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Review: The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Title: The Long Call

Author: Ann Cleeves

Year Published: 2019

Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 384
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary (from Amazon): In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On 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 to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

Review: I had no idea when I chose to read this book that the author is the same person who created the TV series (and, I assume, books) for Shetland and Vera. Pretty cool. This novel is the first in her Two River series and introduces a new police/detective character. And I think the cover does a great job of setting the scene.

We don't really get to know much about the murder victim in this book as the story focuses on people around the victim: his house mates, work colleagues, and the police officer himself. Cleeves builds a village with her characters, showing how they interact with one another as well as the wider community. In this sense, I can see the TV-writer in her who creates more than just the necessary characters.

I do wish I knew a bit more about the dead man because then I would care about him more. He is dead on page one of the book and he is revealed slowly to the reader. Unfortunately, this means I didn't care much about him as a character. 

I liked where this book went in the end. It wasn't full of weird or unexpected twists or unbelievable "bad guys."

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Cloak and Dagger

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