Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Long Call - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Long Call (Two Rivers #1) by Ann Cleeves

Rating: Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description:  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.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been wanting to read something by Ann Cleeves since we first started watching Shetland ages ago.

My Impression:  This was my first real introduction to Ann Cleeves and I must say it was a very nice one.  I liked Matthew as the main character/investigator.  He's a bit prim and formal and he's got a rather complicated backstory.  He's considerate and not a walking broken ego like so many main characters in procedurals.  He's very much a rule follower which I liked and I found that he really considered recusing himself when he discovered a witness and victim had a connection to the care facility his husband runs.   It was nice to see someone concerned about conflict of interest and something I feel like I don't see very often even when the conflict of interest is incredibly obvious.  I also liked Jen's more brash personality.  She's a touch wild but that doesn't keep her from being a loving mother or a very good detective.  I found both of these characters nicely complex and a bit unique in my reading experience.

The mystery was a good one.  Why would someone who appears to know no one wind up murdered.  What secrets are hiding in his empty present or broken past?  And getting the POV shift between Matthew, Jen, and Maurice kept the pacing fresh without feeling rushed.  That being said this isn't a thriller type mystery that you fly through with and disappear into for chapters at a time.  Things come together and the world of North Devon come together deliberately and thoroughly.  However, I didn't feel like this was a slow read or over detailed.  I really enjoyed Cleeves style of mystery that is gritty without being gruesome and serious without being angsty.  I'm looking forward to diving into the backlist and getting to know her other characters.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Definitely!  I'm glad that she has other series and am really looking forward to reading those as well.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy mysteries this is a great series AND this is the first in the new series so you can dive in right here!

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I'm looking forward to this one very much. I love how Ann Cleeves tells a story. I've read all the Vera books, but have yet to read the Shetland series.

  2. I'm wanting this book, I enjoyed the first two in the Shetland series. She's a marvelous writer. Nice review!

  3. The Shetland connection has me interested as well. Jen and Matthew sound like a pretty good combo!

  4. I am not a big mystery reader as you know but reading through the book blurb and your review I think this is one I'd like, so will put it on my list of possibles.

  5. A great review, Katherine - I really enjoy Anne Cleves' writing and was delighted to see a new series. Your article has inspired me to get hold of this one:).

  6. I loved this book, too. I agree about the conflict of interest issues, and like the way Matthew handled things.

    Thanks for sharing your great review.

  7. I've been enjoying Cleeves' Shetland series, so I'm sure I will like this one as well. I'll get to it one of these days. Glad you enjoyed!

  8. I've heard such good things about Ann Cleeves. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Katherine!