Cover Image: The Long Call

The Long Call

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Member Reviews

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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Well written as expected from this author with an interesting start and follow on to the plot. This is obviously an introduction to new characters who will develop further over time. I did not warm to Matthew and found him unconvincing as a gay man. however his husband Jonathan was more believable and I found DS Jen Rafferty most interesting. Let's have more from her.
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An enjoyable first book of a new series by the author but whether I will read the second, I'm not sure. It didn't really grip me as much as the author's Shetland and Vera Stanhope series..
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I understand that this is a new series for Ann Cleeves and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I thought the police officers were very clever believable characters.Detective Matthew Venn was a very serious, studious thoughtful man who was married to Jonathan who runs the Woodyard. Throughout the murder investigation Woodyard plays a part in the storyline.  Matthew’s future and his past all play a part in the storyline.
It was a very clever storyline and I enjoyed reading this and look forward to reading any more in books involving the same main characters.
With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC.
Highly recommended.
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The Long Call is the first in a new series, Two Rivers, from Ann Cleeves, author of Vera and Shetland. What a great read! We are transported to North Devon where we are totally engrossed in solving the mystery.  The main character is Detective Matthew Venn, who lives with his husband Jonathan who runs the community centre that happens to be at the hub of the story. There is a sympathetic and realistic description of some central characters with learning disabilities that does not fall into the portrayal of stereotypes that we would expect. 
This would make a fantastic new series for TV.  We were kept in suspense until the very end of the book when the pace hots up and we finally find out who had committed the crime. An excellent read and I cannot wait for the next.
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A new series from one of my favourite authors, Ann Cleeves. Set in North Devon we are introduced to DI Matthew Venn when a body is discovered on the beach.
I have read all of Ann Cleeves books and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read this one.
I have to be honest and say this one didn't grab me, I didn't warm to the main character Matthew Venn, he felt very two dimensional. I was far more intrigued by DS Jen Rafferty and for me she is the character that held the book together. As always the writing was first class as was the description of place and the pacing was excellent. 
I enjoyed it enough to want to read the next one and am hoping that a few books down the line I will be enjoying it as much as her Vera and Shetland series which were always going to be hard acts to follow.
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A brand new series from Ann Cleeves featuring Detective Inspector Matthew Venn and set in North Devon.  As with all Ann Cleeves stories you are guaranteed an interesting plot and lots of twists.
The main character in this new series I found to be lacking personality and too intense.  He wasn't a character I could warm to.  His sergeant was a more interesting character than he was.  
The story was a quick, light read but lacked punch.
Overall I found this rather bland, inferior to both the Vera and the Shetland series.
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While a new Ann Cleeves is always cause for celebration, I approached The Long Call with some hesitations. As a long-time fan of her brilliant Shetland-set Jimmy Perez series, which ended last year, I wondered if anything could measure up to the brilliance of those books. And honestly, on the evidence of this book, it doesn't yet, but I think that's more to do with me as a reader needing time to get to know the new characters and settings. Moving from the northerly settings of her previous books, this book follows detective Matthew Venn in North Devon (meaning bleak and windswept coastal vistas are still central despite the move south). The pacing is excellent and, as with all Cleeves books, the minor characters are an absolute treat: one of her strengths is giving you such well-rounded background characters that you feel personally betrayed when one of them is revealed as a murderer. That being said, I didn't warm to the main police characters as quickly as I expected and Matthew, especially, left me feeling a bit cold. However, while this new series has yet to live up to the Perez series (or the much-loved Vera Stanhope books), I have a feeling I'll be just as dedicated to Venn and his team a few books down the line.
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The first in what promises to be an excellent new series from Ann Cleeves.  As soon as I started reading it was clear that this was from an experienced author, the characters were immediately engaging, drawn in a few perfectly chosen sentences.  DI Matthew Venn, who lives with his husband Jonathan in Devon (the place, as always with Ann Cleeves, is as perfectly drawn and important as the plot and characters); DS Jenn Rafferty, a single parent of teenagers, drawn to Devon to escape an abusive relationship and the less likeable DC Ross May.  I already want to know more about these people and their lives.
The novel opens with a body on the beach, and there are links with the day centre for adults with learning difficulties which is run by Jonathan.  To be perfectly honest I wasn't wholly convinced by the denouement, but am still giving this 5 stars as it's a great read and I will follow the series eagerly.
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I couldn't resist requesting an ARC of an Ann Cleves book, considering how much I love both Vera and Shetland series. I'm excited that this will be another series and I'm already invested in the background and the characters in this series.
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Its is so lovely to be beginning a journey into a world built by Ms Cleeves again! I have been enjoying the authors work for many years and was not disappointed in this book at all. The same concise understated writing, the same intricate plotting and well built characters. I am genuinely interested to understand more about Matthew - and I look forward to this character being developed over the rest of this series. The setting - in Devon - feels very different to either Northumberland or the far north of Scotland, but the book carries the same sense of place as the Hebrides and Vera Stanhope books. Forgotten communities , the sea and of course birding.
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