The Long Call

The Long Call

eBook - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2019
Edition: First U.S. Edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250204462
Characteristics: 1 online resource (374 pages) : map

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 29, 2020

Really enjoyable start to a new series by one of my favourite mystery authors.

Oct 14, 2020

Although I've been a big fan of Vera and Shetland on PBS, I've never read Cleeves before. I thought this book, her first with a new character, would be a good place to start. First, this book is very British with some words and phrases that may confuse American readers, but I personally love the British sayings. Matthew Venn comes across as a somewhat subdued character, withdrawn and a little unsure of himself in social settings, but also determined to get to the bottom of whatever crime he is tasked with solving. He has an interesting pair of sidekicks in Jenn and Ross. This book started off a little on the slow side, but then started to steamroll about 2/3 of the way through. Not sure what to think of Matthew Venn, but Cleeves wove a good mystery. A good read.

Aug 16, 2020

This was the first book by Ann Cleeves I have read. We do not call individuals with Down Syndrome learning disabled in this country. She included three women with Down Syndrome in the story. Each is an individual and each is very different from each other in terms of social skills and behavior. Many characters were not very well drawn. Who dun it is a surprise but by the end its not very important compared to the the priest who molests the young woman. Kind of a different sort of story. Would like to read more of her work to see if this one is typical or not.

Jun 03, 2020

Although Anne Cleeves continues to engage the reader as well as she has done in her other series and books I am disappointed in this new character and the introduction of an awkward lead character and what must be her new series. I am tired of the politically correct of this world cramming the “gay” agenda down our throats. I found Ms Cleeves frequent references to “my husband,” or “his husband” awkward and often unnecessary. A character in a similar story, in a heterosexual relationship probably would not be referred to as “my wife,” or “your wife,” but rather by their first name. I am a huge fan of Jimmy Perez and Vera, and enjoy Vera on public broadcasting here in B.C. I could read much, much more with both Perez and Stanhope in story lines.

May 14, 2020

The beginning of a new series for Ann Cleeves. Atmospheric descriptions of the area and lovely tricky characters. Worth a read.

May 08, 2020

I'm a long-time viewer and fan of the Vera and Shetland tv shows. The Long Call is the first Ann Cleaves book that I've read and liked it a lot. The characters are developed and the story is down-to-earth. I look forward to reading the next book in the Two Rivers series.

Apr 19, 2020

Recommended in the Times

sapl3 Apr 08, 2020


Saying good-bye to Cleeves’ great character, Jimmy Perez, in Wild Fire, the last book in that series, was difficult so I welcomed the thought that there was a new detective in town with this first book in the Two Rivers series. My excitement was short-lived as I began reading, puzzled at the underdeveloped, wooden characters and a plot that consisted of threads of a story that just didn’t tie together. I felt like I was reading an outline, or at best, a first draft.

Detective Matthew Venn returns to North Devon to attend the funeral of his father. His falling-out with his family is referenced but no substance is given to this estrangement. When a body is found on the beach, and it’s determined to be a murder, Venn is called in to take the case.

Peopled with some of the most distasteful characters that I’ve come across in a long time, the motivation and actions of some of them just doesn’t ring true. Many of the story lines and characters needed extensive fleshing-out in order to come together to create a credibly good mystery. Too bad this wasn’t done before the book went to publication.

Joanne gives The Long Call 2 daggers out of 5!

Mar 14, 2020

I really hesitated to read this. I don't usually care for heterosexuals trying to write about homosexuals. The characters rarely ring true. I'm glad I did finally start this new series because I really like the characters--not just Venn and his husband but the good cop and the slime-ball cop who work for him. The plot was twisty and the clues hard to decipher, so as with the Vera books you have to pay attention. Because Cleeves treated Venn and Johnathon as real people, their relationship and their interactions have the ring of truth.

Mar 05, 2020

I love Anne Cleeves' Vera and Shetland series, both in books and films. This mystery introduces a new character. Matthew Venn, like Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez, is a wounded person. Whether it is the death of a parent, the loss of a partner, or the rejection of a family, each has suffered punishing blows that do not defeat them, but still color their lives and / or make them more acute assessors of other humans or cause them to doubt themselves. Each has a a kind heart. This new mystery is complex and twisting. There are many suspects. I had not put all the connections together until the end - a fact that I appreciate. I look forward to learning more about Matthew Venn and his husband. Highly recommend all three series. Kristi & Abby Tabby

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at SCCLD

To Top