The Heron’s Cry

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Two Rivers, Bk. 2). Sept. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781250204479. $27.99. M
Devon police detective Matthew Venn and his team are called to an artists’ compound where Dr. Nigel Yeo has been found in his daughter’s glassblowing studio, having been stabbed to death with a piece of her glass. Sergeant Jen Rafferty now regrets that she had too much to drink at a party the night before and missed the chance to talk to Dr. Yeo; he had wanted to discuss a suicide he was investigating for his mental health services watchdog group. When another artist is killed, again stabbed with a shard of glass, the police’s focus turns to the artists’ commune and the glassblower Eve Yeo. Matthew’s husband Jonathan is a friend of Eve’s and is protective of her, and Matthew becomes upset with Jonathan’s interference in his case. Manipulation and murder only increase the pain for the involved families and the local community. The unsettling investigation finds Matthew’s team examining their own family relationships as they unravel a story of suicide and depression and the inadequacy of a rural English town’s mental health services.
VERDICT Matthew Venn, introduced in The Long Call, is the primary detective in this installment, but Cleeves uses multiple voices, including those of Matthew’s team members, to show the personal effects of this troubling case. Fans of Cleeves’s “Vera Stanhope” and “Shetland” mysteries will be eager for her latest novel, where a police team struggles to cope with professional and personal lives.
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