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The Long Call: Two Rivers #1    by Ann Cleeves order for
Long Call
by Ann Cleeves
Order:  USA  Can
Macmillan, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

The novel opens with Detective Matthew Venn lurking outside the church where his father's funeral is taking place. His mother has made it clear he is not welcome inside. Frustrated and grief-stricken, he leaves without speaking to anyone. On the way back to his office, he receives a phone call about a murder victim who was found on the beach near where he lives with his husband Jonathan. So begins a complicated plot where the detective's past and present are suddenly intertwined.

Matthew grew up in North Devon, where the Rivers Taw and Torridge converge and flow into the sea. He was raised in a strict evangelical community, the Barum Brethren, where he was once loved and encouraged to go into the ministry. But when he denounced the church he was shunned by his family and church members. Years later, Matthew has married and returns to the area as a police detective.

Simon Walden, a depressed drifter trying to get his life back together, died from a knife wound in his chest. Right away the investigation of Simon Walden's murder proves to be much too close to Matthew's current life, with links to the charity Jonathan runs and also to his past with the involvement of Dennis Salter, the head of the Brethren.

This is the first book in Ann Cleeves' new series introducing Detective Matthew Venn and his team. Cleeves works her magic in creating complex characters you'll want to visit often in upcoming books. They may have flaws, but they are also compassionate and caring. She also does a wonderful job of describing the North Devon area. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series.

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