You could say we have enough detectives to be reading about and there is no need for a new one. How wrong you can be as Ann Cleeves introduces us to Matthew Venn in this the first of a new series.
We have moved South and West from Vera and Jimmy Perez stomping ground, to North Devon with Matthew Venn, his Sergeant single mum Jen Rafferty who has escaped a violent marriage and golden boy Ross seems to have got himself caught in a trap of currying favour with a more senior policeman.
Of course we learn all of this as we go through the book. One might say it is conjecture a mere filling in of pages but actually the characters of these detectives show you how the case can be brought to a close.
A man is found dead on a beach.
The beach is near where Matthew lives with his husband, Jonstahon.
Turns out the man went to the Woodyard Centre where Jonathan is manager.
Then an attendee of the centre goes missing.
Can they all be linked together or is it just a coincidence that everything seems to come back to the Woodyard and the deaths and abductions are just a byproduct.
What is exactly going on?
If you have never read a detective story before (why not?) this would be an ideal place to start. The plot and the pace of the novel show you how it all works, the reasons behind the actions of the criminals but the detectives as well. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, this book shows you how it works when it goes right and obviously wrong.
You are absorbed in the place, the descriptions are so easy to visualise and you can feel yourself there amongst everyone. The choice of relationship for the main detective to have and the introduction of Down Syndrome characters brings another layer to this book. If you think you were getting the stereotypical characters and plot be prepared for something else.
A great start to a series of books which I hope will keep us all entertained and enthralled for many years to come.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The Long Call is out now.