Ann Cleeves introduces a new series featuring Detective Inspector Matthew Venn. In The Long Call, Matthew Venn was raised in strict Evangelical family. When he turns his back on the Brethren and he leaves his family behind as well. (The Long Call will be released on September 3 by Minotaur Books.
On the day of his father's funeral as he is standing outside the church, he still has feelings of inadequacy brought on my his memories of family life. Now married to Jonathan Church, director of Woodyard Centre, he still has moments of doubt. When receives a call telling him he still has a body has been found on the beach at Crow Point. The victim had no identification on him, but he had a tattoo of an albatross around his neck. There's also a shopping list scrawled on the back of a piece of junk mail with an address on Hope Street.
When his detectives arrive at Hope Street, they find the victim was living with two young women; one the artist-in-residence at and the other a social worker at a mental health facility attached to a church. Gaby, the artist identifies the victim as their roommate, Simon Walden. Walden appeared one day at Caroline's church, drunk and claiming to have no where to go and being the type of person she was, she took him in.
As Matthew delves deeper into Simon's life, he learns he has ties to some of the disabled women who attend programs at Woodyard including a woman named Lucie. The deeper he goes into the victim's life and death, the closer it brings him to his own past.
In The Long Call, the death of the stranger leads Matthew on a tangled trail of secrets, lies, abuse and power. An excellent beginning to a new series.
Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for a fair review.