The Long Call

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Two Rivers, Bk. 1). Sept. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781250204448. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250204462. M
Cleeves’s new series stars Matthew Venn, a British detective living near the sea in North Devon with his new husband and facing emotional demons from the past as well as physical ones in the present. When a dead man is found on the beach and two women with Down syndrome are kidnapped, Matthew is convinced there is a connection between the crimes and fears that it may come too close to home. He grew up in the area as part of a strict evangelical community, the Brethren, which he abandoned, and was disenfranchised when he married. His husband is the director of a newly opened community center with links to both the leader of the Brethren and the victims. In Matthew, Cleeves gives us a flawed character rife with insecurities. The events in the book begin the process of his healing, as broken family ties appear to be mending. Matthew’s team is introduced, with tensions and backstories developed. The plotting is complex and intriguing, the location comes alive, and the resolution satisfies.
VERDICT Fans of Cleeves lamenting the end of the “Shetland” series will find much to love in her new characters and setting. [See Prepub Alert, 3/4/19.]
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