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The Long Call by Ann Cleeves Review

Title: The Long Call

Author: Ann Cleeves

First published September 3, 2019

376 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9781250204448 (ISBN10: 1250204445)

Rating: 3.96


Ann Cleeves, the bestselling author of the Vera and Shetland series, delivers another gripping novel in her latest release, The Long Call. Detective Matthew Venn, once a beloved member of a strict evangelical community, returns to North Devon to investigate a murder case.

As he stands outside the church during his father’s funeral, he receives a call from his team reporting a body found on the nearby beach. The victim, a man with an albatross tattoo, has been brutally stabbed to death.

The case leads Matthew back to the community he left behind, forcing him to confront his past and confront deadly secrets. With her trademark compassion and insight, Cleeves delivers a captivating novel that will thrill both new readers and fans of her previous works.

About the Author

Ann Cleeves is a successful author, known for her books that have inspired popular television shows like ITV’s VERA and the BBC’s SHETLAND. Her series of crime novels featuring DI Vera Stanhope is set in Northumberland and follows the detective and her partner Joe Ashworth as they solve cases.

Her Shetland series features DI Jimmy Perez and takes place in the mysterious and beautiful Shetland Islands.

Ann grew up in Herefordshire and North Devon, where her father was a village school teacher. After leaving university, she took on various temporary jobs, including child care officer, women’s refuge leader, bird observatory cook, and auxiliary coastguard, before returning to college to become a probation officer.

Ann met her husband Tim while cooking at the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle, where he was a visiting ornithologist. They got married and moved to Hilbre, a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary, where Tim was appointed as warden.

Ann started writing there, as there was not much else to do on the island. Her first series of crime novels features the elderly naturalist, George Palmer-Jones.

In 1987, Ann and her family moved to Northumberland, which has been the inspiration for many of her subsequent novels. Ann was made reader-in-residence for three library authorities during the National Year of Reading and set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project.

She was also the first reader-in-residence for the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Ann’s short film for Border TV, Catching Birds, won a Royal Television Society Award. She has been shortlisted twice for a CWA Dagger Award and won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award in 2006 for Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet.

The Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award is the world’s largest award for crime fiction, and Ann was the first winner.

Ann’s books have been translated into sixteen languages and are bestsellers in Scandinavia and Germany. Her novels sell widely and receive critical acclaim in the United States.

Editoral Review

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves is a suspenseful mystery novel that will keep the reader captured until the very end. Cleeves is a renowned author of crime fiction series and has received many awards for her works.

The Long Call follows Detective Matthew Venn, who has recently left his extremist Christian family and is trying to navigate his new life. He is tasked with investigating the murder of a man on the beach in Devon, which leads him to a sinister web of secrets that threaten to tear apart a close-knit community.

Cleeves’ writing is masterful, and she manages to keep the reader engaged throughout the novel. Her vivid descriptions of the small fishing village of North Devon create an atmospheric and chilling setting, which adds to the overall mood of the novel.

The characters in The Long Call are incredibly compelling, and Cleeves does an excellent job of developing them throughout the novel. Detective Matthew Venn is a complex and flawed character who is easy to root for, and his relationships with the other characters in the novel are captivating.

The Long Call deals with themes of family, identity, and the lengths people will go to protect their secrets. The novel is not only a gripping thriller but also a commentary on contemporary society and the issues that people face today.

Overall, The Long Call is an outstanding mystery novel that is difficult to put down. Cleeves’ storytelling is masterful, and the suspenseful plot is sure to keep the reader engaged until the very end.

The Long Call is highly recommended for fans of crime fiction and anyone looking for a captivating read.