The Long Call by Ann Cleeves Read Online (FREE)
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
Originally published: August 27, 2019
Author: Ann Cleeves
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
I do the easy bit: the sitting-at-the-kitchen-table-telling-stories bit. The hard work of getting the book to readers is done by a magnificent team on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. So huge thanks to Pan Mac in London, especially Vicki, Charlotte, Natalie and Anna and to the reps who slog up and down the motorways building relationships with booksellers. The same goes to the Minotaur team in New York, especially to Catherine, Sarah and Martin. My agents Sara and Moses are always there to support me with advice and good humour – I’m not entirely sure when they sleep. Maura has been, as always, amazing, though I’ll probably never forgive her for leaving me! Thanks to the libraries and booksellers who keep me reading and writing. And finally, a special thanks to a reader, Jacquie White, who gave me the courage to tackle this subject.
This is a new character and a new series. Having worked with Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez for so long, I feel nervous introducing Matthew Venn to you, almost like a teenager bringing a new girlfriend or boyfriend home for the first time. I hope that you’ll like him, despite his lack of confidence and his awkwardness in company.
The Long Call takes me back to North Devon, where I spent much of my childhood. It grew out of a visit to a schoolfriend, walks round old haunts, discussions about the people we knew. I’d forgotten quite how beautiful the place is, but sometimes beauty is skin deep, and it’s that contrast which interests me most. As with Shetland and Northumberland, there’s so much to reveal about the area and the people who live there.
Creating a new character and a new setting is always challenging and I hope that you will come to love Matthew and North Devon as much I have enjoyed creating them.
Thanks and all best wishes,
THE DAY THEY FOUND THE BODY on the shore, Matthew Venn was already haunted by thoughts of death and dying. He stood outside the North Devon Crematorium on the outskirts of Barnstaple, a bed of purple crocus spread like a pool at his feet, and he watched from a distance as the hearse carried his father to the chapel of rest. When the small group of mourners went inside, he moved closer. Nobody questioned his right to be there. He looked like a respectable man, a wearer of suits and sober ties, prematurely grey-haired and staid. Not a risktaker or a rule-breaker. Matthew thought he could have been the celebrant, arriving a little late for the service. Or a diffident mourner, sheepish and apologetic, with his soft skin and sad eyes. A stranger seeing him for the first time would expect sympathy and comfortable words. In reality, Matthew was angry, but he’d learned long ago how to hide his emotions.