By Ann Cleeves
Thankyou to Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read The Long Call by Ann Cleeves.
Ann Cleeves has written many novels and is the creator of Vera Stanhope (Vera) and Jimmy Perez (Shetland). Both of which have been used to create TV series. The Long Call is the first book of The Two Rivers series, and I have no doubt it too will become a TV series.
The book is set in North Devon where the River Taw and the River Torridge flow into the Atlantic Ocean. The descriptiveness Anne Cleeves uses makes you feel as if you are right there and can see the landscape and hear the cry of the herring gulls. The sound the herring gulls make, naturalists have named “the long call”, this sounds to Matthew Venn sound like “an inarticulate howl of pain – the noises of home.”
Detective Matthew Venn is the lead character in this book. His family are devout members of the Brethren. While at university he chooses a different path, estranging him from his family. After many years away from Barnstaple he has returned to work and live there with his husband Jonathan.
The other detectives in his team are DC Jen Rafferty a single mum with teenagers. DC Ross May, the DCI’s golden boy. All three are interesting characters.
Matthew Venn is standing outside the North Devon Crematorium listening to the funeral service for his Father. He receives a call that a man has been found murdered on the beach. The murdered man was a volunteer at the Woodyard.
The Woodyard is a hub for the community. It is a day centre for disabled adults, provides art and craft classes and runs a café. The Woodyard is managed by Jonathan, Matthew’s husband. The Woodyard becomes the link in the murder investigation, making thigs complicated for Matthew.
The book is a murder mystery and as the plot unfolds it becomes a gripping read. You want to get to the end to see how it all links together and understand all the twists and turns the investigation takes to solve the murder.
The book cleverly addresses community acceptance and non acceptance towards gay marriage and disabled and mentally challenged people.
Loved the book, it is a great read, thoroughly recommend it.
15 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading The Long Call by Ann Cleeves, you can read their reviews in the comments section below. Or, if you have read it we welcome you to contribute to the discussion.