The Long Call

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This was my first ever time reading Ann Cleeves and I think now it's time I went back and read all the VERA books! What a cracking home-grown British whodunit The Long Call proved. Writing at it's very best with atmospheric settings, realistic and beautifully drawn characters...filled with rich detail and written with intelligence, insight  and compassion. There were enough red herrings in this to fill a small ocean - and it was only in the final few chapters did I guess the guilty party. I can't think of another single book this year that held me in it's thrall the way Long Call did. I was sorry when it drew to a close and in fact it was soooo good I may just go back and re-read it.I really hope Ann Cleeves continues to write about Matthew, Jen and Ross as I've now become so invested them and shall miss them. Please Ms Cleeves - may I have some more? Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for this honest and unbiased review.
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A new and exciting Detective from Ann Cleeves. Love all her other books this one is up to the minute with her new Detective . Great story line, twists and turns at all times. Can’t wait to read the next one in the series.
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The Long Call is the highly anticipated first novel in the new series from Ann Cleeves, bestselling author and creator of the two much-loved series Vera and Shetland.

In this police procedural Detective Matthew Venn has returned to North Devon to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region. Here Venn was brought up in an evangelical sect and was shunned when he chose to leave. He returns a successful detective, but investigating a murder and the suspects means he has to confront his past and the religious fanatics he thought he had left behind.

A murdered man is found on a beach near Venn's new home that he shares with his husband Jonathan Church, manager of the local community centre. With Church, Venn has found the love and acceptance that his childhood sect – or church – never provided. Venn juggles a potential conflict of interest as the centre becomes embroiled in his investigations which reach far and wide into the local community and ultimately brings to justice respected pillars of society who thought they were above the law. 

Cleeves is a first-class storyteller and ‘The Long Call’ is written with her usual craftsmanship. As the first book in a new series Cleeves has to introduce and establish characters and settings and does so in great detail which  slows down the narrative at times. Cleeves will have no such issues in the next book where readers will then be familiar with Two Rivers, Venn and his colleagues and family. In this first book Venn is likeable but the least colourful among a large cast. I look forward to getting to know Venn better and hope to become as addicted to his adventures as I was to those of Vera and Jimmy.
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A man is found stabbed through the chest on a North Devon beach. Local DI, Matthew Venn, is called to investigate. His assistant is scouse DS Jen Rafferty. The murdered man worked at the Woodyard Centre managed by Venn's husband Jonathan. The Woodyard includes a day centre for adults with learning difficulties. So begins the first in a new series.

The story builds up slowly but rattles along. I read it over a couple of days. The author takes care to describe the North Devon backdrop. Her characters are pretty well drawn too, Rafferty in particular. I didn't warm to Venn who seemed rather buttoned up, anguished and unsure of himself until the closing stages. Overall it's a classic police procedural 

A good read. I don't think Ann Cleve's fans will be disappointed.
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This is a solid police procedural thriller and just as good as you'd expect from this excellent author.

The characters are well written and rounded and you care about them.

It's a good, mystery crime drama, with depth and twists and a well rounded finish at the end.

I think I am becoming a tad jaded with police procedurals though, as this seemed slow moving and not (for me) a massive page turner. However, I think that's likely me more than the author and for those who either enjoy police procedurals, or, are fans of the author, it's a must read.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to preview.
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It seems that for Ann Cleeves murder needs a beautiful backdrop, or perhaps it’s just that stunning views come with a price. Having exhausted Shetland she has now turned her sights on the North Devon coast where she has a new cast of characters. Detective Matthew Venn has returned to the area he grew up in and in this first of a new series must deal with a murder investigation that turns out to have a few personal connections. With some interesting police colleagues this promises much. I hope the inclusion of links to his personal life was an excuse to introduce readers to his back story and won’t be a regular occurrence as I found this detracted from the main plot.

On the whole this was a good start, handicapped by some of the drawbacks that stem from introducing new characters. Not therefore her best book but one that I enjoyed and which holds out the promise of more delights to come. Definitely recommended.
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Creating a character on which to build a potential series of books is no mean feat, and Ann Cleeves has form – once with Vera Stanhope and again with Shetland’s Jimmy Perez. But both of those series are as much about the landscape and location as they are their lead character, so I was interested to see how she would approach her new series and detective, featuring Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, set in North Devon. It’s an area that I have visited on a couple of occasions but don’t know well, and I was able to see it through her eyes, ‘the special light you only find close to the sea’. 

One of the things I particularly liked about this first book in the series was the leading role given to people with learning disabilities (and their families), giving a wonderful window into a world that few of us understand.  As someone whose brother faces similar challenges, to have portrayals that go beyond the cliché of learning disability was wonderful. It made such a refreshing change to have proper, complex motives and choices attributed to people who are so often lumped together as ‘different’ and unable to rationalise the decisions they’ve made.

The story itself was absorbing, and it’s easy to see how the series could unfold. It was one of those books you read more slowly at the end than at the beginning, because although you really want to know what happens, you also don’t want it to end.  Can’t wait for the next one.
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Ann Cleeves is one of my favourite authors for the last couple of years I have been devouring the Shetland and Vera books.  Although I was sad to say goodbye to Vera and Jimmy Perez I was looking forward to the new series.  We are introduced to Matthew Venn and his partner and a whole new team in Devon.  The story was a bit slow to start but gradually built up to the twist which I didn't see coming.  It was a cracking read that I finished in a couple of days.  I loved the way that the special needs characters were drawn and woven into the story.  Matthew as a character was a bit of a Mary-Sue, a bit boring and perfect with his perfect boyfriend.  I was drawn more to DS Jen who seemed to be more of an Ann Cleeves main protagonist than Matthew.  I would really love to read a series about Jen and discover more about her.  Overall, this was  a great thriller as always from a brilliant author.
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The Long Call is an introduction to a new detective, DI Matthew Venn, in North Devon, where he lives with his husband Jonathan.  Matthew is a different type of person to Ann’s two most popular characters, Vera and Perez. He is a more sensitive man, unsure/unbelieving of his own worth in his home life, but very focused on his work, not speaking unless he has something to say, coming across as almost shy - which his colleagues find a bit disconcerting. His background is unusual too, in that he was outcast from his family and their strict religious sect when he lost his faith. He is still coping with the death of his father. 

The body of a homeless alcoholic is found on the beach, near to Matthews home. His investigation takes him to different areas of the community,  but mainly towards the Woodward Community Centre, managed by Jonathan.  

Jen, Matthews sergeant, is a single mum, having left an abusive relationship behind. She loves her work but feels guilty about the amount of time she misses with her two teenage children. Ross, a young detective on the squad, is very keen, impatient and very ambitious. The characters are well written,  but I couldn’t quite get to like Matthew yet.  

A well crafted book, as you would expect from this author. It made me want to keep reading, and held my interest fro m the start. I look forward to the next one in this series.
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The book is set in Devon and leads us to find out the mystery of who killed Simon and why. A man with a tortured past of his own. Is it someone settling an old grudge or has he put his nose in to some business which has caused him to be murdered. I enjoyed reading about the new detective Matthew but Vera is a forceful personality and she is still my favourite! Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me review this book.
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When an author is a favourite of yours and has written such iconic characters as Vera and Jimmy Perez, then you wonder what a new series is going to be like. It's feels fresh and different. New location, an interesting new lead with an even more interesting back story. Add characters and witnesses with disabilities who play major roles in the story, and you have a new start indeed.

Detective Matthew Venn isn't a troubled figure with a drink problem - so that was a winner from the off. He's something else. Unsure of himself in many ways and with enough self-awareness to know that he might be a leading detective but he likes to keep learning and getting to know his team. He has an inquisitive mind which is not bad thing for a detective of course, but this man's mind is very deep and I think this is going to be very interesting in future books. What really interested me was his past in a strict religious group. This seems so apt for today's world with the various beliefs and groups which now seem to hold sway. Again, I would think there is some interesting scope in this sense. A man from such a background is going to see things differently to others.

Matthew's husband works at a centre for disabled people and so we get to meet people who have Down's Syndrome and other disabilities. The characters stories overlap and intertwine and it was fascinating to see it all play out.

It's  a slow burn from finding that body on the beach but the novel pans out nicely. Devon is moody, atmospheric and omnipresent. Devon in the detail you might say. Same could be said about Jen Rafferty - I wish I could have seen her boss' face with some of the lines she came out with!

A new series from a well trusted author. Devon is calling!
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This is my second book by Ann  Cleese’s and the start of a brand new series Two Rivers featuring Detective Matthew Venn and his team, set in the beautiful county of Devon it’s a stunner of a book. The characters are so well developed very engaging and diverse, the plot is excellent and a really good police procedural that ticked all the boxes for me. Having watched both Shetland and Vera tv series both written Ann Cleeves I knew I was in for a treat with this new book and I really look forward to reading more of the series and hope the wait won’t be too long.
So a well recommended read and a big thank you to Ann for writing with both compassion and understanding whilst giving us a damn good mystery.
My thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion
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The Long call by Ann Cleeves

The first book in the Two Rivers series.  Matthew Venn, a DI in North Devon has an unidentified body on the beach.  A fatal stab wound, no ID, no witnesses.  Matthew investigates the crime with sergeant Jen, and constable Ross.  Jen’s a fiery red headed single mother, and Ross is young and impatient to make a good impression, together they complement one and other and make a good team. The search involves activities at a day centre for adult education as well as the learning disabled.

The story is well written with very good character development, and the North Devon setting is an integral part of the story.  Both Matthew and Jen have interesting pasts that I am sure will continue to be of interest in future books.
I found the story gripping and appreciated the twists and turns. 

I had not read any Ann Cleeves before reading this book.  I know she has two popular television series based on her work, “Shetland” and “Vera”.  I have watched “Shetland” and enjoyed it.  I thought this book was terrific and would easily translate into a series as well.  

Thank you to netgalley and Macmillan for a free ARC.
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I was very excited to see a new series by Ann Cleeves and thrilled to have the opportunity to recieve a copy to read and review prior to release. This new series is set in Devon with Matthew Venn as the main character. This book began to introduce us to Matthew but I feel as the series develops (as I am sure it will) we will get to know more about him. I liked him as a lead character. He is your typical troubled detective but in a quieter way. I can't imagine him having a full on rage at someone! His relationship with his partner Johnathan is also interesting and again I think there will be more to be uncovered here. The other detectives Ross and Jen both are other good members of the team. We probably find out more about Jen than Ross who apart from a bit towards the end it was harder to get a sense of. The storyline was the same as all of Ann Cleeves books full of twists and turns and overall a good solid murder mystery. Roll on the next one.
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Set in North Devon, The Long Call is the first in a new series by Ann Cleeves. The police characters are immediately believable,. Matthew Venn,  a serious, quiet man with a past in a religious sect and now married to Jonathon, Jen Rafferty, who has come to Devon from Merseyside fleeing an abusive relationship and Ross, not immediately likeable but who grows better throughout the book when we find out what is behind his somewhat weaselly actions. 

A man has been found dead. He was a volunteer at the Woodridge an all purpose community centre where Mathhew's partner works. It becomes apparent that he had befriended a young woman with Down Syndrome - was there something sinister behind this or did he have other motives? Then another woman with Down Syndrome goes missing. How does this all tie together?

I enjoyed this book very much and will look out for the next in the series. As in all her books, Cleeves' characters are interesting and easy to relate to. I particularly liked Matthew. There are some clunky bits here and there particularly in some long extended dialogue between Matthew and his husband which tells more than shows but other than this it was a really good read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC.
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My 3.5* review of 'The Long Call ' by Ann Cleeves, An ACR from Netgalley
A new series from this author set in Devon. Main character DI Mathew Venn an interesting lead. I enjoyed this book but not excited by it, at times I found it laboured. The story line is good and kept my interest until the end. I will read the next in this series, no doubt the characters will develop and grow in me.
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This is a good detective story, the start of a new series from Ann Cleeves. It's a little slow-running, but I enjoyed having the time to mull over what was going on, with no early revelations, so I was guessing whodunnit for a long time.
I liked the range of different characters, the complicated familial relationships, and the seaside setting. The only thing I wasn't so sure about was that I didn't warm to Matthew Venn's character - I understood him, but I felt so distanced from him that I found I was more interested in knowing what was going on with his DS, Jen, and seeing how things would play out for her. I expect this was character groundwork, however, and over a series readers will find themselves more attached to Venn & following his cases with interest.
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I haven't read a book by Ann Cleeves before but I have seen Vera and Shetland so I had an idea of what to expect. The book started off a bit slow for me but by about a third of the way in I was hooked. I enjoyed the rural location and the community feel of the area, where everyone knows everyone. I didn't guess perpetrator and had to find out in the big reveal! I really liked Matthew and Jonathan's relationship and hope to see more of them in the future, be that in a book or on TV!
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I was excited to explore the start of the new series by Ann Cleeves. 
This was a bit of a slow burner for me and if I wasn’t familiar with the author I’m unsure if I’d’ve stuck with it. That aside I enjoyed the second half when the pace increased somewhat. 
Already looking forward to hearing more about Venn and his team.
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The Long Call is the first book in a new series from Ann Cleeves introducing us to Detective Matthew Venn. Ann is well known for her previous novels including the Vera series and Shetland. I love the way Ann writes. Your never quite sure where she will take you with numerous dodgy characters and endless motives.  Her books are gripping and The Long Call is no exception. I took to Detective Matthew Venn immediately. He seems conscientious and dedicated. I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series.

Thanks to NetGalley for my copy.
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