Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Book Review: The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

I have long wanted to read Ann Cleaves, as she's a maven of the contemporary British mystery, but I hate starting a long series in the middle, and I didn't know which of her two ongoing series I should try first. Then, everything changed. Those series are done and this new one has begun, so it was easy to jump right in.

After a difficult childhood and youth, Matthew's life is finally on track. He's married to a lovely man, promoted to head detective, and living in a beautiful house by the sea. It's in his old hometown, where many of the people in the cult he was raised in still live and shun him, but other than that, it's idyllic. A body turns up at the beach, and during the investigation, his entire life is upended. He has to interact with those people from his past again, including his mother, his husband is falling under some suspicion, and his dedication to his work is called into question. How can a single murder ruin everything so quickly? And can Matthew solve the case and get his life back?

This mystery reads like a long-ago classic while being completely contemporary at the same time (accomplishing that by setting it in the middle of nowhere where it feels like time has stood still, even though it certainly has not.) Ms. Cleeves is certainly a master of the genre, keeping me guessing along the twists and turns of the case, while never making me feel left in the dust or like important clues were being withheld. The ending came naturally and satisfactorily, and I really look forward to the next book in this Two Rivers series.

This book is published by Minotaur, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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