Read of the Week

The Long Call

Ann Cleeves

Pan Macmillan

Review: Voox Sonandzi

The tight-knit town of North Devon is shocked by the grisly discovery of a body where the Taw and Torridge rivers converge.

Detective Michael Venn, watching his father’s funeral from outside the church, gets a call from the station alerting him to the incident.

The case thrusts Venn back into the strict evangelical community which ex-communicated him for coming out as gay and marrying Jonathan Church, which is also why he was unwelcome at his father’s funeral.

Finding the killer becomes Venn’s only focus. The body belongs to Simon Walden. Before his death, Walden had started befriending Lucy Braddick, a woman with Down syndrome who attended Woodyard Centre where he volunteered.

When Lucy was asked about Walden by social workers, she simply said, “I have seen him before on the bus. He tells me secrets.”

Venn and his investigating partner end up in Ilfracombe to quiz two women who shared a house with Walden.

One is Caroline, the daughter of tycoon Christopher Preece, a board member at Woodyard.

A picture starts emerging that suggests the motive for Walden’s death had something to do with the centre. This puts Venn in a difficult position because his hubby, Jonathan, managed the place and a conflict of interest arises.

Author Ann Cleeves has brilliantly launched the career of Detective Michael Venn with an absorbingly cunning mystery.