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The Long Call

(Two Rivers #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  17,269 ratings  ·  2,715 reviews
For the first time in 20 years, Ann Cleeves --international bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows-- embarks on a gripping new series.
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
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Minotaur Books
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Heather Yep, I agree. Almost gave up on the book because of the narrator. I did slow him down. I usually listen to books at double the normal speed, but for t…moreYep, I agree. Almost gave up on the book because of the narrator. I did slow him down. I usually listen to books at double the normal speed, but for this one, I couldn't understand him. I did finally settle into his speech. If it was written in first person, and this was a representation of the main character, maybe I would get it, but that isn't the case. You get viewpoints from a few different characters, so that doesn't seem to be an argument for me. I eventually enjoyed the book, but I agree with everyone about the narrator.
Tara Simon found out that some of the board members of the Woodyard were covering up a sexual assault committed at the day center. They killed him to keep …moreSimon found out that some of the board members of the Woodyard were covering up a sexual assault committed at the day center. They killed him to keep him from going public.(less)

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Five blazing, fantastic stars to the one of the best crime thrillers of this year! Clap! Clap! Clap!

You know the long call is the most complex vocalization of GULL’s repertoire can be heard year-round in mostly served as aggressive signals! So the GULLS SCREAMING, metaphoric WAKE UP CALL because this heart-wrenching, dark, twisty, nerve-bending story taken place at North Devon, people liked to act like THREE WISDOM MONKEYS!

They see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil because their reputatio
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of character-driven mysteries
Recommended to Paula by: Publisher
What a pleasure it is to read such a well written character-driven mystery!

British author, Ann Cleeves, has brought to life a very fine new character in Senior Detective Matthew Venn. He is not your typical drunken, wise ass detective. Instead, Cleeves has given us a compassionate and introspective mind. Matthew is a senior investigator who is unsure of himself when leading his evening briefings with his team, unbeknownst to them, which is very endearing. Also to my liking is the way Matthew’s m
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Police procedural fans
Shelves: netgalley, uk-crime
4 stars for a well done police procedural.
I have read 1 other book by Ann Cleeves, "The Crow Trap" which is book 1 in the Vera Stanhope series. I gave that book 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because it moved very slowly at times. This book moved along well and held my interest. The characters were believable and I was not sure who did what until towards the end, The DI(Detective Inspector) in charge of a murder investigation is Matthew Venn. He is a gay man married to Jonathan, head of The Woodyard,
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The veteran crime writer Anne Cleeves begins a new series set in North Devon, between the 2 rivers, Taw and Torridge, where DI Matthew Venn, a gay man is his 40s married to his husband, Jonathan, is about to lead his first big murder inquiry when the dead body of a man is discovered on the sands, the victim has a tattoo of a albatross on his neck and has been stabbed. Venn is a local boy who grew up with his parents, part of a strict evangelical church, known as the Barum Brethren. His family an ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, netgalley, crime
The new series opener from the prolific crime writer Ann Cleeves establishes the foundation for another enthralling series, that I'm sure will receive many justified accolades. The Long Call builds wonderful depth to a location, a community, multiple complex characters and a plot with enterprising threads that continuously surprise.

DI Matthew Venn is the main character and will lead the investigation of a man found murdered on the beach at Crow Point. The area is situated where the ri
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ann Cleeves has started a new series with The Long Call. The book, named for the cry of a herring gull, “The cry which always sounded to him like an inarticulate howl of pain.”

Cleeves has developed a great set of characters here. Our main character, Matthew is a DI in Barnstaple. He’s smart, a complex thinker, a loving and loved man in a healthy relationship. The story starts with Matthew watching from afar the funeral of his father. He’s left the evangelical church he grew up in. It soon becom
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
After I watched the British version of Broadchurch, and read the book, I have been interested in watching the series, Shetland, written by Ann Cleeves. I haven't gotten around to it yet but I did just read her book The Long Call, the first of two books that deal with the career and homelife of  Detective Matthew Venn. Venn is an angry, troubled, sad man, having been brought up in a very strict religious community.  In his late teens, when he stood up in church and stated he didn't believe what h ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
The Long Call is darkly evocative and smartly written.

My first Ann Cleeves did not disappoint. I am already anticipating the next installment to this all new, Two Rivers, series and it hasn't even been announced yet.

You know that's a good sign and seriously, though, when is the next book coming?

I was so pleasantly surprised with this. By far the best traditional Mystery I read in 2019.

It is obvious from the first pages that Cleeves is a veteran Mystery writer.

Following Detective Matthew Venn an
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Christine by: Invite from St. Martin’s Press thru NG
I have been wanting to try Ann Cleeves for several years now. When I saw she was starting a new series and I had a chance to get an advanced review copy, I decided it was time to pull the trigger (AKA click the green button) and finally dive into her works. After reading The Long Call, I now have my eyes on the first books of her Vera Stanhope and Shetland series.

The Long Call is a one of those murder mysteries that clicks all the boxes for me. The characters have depth and are likeable (though
Diane S ☔
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
A new series from Sleeves takes us to North Devon, and introduces us to police detective Matthew Venn. Venn, an ex member of the religious sect the Brethren has been booted out for non belief. He and his husband Jonathan live on the shore, where a body of a young man will be discovered.

An interesting case that unravels many different threads, uncovering multiple layers that will drag others into its net. Really, Cleve has the enviable knack of conjuring atmospheric reads and characters with fas
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Long Call is the first in a new series by Ann Cleeves and it is also the first book I have read by her.

On the day of his father's funeral, Detective Matthew Venn receives a phone call informing him of a dead body on the beach. A man has been stabbed to death. Who is this man? Why was he killed? Who is responsible?

Running alongside this investigation is the story of an elderly man who is living with his daughter with downs syndrome. He is being urged to give her more independence and make ot
The body lay lifeless and unattended on the shore except for the distant, mournful cry of the herring gull. The irony of the albatross tattoo on the dead man's neck gave the message of an unknown burden.....too much to bear.

DI Matthew Venn had been secreted behind the tall bushes near the church. It was to be his father's funeral for the invited. Matthew had been disowned by his family for his lifestyle and his marriage to Jonathan. But there was to be no closure for Matthew on that day or for a
My first Ann Cleeves and first in her new Two Rivers detective series.

North Devon - A dead body is found and Inspector Matthew Venn and his two detectives are on the case; one who tries his patience daily and the other the best he's ever worked with.

The murder mystery is a good one, multi-layered with quite the cast of diverse characters, but none of them really stood out to steal the show or retain my interest enough to continue on with the series.

A bit slow-moving (for me) UNTIL the last qu

The long call is a term used to describe the cry of the herring gull although to main character DI Matthew Venn, it always sounds more like someone howling in pain. This observation gives you immediate insight into Venn, a smart & tightly wound copper in North Devon.

There are a few things you need to know about Venn as they inform his character & how he conducts himself. His mother & father belonged to a strict evangelical community & he did too until the day he no longer believed in God. And it
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Great start to this new police/detective series! I enjoyed the diverse characters and the tactful treatment of an extremely delicate subject matter.

Our main detective, Matthew showed strong morals and deep compassion for all the victims he encountered, especially those with diminished mental capacities. The plot unfolded at a non-hurried pace but was still fast enough to keep me interested. I felt if the conclusion were more concise, it would have been a five star read for me.

I recommend this
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
North Devon, England, a place of astounding natural beauty is the setting for Anne Cleeves’s new novel. En route to a call from one of his team members, Detective Inspector Matthew Venn hears the cry of the herring gull, known to naturalists as “the long call;” he thinks it sounds like a pain-filled cry. On the rugged and beautiful coastline, a body is found, marking it as a place of a man’s final pain. So begins a murder investigation and my introduction to a cast of characters that intrigued m ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: It had been a weird day at the Woodyard. Jonathan had come to find her in her studio with a tale of one of the day centre clients having gone missing. Although he was the boss, he called in sometimes, not to talk about work, but to drink coffee and look at her art.

'Christine Shapland. Gentle soul. Down's. Very quiet. A bit shy. She just seemed to disappear.'

'Sorry. I haven't seen her since last week.' Gaby thought Jonathan had come to the studio to escape the panic in the rest of the b
May 11, 2021 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

Ann Cleeves is well known for her popular Shetland Island mystery series, featuring Detective Jimmy Perez and her Detective Vera Stanhope mystery series, set in northern England.

This book starts a new series for Cleeves, set in North Devon, and featuring police investigator Matthew Venn.


Detective Inspector Matthew Venn of the North Devon police grew up in a family that belonged to a small, strict religious sect called the Barum Brethren.

Matthew rejected the order's beliefs when h
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book is a great read! One thing I love about reading a foreign book is the foreign terms that I don't hear everyday like breakfast TV for morning news and pissed for drunk. The story is slow paced for me with so many people to investigate. The characters' lives aren't that exciting to me, except Maurice and his daughter. I like his love, care, and worry for her and even though she's grown he still views her as his little girl and feels joy when she smiles. I also like Gaby. The terminology ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
2.5 moved too slow for me stars.

I have once again bucked the tide of wonderful reviews for this book and found that it was just too slow moving for me. I do appreciate the time and effort this author put into the story of a small town and a man who was murdered and her descriptions of the various characters, but for me there was not enough zest to the story to keep me totally involved.

So, sad to say I will not be continuing this new series, but I do encourage everyone to take a look at the oth
Katie B
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an impressive start to the new mystery series by Ann Cleeves. There's a good group of core characters for her to work with so I'm excited to see where the series is going to go in future books.

Years ago Detective Matthew Venn left the church he grew up in, which also meant losing his family as well. He is now in charge of a murder investigation that is hitting close to home. His past and his present seem to be on a collision course which might make solving this crime more difficult tha
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, lgbtq
A funeral. A murder. Missing vulnerable adults. Secrets and lies. The Long Call , a new novel, which marks the start of a new series by the UK’s Ann Cleeves, features Detective Inspector Matthew Venn and Detective Sergeant Jen Rafferty, two very different personalities.

It is Matthew whom we see in the opening scenes hovering at the fringes at his father’s funeral. He was raised in a conservative fundamentalist religious sect, the Brethren. Now he is an outcast, not only because he has reject
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set in North Devon, England, a place where two rivers converge to meet the sea, The Long Call is a brand new detective series from author Ann Cleeves that introduces us to DI Matthew Venn, a forty-something police detective who is investigating the case of a man named Simon Walden found stabbed to death on the beach, in an area close to where Matthew lives with his husband Jonathan. After breaking away from the strict evangelical community to which his estranged family still belongs, Matthew ...more
Louise Wilson
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Two Rivers #1

Detective Matthew Venn is outside the church where the funeral is taking place for his estranged father. His father was part of a strict religious community that Matthew had left a long time ago. Just as he's about to leave, he receives a phone call about a death in his area. A body has been found on the beach. Then a disabled girl goes missing.

This new series is set in Devon. We are introduced to a new set of characters who each bring different qualities. Matthew Venn is the new le
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free e-copy of The Long Call (Two Rivers Series #1) by Ann Cleeves from NetGalley for my honest review.

Detective Matthew Venn is new to his job, estranged from his family and is newly married. Matthew is standing outside of where is father's funeral is, when he receives a call. A call telling him that a body was found on a nearby beach. The victim was stabbed, has no ID and no witnesses.

Matthew, Sergeant Jen, and Constable Ross are on the case. These three make a great team. The se
Leslie Ray
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the start of a new series by Ann Cleeves set in North Devon. She introduces Inspector Matthew Venn along with DS Jen Rafferty and DC Ross May. As with all her books, the characters are developed and we come to understand and know them along with the suspects in the mystery which in this book starts with the murder of an army veteran. The suspects and those involved evolve and circle around each other until we reach the conclusion.
I enjoy the Shetland series in which the beautiful and som
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Detective Matthew Venn is the main character here, and The Long Call is a fab intro to his background and setting the stage for this promising series.

Matthew is conflicted in how he feels about his home community, but a case where a man is stabbed to death draws him right back in.

Ann Cleeves has an insightful way of layering her characters. I definitely liked Matthew and his vulnerability and want to follow more of his story. He’s also brilliant and I loved that. The Long Call is a story you can
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the first offering in Cleeves latest detective series featuring DI Matthew Venn. The Two Rivers series takes place in North Devon between the Taw and Torridge rivers. Cleeves takes her time in introducing her new characters—DCI Joe Oldham is on the verge of retirement; DS Jen Rafferty is a smart, charming single mother; DC Ross May; and Jonathon, Matthew’s husband. The area is home to The Barum Brethren, a strict religious group that plays a dominant role in the lives of many of its resi ...more
DI Matthew Venn is watching--not attending--his father's funeral when he receives the call. They've found a body on the beach of Crow Point, and it appears as if the victim has been stabbed. Crow Point is right where Matthew and his husband, Jonathan, reside. As Matthew begins digging into the case, he's pulled back into his former life--one he thought he left behind. He also finds himself in a world filled with secrets and lies; a world where some might do anything to kept those secrets buried. ...more
DI Matthew Venn was reasonably new to the police station in Barnstaple, North Devon but his first big case – that of a murdered man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck – would test him immensely. His estrangement from his family stemmed from his youth; the father he hadn’t had contact with before his death, saw Matthew watching from afar as the funeral progressed. He could see his mother, but he didn’t go to her – she wouldn’t have wanted him there.

As the investigation moved forward, Venn,
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Ann is the author of the books behind ITV's VERA, now in it's third series, and the BBC's SHETLAND, which will be aired in December 2012. Ann's DI Vera Stanhope series of books is set in Northumberland and features the well loved detective along with her partner Joe Ashworth. Ann's Shetland series bring us DI Jimmy Perez, investigating in the mysterious, dark, and beautiful Shetland Islands...


Other books in the series

Two Rivers (2 books)
  • The Heron's Cry (Two Rivers, #2)

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