Matthew Venn is set to become another household name along side Perez and Vera.A pleasant change to so many modern crime books, The Long Call is restrained when it comes to the body count North Devon is a long way from Midsomer I am pleased to say.I look forward with great anticipation to book 2.If you want to know what the story is about, read the description. Sunday Times best selling author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope series, Ann Cleeves returns with the first in a brand new series set in North Devon and featuring Detective Matthew Venn In this rural idyll, where two rivers meet, crime is always there waiting to rise from the water In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father s funeral takes place The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family, too Now he s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region, a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew s new home a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death Finding the killer is Venn s only focus, and his team s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there I love the other books written by Ann, and as well as the dynamic quirky characters like Perez and Vera, the location of each tale is like another character in itself I was sad that the Shetland series of books was over so delighted with a new character and location.However the main character is quite bland and doesn t have the dynamism of previous main characters The other disappointing thing was how drab the location was compared to the Shetland Isles or the North East.Parts of the story were quite boring and the final outcome was a bit unsurprising and you almost felt you d read the story before.So disappointed with this. I was delighted to discover that Ann Cleeves has started a new series Two Rivers If this first The Long Call in the series is anything to go by, it will be as wonderful as her Vera Stanhope series If they make a tv series out of it, I only hope that they won t make a mismash of it like they did the Shetland series That said, I highly recommend The Long Call to fans of Cleeves and to those who are soon to become fans I quite like Ann Cleeves novels A British detective novel with the usual twist and turns The Vera and Shetland series, as books, were entertaining But now , her latest detective incarnation is a homosexual , loads of detail about his husband , sick of it, can you stop this constant referral to a lifestyle , of a very tiny minority, although it feels like it is going to be compulsory very soon from what is touted in the media, sorry Ann I will not be buying any of this series Antony Horowitz introduced a new detective character, Daniel Hawtorne, very intriguing but not enveloped in political correctness to satisfy the LBGT brigade. I wouldn t have believed I could be bored by an Ann Cleeves thriller , but this one was it I agree with many other reviewers that Venn is irritatingly weak Did no one else apply for his job The selection committee must have been desperate to hire a man who doesn t have the leadership qualities to head up a team of volunteer book shelvers in a library And then there s a cast of one dimensional characters who read like an inclusiveness checklist Cleeves missed a few there was no consulting expert in something or other who was a Muslim woman in a wheelchair, no married couple of suspects who were both transgendered with a child born to the husband by IVF when he was still a woman And could the author and or editor really not think of any alternate descriptive phrase to person with a learning disability Even saying learning disabled person occasionally would have relieved the monotony of the same clunky phrase over and over and over I also found it difficult to swallow that Venn s family s rigidly Puritanical cult would, apparently, have placed importance on his loss of faith when they rejected him, with his out of the closet marriage to another man just a minor side issue.Although I d already figured out whodunnit early on and Agatha Christie used the same plot device better , I ploughed doggedly to the end, at which point I gave it one star for the Devon setting and tossed the book in the charity thrift store box If there are Venn novels I may try one in the hope that this Uriah Heep of detectives has had a backbone replacement In the meanwhile I ll go back to reading the Shetland series for the original Jimmy Perez, or watching the DVD series for Douglas Henshall s version of the character. Have to admit I didn t like this book as much as Shetland Series previous Cleeves books I m a huge fan but this one disappointed The characters didn t have the usual pizzazz A bit tedious at times Perhaps Vera Stanhope set the bar too high A good read, all the same. Having waited all summer , I bought this novel as I hoped it would fill the gap left by the ending of the Shetland series, but I felt that this story was, dare I say it disappointing.Yes I was entertained, I did read to the end and I wasn t bored,however it lacked that certain something that has made Ann Cleeves one of my favourite writers Inspector Venn doesn t have the charisma of a Vera ,Perez , or even a Stephen Ramsay.When the story ended I wasn t left hoping there was , I didn t feel sad at leaving the scene because I had been so involved in the plot This story does not have that depth of scene and character that many of the writer s other novels have Compare this book to Raven Black or even A lesson in dying I do read books several timeswell you wouldn t buy a piece of music and only listen to it once but I don t think that I will be returning soon to this one.Will I buy Ann Cleeves s next novel about Matthew Venn Of course I will , as I hope this series will improve and develop Even having said all of this , this book is still better than most. Having got to the end of the story in my reader I did the usual flick to the end to clear the percentage to mark it as read and was a little surprised to see her first 2 series had been lumped together with her standalones but this already listed as one of a new era.So is this a review of a single book or the prospect of many with a new set of characters I have read the two lowest reviews to date and saw the phrase that the book falls into the modern day trap of trying to be inclusive and diverse, so that a normal, ordinary person cannot identify with the main character and in the other DI Venn is the dullest hero you could imagine, compare him to Jimmy Perez Not sure we read the same book Hence my question about what gets reviewed.Ignoring who wrote it and what is expected of her in the future this hangs together reasonably well The domestic abuse is so far out on the periphery that its revelation as a major factor came a bit too late for me to be addressed properly So chipped a bit off a fifth star As an Ann Cleeves standalone which it is until the next I think it compares favourably with both The Sleeping and the Dead and Burial of Ghosts I was surprised that Porteous in the former never made a second book and The problem of reading this against the background of Vera and Shetland is simply numbers About 8 books each and both made into television series with very few of the book characters surviving the transfer So no comparison unless with book 1 of each is reasonable, surely.DI Venn is still an undeveloped character so it is too much to look at Perez and use that as a criticism outside of the actual story being told But if I do, I remember the book Perez lacking confidence at times, being diffident and certainly not being Douglas Henshall Part way into this book I thought Venn had too many characteristics of book Perez and even Palmer Jones in perceived mental weakness and for a long period in the book that she was re inventing Stephen Ramsay for steady hand on the tiller.The Jen Rafferty character seems to be another strong female personality and Cleeves has used these in the past in Mollie Palmer Jones and Willow Reeves to dominate stories Not a Vera but another female with a history albeit with a husband as a villain and not a neglectful father.I give it 4 for the story, nothing for not being Jimmy Perez et al and nothing for not being a television series, yet.