Book Summary:

In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On 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 to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

From Ann Cleeves, bestselling author of Vera and Shetland, beloved by readers and TV viewers alike, comes a spectacular new series, told with deep compassion and searing insight.

My Thoughts:

I had a bit of a tough time sorting through my thoughts on this book.  There were things that I loved—the setting in North Devon, England and the mystery of a dead body found on the beach.  I was immediately curious about the mystery.  I pictured gloomy skies and unreliable witnesses.  It’s a police procedural with a side of family drama mixed in.  That family drama comes with the main character, detective Matthew Venn who is the lead investigator of the dead body on the beach.  The Long Call, which refers to the sound of a herring gull, begins with Matthew watching his father’s funeral from afar.  He is estranged from his family because he has strayed from their strict religious beliefs.  All the characters were both interesting and flawed.

But, the book was so slow in the beginning that I almost couldn’t stick with it.  That was sad for me because that initial slow pace really distracted me from the story. Overall, this was a very interesting British police procedural mystery that is well-written and sure to please many readers of this genre.

Thank you to Minotaur Books for the invitation to read and review this book via NetGalley.  This book is also the start of a new series by this author, The Two Rivers series introducing Detective Matthew Venn. The Long Call is available on September 3rd.

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