invite in exchange for an honest review
- 384 pages
- The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)
- Ann Cleeves
- 13 July 2017 Ann Cleeves