A police procedural mystery with beautiful coastal England settings and a mix of interesting characters.
The plot includes the murder of an apparently homeless man and two kidnappings of Down syndrome women. Detective Matthew Venn believes they are somehow related. All the victims have connections to his husband Jonathon’s service center, The Woodyard, which houses an artist’s colony, a counseling service, and a center for the learning disabled.
The author’s characters are varied and usually believable. But I found DI Venn a bit too insecure for a detective leading a murder investigation. His constable, Jenn Rafferty, is lively and smart. Ross, another member of Venn’s team, is young and impatient.
Cleeves’s description of North Devon brings to life the sights, smell, and sounds of the villages, countryside, and the coastline.
The story held my interest throughout. The pace is somewhat slow in the middle but interesting enough to keep me reading. It picks up toward the end.
The Long Call is the second novel I’ve read by Ann Cleeves. I’ll look for more of her books.