The Long Call by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @MinotaurBooks

Posted August 22, 2019 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves @MinotaurBooksThe Long Call by Ann Cleeves
Series: Two Rivers #1
Published by Minotaur Books on September 3, 2019
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In 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 too.

Now, 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 collide.

An astonishing new novel told with compassion and searing insight, The Long Call will captivate fans of Vera and Shetland, as well as new readers.

I got an email about The Long Call and was drawn to it immediately.  I love mysteries and police procedurels, even better that it was British.  I enjoy the cultural and language differences and all the places mentioned. There was a good mystery with various twists and plenty of interesting characters in fairly small community and surrounding area.

What sets this story apart, is the realistic and lovely diversity in the characters. The main detective is gay, estranged from his strict religious family. His husband runs a community day centre with artists, and disadvantaged adults, and a cafe.  The murder of a man in the community has Matthew and his team learning all kinds of details and secrets about members of the community.

The murderer as well as other people with things to hide are not keen about the investigation.  The case was a clever way to unfold all the background, personalities and secrets of many in the community.  I enjoyed this and plan to continue with the Two Rivers series.  I look forward to seeing how these characters fare in the future.


About Ann Cleeves

Ann grew up in the country, first in Herefordshire, then in North Devon. Her father was a village school teacher. After dropping out of university she took a number of temporary jobs – child care officer, women’s refuge leader, bird observatory cook, auxiliary coastguard – before going back to college and training to be a probation officer.

While she was cooking in the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle, she met her husband Tim, a visiting ornithologist. She was attracted less by the ornithology than the bottle of malt whisky she saw in his rucksack when she showed him his room. Soon after they married, Tim was appointed as warden of Hilbre, a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary. They were the only residents, there was no mains electricity or water and access to the mainland was at low tide across the shore. If a person’s not heavily into birds – and Ann isn’t – there’s not much to do on Hilbre and that was when she started writing. Her first series of crime novels features the elderly naturalist, George Palmer-Jones. A couple of these books are seriously dreadful.

In 1987 Tim, Ann and their two daughters moved to Northumberland and the north east provides the inspiration for many of her subsequent titles. The girls have both taken up with Geordie lads. In the autumn of 2006, Ann and Tim finally achieved their ambition of moving back to the North East.

For the National Year of Reading, Ann was made reader-in-residence for three library authorities. It came as a revelation that it was possible to get paid for talking to readers about books! She went on to set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project, became Cheltenham Literature Festival’s first reader-in-residence and still enjoys working with libraries.

Rating Breakdown
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Posted August 22, 2019 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

16 responses to “The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

    • I hadn’t heard of her before but apparently she has had several successful series in the past. Considering mystery / thriller / suspense is my go to genre and the only thing I read for 10+ years when I was busy I’m surprised I hadn’t found her before.

      Anne recently posted: ICYMI: Guarded by Mary Behre
    • Thank you! I knew she had a series made into TV. I have Netflix. I could even add it to the multi-page list of things I might watch. But I only watch something, like 1 episode, every 3-4 months so I don’t get far with anything. At this rate it would take me 6 years to watch a 24 episode of one series.