The Long Call

The Long Call

Book - 2019
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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.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2019
Edition: First U.S. Edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250204448
Branch Call Number: MYS Cleeves A
Characteristics: 374 pages : map ; 24 cm


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Jun 03, 2020

Although Anne Cleeves continues to engage the reader as well as she has done in her other series and books I am disappointed in this new character and the introduction of an awkward lead character and what must be her new series. I am tired of the politically correct of this world cramming the “gay” agenda down our throats. I found Ms Cleeves frequent references to “my husband,” or “his husband” awkward and often unnecessary. A character in a similar story, in a heterosexual relationship probably would not be referred to as “my wife,” or “your wife,” but rather by their first name. I am a huge fan of Jimmy Perez and Vera, and enjoy Vera on public broadcasting here in B.C. I could read much, much more with both Perez and Stanhope in story lines.

May 14, 2020

The beginning of a new series for Ann Cleeves. Atmospheric descriptions of the area and lovely tricky characters. Worth a read.

May 08, 2020

I'm a long-time viewer and fan of the Vera and Shetland tv shows. The Long Call is the first Ann Cleaves book that I've read and liked it a lot. The characters are developed and the story is down-to-earth. I look forward to reading the next book in the Two Rivers series.

Apr 19, 2020

Recommended in the Times

sapl3 Apr 08, 2020


Saying good-bye to Cleeves’ great character, Jimmy Perez, in Wild Fire, the last book in that series, was difficult so I welcomed the thought that there was a new detective in town with this first book in the Two Rivers series. My excitement was short-lived as I began reading, puzzled at the underdeveloped, wooden characters and a plot that consisted of threads of a story that just didn’t tie together. I felt like I was reading an outline, or at best, a first draft.

Detective Matthew Venn returns to North Devon to attend the funeral of his father. His falling-out with his family is referenced but no substance is given to this estrangement. When a body is found on the beach, and it’s determined to be a murder, Venn is called in to take the case.

Peopled with some of the most distasteful characters that I’ve come across in a long time, the motivation and actions of some of them just doesn’t ring true. Many of the story lines and characters needed extensive fleshing-out in order to come together to create a credibly good mystery. Too bad this wasn’t done before the book went to publication.

Joanne gives The Long Call 2 daggers out of 5!

Mar 14, 2020

I really hesitated to read this. I don't usually care for heterosexuals trying to write about homosexuals. The characters rarely ring true. I'm glad I did finally start this new series because I really like the characters--not just Venn and his husband but the good cop and the slime-ball cop who work for him. The plot was twisty and the clues hard to decipher, so as with the Vera books you have to pay attention. Because Cleeves treated Venn and Johnathon as real people, their relationship and their interactions have the ring of truth.

Mar 05, 2020

I love Anne Cleeves' Vera and Shetland series, both in books and films. This mystery introduces a new character. Matthew Venn, like Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez, is a wounded person. Whether it is the death of a parent, the loss of a partner, or the rejection of a family, each has suffered punishing blows that do not defeat them, but still color their lives and / or make them more acute assessors of other humans or cause them to doubt themselves. Each has a a kind heart. This new mystery is complex and twisting. There are many suspects. I had not put all the connections together until the end - a fact that I appreciate. I look forward to learning more about Matthew Venn and his husband. Highly recommend all three series. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Mar 02, 2020

The Long Call has Matthew Venn as the protagonist, a rather wishy-washy, nebulous type devoid of magnetic qualities. To some degree a curious police procedural novel in that virtually every character (including Venn) is likened to a victim, whether by circumstance, marginalization, subordination or simply expectations at large. Cleeves utilizes this presumably first in a series offering as a platform for political correctness, virtue signalling and 'with it' society norms as they currently exist. Ipso facto this abrogates the role of chance in life, for as a coin toss mechanism it does not victimize any player. It is what it is. A preponderance of self-obsession by all and sundry in the book left this reader unempathetic with the whole array of individuals. Now, with regard to the setting: the north coast of Devon definitely plays into constructing an atmospheric stage for the case, but it's not Shetland and doesn't suffice to save a lackluster tome, whose basis is the elaborate coverup of an incidental crime.

Feb 12, 2020

There's no doubt the author knows how to write a good procedural police story and I've enjoyed many of her books and TV series. But there's always that but and this one is the book's twice too long because facts and evidence we've already learned is repeated every few pages making it really boring IMO. My second but is there's way too many characters to keep up with few adding any excitement. None of her main characters were interesting enough to invest time or emotion in. Sometimes when a book bores me I read the last chapter and call it good.
Or like with this one speed read to the end. An ending that in no way convinced me to read the next in this new series. Maybe wait for the TV version as there's bound to be one.

Feb 03, 2020

Reading an Ann Cleeves novel is like brewing a pot of tea. It starts with a slow simmer, then hits a rolling boil. It's comforting and familiar, but still manages to catch you off-guard.

I am a "Vera" Superfan and also enjoy the "Shetland" series. So needless to say, I was among the first to reserve a copy of this new book at the library. It gets off to a rather slow but comfortable start, then slowly reveals itself, gathering momentum until you are tossed this way and that by plot twists you didn't see coming. Fantastic! I am already chomping at the bit to see where this new series will take us.

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