The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)
For the first time in 20 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 series.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.

The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1) Details

TitleThe Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN-139781250204448
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, European Literature, British Literature, Suspense, Contemporary, Detective, Emergency Services, Police

The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1) Review

  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    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 becom 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.
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    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 an 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 more 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 more 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.
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  • Paula Kalin
    January 1, 1970
    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 m 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 more 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
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    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, 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.
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  • Peter
    January 1, 1970
    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 ri 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 more 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.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    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 fas 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.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    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 a 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.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    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 more 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 believe 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 more 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 more 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
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    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 qu 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***
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    Great start to this new police/detective series! I enjoyed the diverse characters and the tactful treatment of an extremely delicate subject matter. Our main detective, Matthew showed strong morals and deep compassion for all the victims he encountered, especially those with diminished mental capacities. The plot unfolded at a non-hurried pace but was still fast enough to keep me interested. I felt if the conclusion were more concise, it would have been a five star read for me. I recommend this Great start to this new police/detective series! I enjoyed the diverse characters and the tactful treatment of an extremely delicate subject matter. Our main detective, Matthew showed strong morals and deep compassion for all the victims he encountered, especially those with diminished mental capacities. The plot unfolded at a non-hurried pace but was still fast enough to keep me interested. I felt if the conclusion were more concise, it would have been a five star read for me. I recommend this book for mystery readers and I look forward to visiting these characters again! *Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    This was an impressive start to the new mystery series by Ann Cleeves. There's a good group of core characters for her to work with so I'm excited to see where the series is going to go in future books. Years ago Detective Matthew Venn left the church he grew up in, which also meant losing his family as well. He is now in charge of a murder investigation that is hitting close to home. His past and his present seem to be on a collision course which might make solving this crime more difficult tha This was an impressive start to the new mystery series by Ann Cleeves. There's a good group of core characters for her to work with so I'm excited to see where the series is going to go in future books. Years ago Detective Matthew Venn left the church he grew up in, which also meant losing his family as well. He is now in charge of a murder investigation that is hitting close to home. His past and his present seem to be on a collision course which might make solving this crime more difficult than he originally thought.Even though Matthew is the main character in the book, the story does bounce around between multiple characters connected to the case including Jen Rafferty, a detective sergeant and single mom. She has an interesting backstory like Matthew and I have my fingers crossed she plays as big of a role in future books as she did in this one. I felt invested in the characters themselves as much as I was in the mystery which was nice because that isn't always the case. The author did a good job coming up with a mystery that in my opinion was complex enough that you really are left guessing until the very end. The small English seaside setting was a great location for the story. If you like police detective novels that have a more small town feel to them rather than the hustle and bustle of the big city ones, this is certainly a good one to check out!Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    A funeral. A murder. Missing vulnerable adults. Secrets and lies. The Long Call , a new novel, which marks the start of a new series by the UK’s Ann Cleeves, features Detective Inspector Matthew Venn and Detective Sergeant Jen Rafferty, two very different personalities. It is Matthew whom we see in the opening scenes hovering at the fringes at his father’s funeral. He was raised in a conservative fundamentalist religious sect, the Brethren. Now he is an outcast, not only because he has rejected A funeral. A murder. Missing vulnerable adults. Secrets and lies. The Long Call , a new novel, which marks the start of a new series by the UK’s Ann Cleeves, features Detective Inspector Matthew Venn and Detective Sergeant Jen Rafferty, two very different personalities. It is Matthew whom we see in the opening scenes hovering at the fringes at his father’s funeral. He was raised in a conservative fundamentalist religious sect, the Brethren. Now he is an outcast, not only because he has rejected the religious beliefs he was taught, but also because he is married to a man, Jonathan. Maybe because he’s with the police, and maybe also because of his upbringing, Matthew dresses conservatively in suits and ties. He is socially more reserved. Jonathan, on the other hand, wears shorts and sandals no matter what the weather, and he loves to entertain. The two men seem to be a perfect match!Jen is the divorced mother of two teenagers and has moved from the city to North Devon following her divorce. She quite motivated prove herself and shows herself quite capable when given the chance. She has a way of communicating with witnesses and has good instincts when pursuing leads.When the body of a lonely, recovering alcoholic man is discovered on the beach, Matthew and his team have their work cut out for them. Things get complicated when it is discovered that the man had ties to Jonathan’s workplace and that some of the board members there have ties to Matthew’s former church. It all begins to feel very secretive and sinister. Someone knows more than he or she is revealing. Perhaps more than one person is involved?After a woman with Down syndrome disappears, the intensity ratchets up a few more notches. I couldn’t imagine what THAT was all about. In a story that starts out feeling rather sleepy and frankly, had of a bit old-fashioned feel to it, this was turning out to be quite a mystery indeed! Why would someone take this woman? There were more mysteries, too, especially about the murdered man. He definitely had secrets. So did some of the people who knew him.I love some of the characters in this story, especially the participants at Woodyard, Lucy and her father Maurice, and also Christine. I also liked that Maurice was honest about his first assessment of Woodyard, that he cringed when he saw lower functioning, more physically handicapped clients there, and I loved how he learned to see the humanity in all of them. It reminded me of the day program where I used to work. I liked Jonathan and Matthew, and I wished we had been given a closer look at the two of them. I hope they are featured again in a subsequent novel. I also liked Jen. Her style is a wonderful complement to Matthew’s and she is a brilliant addition to his team. I would like to see her, too, in a future book and see if she can have a social life, because she deserves one. I found myself liking the victim, Simon Walden. Although he had made a serious mistake at one time in his life, he was desperately trying to redeem himself. He seemed to be a decent, gifted human being.There are also some very unlikable people in this book. The person I was expecting – and hoping – would be the actual murderer was not, although this individual was not completely blameless in the whole sordid affair. I would have liked there to have been someone in the Brethren to have been more compassionate and courageous than those who were portrayed, although perhaps there is hope for one of them...I wish to thank NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for this ARC in return for my honest review.4 stars
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  • Selena
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free e-copy of The Long Call (Two Rivers Series #1) by Ann Cleeves from NetGalley for my honest review.Detective Matthew Venn is new to his job, estranged from his family and is newly married. Matthew is standing outside of where is father's funeral is, when he receives a call. A call telling him that a body was found on a nearby beach. The victim was stabbed, has no ID and no witnesses. Matthew, Sergeant Jen, and Constable Ross are on the case. These three make a great team. The se I received a free e-copy of The Long Call (Two Rivers Series #1) by Ann Cleeves from NetGalley for my honest review.Detective Matthew Venn is new to his job, estranged from his family and is newly married. Matthew is standing outside of where is father's funeral is, when he receives a call. A call telling him that a body was found on a nearby beach. The victim was stabbed, has no ID and no witnesses. Matthew, Sergeant Jen, and Constable Ross are on the case. These three make a great team. The search involves activities at a center for adult education and the those with learning disabilities. The story focuses on this murder and subsequent abductions of two disabled women. Detective Venn and his team are set out on a complicated journey that hits close to home. A wonderful mystery with well written characters and lots of twists and turns.
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  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Two Rivers #1Detective Matthew Venn is outside the church where the funeral is taking place for his estranged father. His father was part of a strict religious community that Matthew had left a long time ago. Just as he's about to leave, he receives a phone call about a death in his area. A body has been found on the beach. Then a disabled girl goes missing.This new series is set in Devon. We are introduced to a new set of characters who each bring different qualities. Matthew Venn is the new le Two Rivers #1Detective Matthew Venn is outside the church where the funeral is taking place for his estranged father. His father was part of a strict religious community that Matthew had left a long time ago. Just as he's about to leave, he receives a phone call about a death in his area. A body has been found on the beach. Then a disabled girl goes missing.This new series is set in Devon. We are introduced to a new set of characters who each bring different qualities. Matthew Venn is the new leading DI. He has a personal connection to the case, the centre where the Roman received care and the man volunteered is run by his husband. There are pages that focus on Matthews relationship with Jonathan. I liked Matthew, he has faults and insecurities. This is a great story of secrets, murder and deceit. I thought this story started a bit slow but once you get into it a bit more, the pace picks up. It wasn't an edge of your seat read but it did keep my interest and turning the pages. I can't wait to read the next book in this promising series.I would like to thank NetGalley, Pan Macmillan and the author Ann Cleeves for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 moved too slow for me stars. I have once again bucked the tide of wonderful reviews for this book and found that it was just too slow moving for me. I do appreciate the time and effort this author put into the story of a small town and a man who was murdered and her descriptions of the various characters, but for me there was not enough zest to the story to keep me totally involved. So, sad to say I will not be continuing this new series, but I do encourage everyone to take a look at the oth 2.5 moved too slow for me stars. I have once again bucked the tide of wonderful reviews for this book and found that it was just too slow moving for me. I do appreciate the time and effort this author put into the story of a small town and a man who was murdered and her descriptions of the various characters, but for me there was not enough zest to the story to keep me totally involved. So, sad to say I will not be continuing this new series, but I do encourage everyone to take a look at the other more positive reviews of this book.
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes you cannot avoid having to go home, even years after you left, losing all you held dear. Detective Matthew Venn went “home” for a funeral and became part of a local murder investigation. Now he must face the demons of his youth, the strict and cultish religious group his estranged family clung to and still hold on to all he holds dear today, including his self-confidence and ability to do his job.THE LONG CALL by Ann Cleaves is a good old fashioned mystery that slowly builds, page afte Sometimes you cannot avoid having to go home, even years after you left, losing all you held dear. Detective Matthew Venn went “home” for a funeral and became part of a local murder investigation. Now he must face the demons of his youth, the strict and cultish religious group his estranged family clung to and still hold on to all he holds dear today, including his self-confidence and ability to do his job.THE LONG CALL by Ann Cleaves is a good old fashioned mystery that slowly builds, page after page, weaving its story into an intricate tapestry that explodes with a riot of action and color as it begins its rapid race to the finish.Each character comes to life, flawed, unique of personality and carrying their own baggage that at times weighs them down, yet gives them the strength to carry on. The main character is a man of substance, deeply thoughtful, emotionally charged and far from the sniping, edgy and slightly roguish detectives we often meet. He follows the rules, attempts to keep his own set of values while fighting an uphill battle with the ghosts from his past.An excellent read for British-style mystery lovers who enjoy the darkness and suspense of a well-written tale.I received a complimentary ARC edition from Minotaur Books! This is my honest and voluntary review.Series: Two Rivers - Book 1Publisher: Minotaur Books (September 3, 2019)Publication Date: September 3, 2019Genre: Mystery ThrillerPrint Length: 384 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4 promising and suspenseful starsThis is the first book in a new mystery series by Anne Cleeves. I’ve been meaning to read this author’s work for years so I was excited to get this book and get in on the ground floor of this series. I now see why Anne Cleeves’ works have received so much praise. This book has set the groundwork for what I believe will be a series that I anxiously await for each new book to be published. “The Long Call” is set on the North Devon coast of England, in a spo Rating: 4 promising and suspenseful starsThis is the first book in a new mystery series by Anne Cleeves. I’ve been meaning to read this author’s work for years so I was excited to get this book and get in on the ground floor of this series. I now see why Anne Cleeves’ works have received so much praise. This book has set the groundwork for what I believe will be a series that I anxiously await for each new book to be published. “The Long Call” is set on the North Devon coast of England, in a spot where two rivers run into the sea. The scenery and setting is almost as much of a character in the book as the people who inhabit it. The title comes from the call of the herring gull often herd on the Devon coast. Naturalists have named the call the ‘long call’. To the main character, Detective Inspector (DI) Matthew Venn, the call sounds like an inarticulate howl of pain. Venn, is a native of this area. He has recently returned reluctantly to Barnstaple in order to support his partner’s career. Venn was estranged from his strict evangelical family and their insular community decades ago. In the opening scene of the book Matthew is standing outside of the chapel where his father’s funeral is being held. He is reluctant to enter, but doesn’t want to miss the service. His phone rings. It’s a call his police team member, Ross. Ross informs him that a dead body has just been found on the beach. The rest of the book is a race to figure out who the killer is. To do that, they need to understand who the victim was, and why someone might have wanted to murder him. There are several really good plot twists as Venn and his team chase down all sorts of leads. Some of the main characters are adults with Down syndrome. I thought that the scenes with 30 year-old Lucy and her aging father were especially well-written. The characters and suspects are connected through a fairly new community center called the Woodyard that Matthew’s husband, Jonathan runs. The book pulled me in, and didn’t let me go. It was well-plotted and evenly paced. I was vested in the characters. I want to read more about Matthew Venn and his husband Jonathan. Matthew’s team also holds promise for further character exploration. Jen, is a formerly abused single parent. She is struggling to balance caring for her teenaged children while working and carving out a bit of time for herself. Ross seems all too eager to be in the middle of the action. What insecurities motivate him to push himself to the front all the time? I’m looking forward to the next book to see where this whole team goes the next time the call to solve a murder comes in. I’d also like to see if Matthew’s Mom relaxes a bit and lets Matthew and Jonathan back into her life.What a great start to a promising series from a proven author. What’s not to like? I’d recommend this to mystery, especially police procedural lovers. But it shouldn’t be limited to just those readers who love the mystery genre. I think that most readers of a well-plotted drama would really enjoy this book.‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, St Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books and the author, Anne Cleeves for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    I'm embarrassed to admit I had never heard of Ann Cleeves before this book, but I'm glad I've discovered her now. This was a solid crime mystery that kept my attention throughout. It was well-organized and I enjoyed the interplay among Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, and Detective Seargeants Jen and Ross. Matthew came across as a very thoughtful introvert with good instincts and is also compassionate and caring; Jen seems a tough single mother who is more extroverted and has a gift of communic I'm embarrassed to admit I had never heard of Ann Cleeves before this book, but I'm glad I've discovered her now. This was a solid crime mystery that kept my attention throughout. It was well-organized and I enjoyed the interplay among Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, and Detective Seargeants Jen and Ross. Matthew came across as a very thoughtful introvert with good instincts and is also compassionate and caring; Jen seems a tough single mother who is more extroverted and has a gift of communicating with others; and Ross hit me as an ambitious brown-noser, but still does his part for the team. They worked well together in trying to solve a murder. There's other crime links besides murder in this story as well. An enjoyable read.I will be putting some of Cleeves' earlier books on my list and may even watch some episodes of Shetland or Vera on BBC which series are both based on her books. I understand The Long Call has been optioned by Silverprint Pictures for the screen rights.Thanks to Ann Cleeves and St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    DI Matthew Venn is watching--not attending--his father's funeral when he receives the call. They've found a body on the beach of Crow Point, and it appears as if the victim has been stabbed. Crow Point is right where Matthew and his husband, Jonathan, reside. As Matthew begins digging into the case, he's pulled back into his former life--one he thought he left behind. He also finds himself in a world filled with secrets and lies; a world where some might do anything to kept those secrets buried. DI Matthew Venn is watching--not attending--his father's funeral when he receives the call. They've found a body on the beach of Crow Point, and it appears as if the victim has been stabbed. Crow Point is right where Matthew and his husband, Jonathan, reside. As Matthew begins digging into the case, he's pulled back into his former life--one he thought he left behind. He also finds himself in a world filled with secrets and lies; a world where some might do anything to kept those secrets buried. "The day they found the body on the shore, Matthew Venn was already haunted by thoughts of death and dying." Well, this was an excellent police procedural; one of those mysteries that you get caught up in from the start. I'll be honest that I've never heard of Ann Cleeves or any of her previous series. That's clearly my loss, and I'm definitely interested in her other works now. I won't go into too many details here and spoil the plot, but I'll say that this is a great read, filled with all the little details and nuances that you get from a strong writer. I was heartened from the beginning to find our protagonist, DI Venn, to be gay. You don't get a lot of that in the mystery world. His sexuality is a part of the book, but not the focus, and it was just really nice to read about a gay detective. Matthew is a fascinating character, who is grappling with facing members of the Barum Brethren, a religious sect that he grew up in, but of whom he is no longer a member. He is also a straight-laced policeman, and a strong leader who can admit his faults. It will be nice to follow him in a new series. His team is interesting as well--quirky Jen and annoying Ross are the main two--and I hope they come along in the second book. Cleeves is quite adept at creating her characters, and all are easy to imagine. There's a wide cast of characters in this one, and plenty of suspects, but not so many as to get confused or lost. There's a main plotline (murdered man) and a secondary one--that may be related--and both are intriguing and keep you guessing. We learn things along with the team, as they investigate, which is always a favorite of mine. It's a small-town setting, and many folks are complicated, many have secrets, and it's difficult to work out which secret may have led to murder! (Though I'm proud that I had an inkling about some things!)In the end, this was a really strong mystery. It quietly keeps you guessing and invested in the story. The characters are excellent, and I'm just so heartened to find a gay lead! It's thoughtful and smart, without any gimmicks. Definitely recommend. 4+ stars. I received a copy of this novel from St. Martin's Press and Netgalley in return for an honest review (thank you!). Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    This is a British procedural that is one of the most interesting and well written novels I have come across in a long time. Matthew is the Senior Detective in Charge of a murder investigation. He was raised as a religious fundamentalist and left the sect when he was at university and discovered not only his lack of faith, but also that he was gay. He is presently married to Jonathan who is the head (reporting to a group of trustees) of a neighborhood center that among other things offers day car This is a British procedural that is one of the most interesting and well written novels I have come across in a long time. Matthew is the Senior Detective in Charge of a murder investigation. He was raised as a religious fundamentalist and left the sect when he was at university and discovered not only his lack of faith, but also that he was gay. He is presently married to Jonathan who is the head (reporting to a group of trustees) of a neighborhood center that among other things offers day care to developmentally disturbed individuals. A volunteer at the center is found stabbed to death near the beach and Matthew and his crew (who’s backgrounds are as interesting as his) are assigned to the case. I won’t go any further because of spoilers but will state again that I found this to be one of the most interesting and well written novels I have come across in a long time. Thanks to Net Galley and Minotaur for an ARC for an honest review.
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  • Karen Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Netgalley.com for a review. First in series, Detective Matthew Venn investigates a body found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.An okay story but it moved kind of slowly. I found myself having to flip back and forth to recall who belonged to whom and what was happening.2.75 stars
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed Book 1 of this new series by Ann Cleeves. Lots of characters that will play out in the next books, and most are quirky but likable so I'm anxious to read the entire series. Matthew and Jen are police detectives investigating the stabbing of a man discovered on the beach. Because he's not a local, there are no leads initially and many secrets to be discovered. Add to it the disappearances of two young women with Down Syndrome, and the plot thickens. It's a multi-layered plot with lots o I enjoyed Book 1 of this new series by Ann Cleeves. Lots of characters that will play out in the next books, and most are quirky but likable so I'm anxious to read the entire series. Matthew and Jen are police detectives investigating the stabbing of a man discovered on the beach. Because he's not a local, there are no leads initially and many secrets to be discovered. Add to it the disappearances of two young women with Down Syndrome, and the plot thickens. It's a multi-layered plot with lots of twists and turns--just what I like in a police procedural! I await the next book in the series!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Bam
    January 1, 1970
    *I'm between 4-4.5 stars here. This is my first taste of Ann Cleeves' writing and I quite enjoyed her style. Good place to start, with the first book in a new series. As the story begins, Detective Matthew Venn of North Devon is attending his father's funeral, but remains outside the building because he and his family are estranged. He receives a call that a body has been found on the beach at Crow Point. It's reportedly no accident; the man has been stabbed. What follows is a character-driven p *I'm between 4-4.5 stars here. This is my first taste of Ann Cleeves' writing and I quite enjoyed her style. Good place to start, with the first book in a new series. As the story begins, Detective Matthew Venn of North Devon is attending his father's funeral, but remains outside the building because he and his family are estranged. He receives a call that a body has been found on the beach at Crow Point. It's reportedly no accident; the man has been stabbed. What follows is a character-driven police procedural that keeps the reader guessing right up to the end. I enjoyed getting into these people's heads--their emotions and thoughts.I'm always fascinated to learn where an unusual book title comes from. In this case it's from one of Matthew's thoughts as he's on his way to the crime scene: "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 naturalists named 'the long call', the cry which always sounded to him like an inarticulate howl of pain." I received an arc from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review. I am pleased to discover a new-to-me author that I'll be happy to read more from.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    I love getting in on a new detective series early!Thank you, Minotaur Books, for the ARC.I do appreciate it and am excited to try Ann Cleeves work!
  • Monnie
    January 1, 1970
    Would you believe this is my first encounter with this prolific author? It's true - but for sure it won't be my last. In fact, this book marks the start of a new "Two Rivers" series, and already I'm taken with the main character, Detective Matthew Venn of North Devon.As with intriguing characters in most mysteries, Matthew is flawed; in his case, he long ago left his parents' precious fold - a religious group (cult) called the Brethren. For that alone, his parents essentially disowned him; the s Would you believe this is my first encounter with this prolific author? It's true - but for sure it won't be my last. In fact, this book marks the start of a new "Two Rivers" series, and already I'm taken with the main character, Detective Matthew Venn of North Devon.As with intriguing characters in most mysteries, Matthew is flawed; in his case, he long ago left his parents' precious fold - a religious group (cult) called the Brethren. For that alone, his parents essentially disowned him; the situation took a turn for the worse (if that's possible) when he married the love of his life, Jonathan, who manages a community that caters to people with disabilities.So it is that he stands outside the church at his estranged father's funeral - intentionally unseen and with mixed emotions. As he walks away so as not to encounter his mother, he gets a call: There's been a murder at a nearby beach. An unidentified man has been stabbed. The albatross tattoo on his neck is the only clue, and it turns out the man is Simon Walden, a rather odd duck who not long ago secretly moved into a spare room with two local women who, as it turns out, have secrets of their own.The plot begins to thicken when Matthew gets an out-of-the-blue call from his mother, who asks for his help: It seems the daughter of her best friend, a girl with Down's syndrome, has been "lost." That draws Matthew back to a place he really doesn't want to be - dealing with Brethren folks. Perhaps worse, because the girl spent her days at Jonathan's facility, Matthew must deal with a possible conflict of interest that would leave the investigation in the hands of his team members Jen and Ross (both complex characters in their own rights, but very capable detectives).In an effort to avoid disclosing more than I should, my analysis will stop here, except to say that the action heats up near the end to the point that I was reluctant to put the book down. Already, I'm looking forward to seeing these characters again. Meantime, thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance copy. Well done!
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Book DescriptionFor the first time in 20 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 series.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 wal Book DescriptionFor the first time in 20 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 series.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.My ThoughtsEvery once in a while( without requesting), I will get an email that says I am approved for a book on NetGalley. Often, it’s from a publisher or author whose book(s) I have read and enjoyed, but sometimes, it’s an unknown( to me) author, and the thrill of perhaps finding a new author to love, makes my book loving hands eager to begin reading. This was the case with The Long Call by Ann Cleeves, and as I have since learned, I must have been living in a cave or under a rock since I was unaware of her work.The main character, Matthew Venn, lives in a small town and a murder is about to consume his life. He is written in a way that makes you feel the pain of his childhood and how the loss of his family( due to his differing beliefs), haunts him every day. His self-confidence is an issue, as he questions whether he has what it takes to succeed in his chosen profession and you can just picture him always expecting ‘ the other shoe to drop’ in both his personal and professional life.As if murder isn’t enough, add in kidnapping, sexual assault, secrets, lies, and a well-written plot that had me guessing whodunnit and why until the author reveal. There wasn’t one aspect of the story that wasn’t believable and I was hoping that everything would become clear to Matthew and his team. A very good page flipping mystery and I look forward to additional books in this series.4.5 stars.I received a DRC from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley.
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  • Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
    January 1, 1970
    The Long Call is an atmospheric, character-driven murder mystery set in North Devon. Cleeves has an obvious gift for setting a scene with the tone and mood drawing both characters and readers into the story. Like any good police investigation, this story is slow to develop with evidence and clues being gathered and accessed by an array of unique characters. I applaud the author's sensitive yet straight-forward inclusion of several social issues including religion and the social injustice and abu The Long Call is an atmospheric, character-driven murder mystery set in North Devon. Cleeves has an obvious gift for setting a scene with the tone and mood drawing both characters and readers into the story. Like any good police investigation, this story is slow to develop with evidence and clues being gathered and accessed by an array of unique characters. I applaud the author's sensitive yet straight-forward inclusion of several social issues including religion and the social injustice and abuse often demonstrated toward the disabled, mentally impaired, and gays. DI Matthew Venn is a complex, smart, introspective, married gay man who, as the story opens, is standing outside a church watching his father's funeral. He has been estranged from his family ever since he was banished from the evangelical church years ago. As he slips away, a phone call draws him to a nearby beach where a body has been discovered. Venn has no idea that his past and present will soon collide in a major way. While Venn is a highly efficient detective, he also clearly has self-confidence issues making for a unique if somewhat puzzling character and somehow, I never fully connected to him. As the story unfolds, readers are introduced to a rather large support cast including Venn's husband Jonathan who is head of The Woodyard, a center for disabled adults. Clues will soon tie the murder to this center as well as to some of its residents leaving readers to unravel the mystery as they work through the multiple plot lines and many lies and secrets people will do anything to keep hidden. Red herrings are plentiful as this story slowly unfolds through twists and turns until near the end when the puzzle pieces begin to fall into place, and the author ties it all together. While the story moved a bit too slow for me, The Long Call will appeal to murder mystery fans who enjoy a slow moving case that's character driven - one in which they can follow the clues to solve the crime. A well-written, highly atmospheric police procedural that tackles some tough issues.*A special thank you to the publisher for an arc of this book!**Reviewed at Cross My Heart Reviews
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  • Stephanie (Stephanie's Novel Fiction)
    January 1, 1970
    The Long Call by Ann Cleeves is the first book in her new series, the Two Rivers and if you like an engaging, suspenseful, complex murder mystery that's a classic police procedural then The Long Call is the perfect slow-burning read.The main character, Matthew Venn is the DI in Barnstaple and has ties to the Barum Brethren, a small religious sect in the community that threw him out when was younger and expressed his disbelief in religion. That also meant losing all ties with his family. The stor The Long Call by Ann Cleeves is the first book in her new series, the Two Rivers and if you like an engaging, suspenseful, complex murder mystery that's a classic police procedural then The Long Call is the perfect slow-burning read.The main character, Matthew Venn is the DI in Barnstaple and has ties to the Barum Brethren, a small religious sect in the community that threw him out when was younger and expressed his disbelief in religion. That also meant losing all ties with his family. The story starts as he's watching his father's funeral from a distance then gets a call that a body's been found on the beach. Little does Matthew know but this murder investigation will reinvolve him with the community he thought he'd left behind decades ago.The body is identified as a recovering alcoholic who volunteered as a chef at the Woodyard Centre, a place that provides counseling services, classes, arts, charity services, as well as day programs for people with developmental delays. The center is managed by Matthew's husband Jonathan and as more characters related to the case are also connected to the Woodyard Centre, it makes the case feel much too personal to Matthew because of his connection to Jonathan, and he feels maybe he should recuse himself even as he feels the search for the killer and the other ongoing events are on a collision course without time to spare. Although this was a slow burn, it speeds into high gear towards the end with an enthralling ending that left me wanting more.The story is complex as I said, with a complex and very appealing cast of characters, both of which Cleeves takes her time to develop. The story is just as much about getting to know the characters as it is discovering the incredible setting in North Devon where Cleeves' descriptions provide an atmosphere that was menacing at times, setting the tone of the multilayered threads of the plot. Matthew is smart, conservative, and honest.  DS Jen Rafferty is a great character―I can't wait to see more of her in the future! She's a single mom who escaped an abusive husband; she's insightful and smart.It's no wonder that Cleeve's series have been developed so successfully into TV series because she writes character-driven stories that are quite distinctive, and the multiple threads come together brilliantly in the end. I was thrilled to hear that it's already been optioned for a TV series! I already can't wait to read book two in the series, and the direction it takes.**Thank you Minotaur Books for the ARC. All opinions are my own.** 
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  • Marjorie
    January 1, 1970
    Detective Matthew Venn’s father has died. Venn is not welcome at the funeral so he stands outside. His family is part of a strict religious sect and when Venn left that community, he also left his family. Also, his mother blames him for his father’s death due to the shock of learning that Matthew married a man by the name of Jonathan Church. Matthew and Jonathan are very happy together. Jonathan runs Woodyard Centre that houses a day-care center, an artist colony and a counselling service center Detective Matthew Venn’s father has died. Venn is not welcome at the funeral so he stands outside. His family is part of a strict religious sect and when Venn left that community, he also left his family. Also, his mother blames him for his father’s death due to the shock of learning that Matthew married a man by the name of Jonathan Church. Matthew and Jonathan are very happy together. Jonathan runs Woodyard Centre that houses a day-care center, an artist colony and a counselling service center.As he stands outside his father’s funeral, he’s called to the scene of an apparent murder. Simon Walden was a resident of a home owned by Caroline, the daughter of a trustee of Woodyard Centre. Caroline took Walden in when she learned that he was living with terrible guilt over a drunk driving accident which resulted in the death of a child. Matthew is torn between investigating this murder or withdrawing due to the conflict of his husband’s affiliation with Woodyard Centre.I’ve long wanted to read Ann Cleeves books since I very much enjoyed the TV series “Vera”. When I saw that Ms. Cleeves was starting a new series, I knew this was the time to start reading her work. This is a very slow paced mystery so if you’re looking for a lot of excitement, you won’t really find it here. This author delves deeper than just setting up one thrill after another. She writes from the heart and her characters are very human with all their faults. I loved Matthew and Jonathan and Matthew’s sergeant, Jen. And I loved the British seaside setting. Matthew’s relationship with his family and Jonathan and the treatment of two young Down Syndrome girls are all handled with compassion. The mystery turned out to a heart-wrenching one. I’m looking forward to the next installment of this series and do hope it also makes it to the TV screen.Recommended.This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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