The Heron's Cry is the second novel in the No.1 Sunday Times bestselling series featuring detective Matthew Venn, from the creator of Vera and Shetland, Ann Cleeves.
North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coastline. Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists. What he finds is an elaborately staged murder - Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed with a shard of one of his glassblower daughter's broken vases.
Dr Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim. He's a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter. Matthew is unnerved though to find that she is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.
Then another body is found - killed in a similar way. Matthew finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home...
The Long Call and The Heron's Cry are part of Ann Cleeves' Two Rivers series and have been recently commissioned for ITV.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Ann Cleeves has quietly become one of the UK’s crime doyennes, crafting engrossing mysteries in her unobtrusively classy, crisp prose. The veteran author of the Vera and Shetland franchises now returns with the second novel in her North Devon series, starring DI Matthew Venn. He’s a subtly compelling creation: sorrowful and socially uptight, thanks to his strict religious upbringing, but a patient and perceptive detective. Rather than a showy maverick full of gratuitous quirks, like too many fictional detectives, Venn is a more nuanced hero. This satisfyingly chewy police procedural finds him investigating a pair of elaborately staged stabbings during a tourist-heavy heatwave. “Double murder on Sunshine Coast”, as the newspaper headlines put it. The case is a beguiling slow-burner which creeps up and captures you, before blindsiding you with a twist you won’t see coming. Venn’s sidekicks, cocky Ross and impulsive Jen, play almost as pivotal a role as the sleuth himself. A haunting tale of family secrets and festering lies, set within a beautifully evoked coastal landscape.
In Agatha Award winner Cleeves's well-crafted sequel to 2019's The Long Call, Det. Matthew Venn investigates the murder of retired physician Nigel Yeo, who was found by his glassblower daughter, Eve Yeo, in her Devon, England, studio with a shard from one of her handmade vases in his neck. As director of a patient advocacy group, Nigel was probing the death of a paranoid patient who killed himself after being released from a psychiatric hospital. The CEO of the health trust in charge of the hospital, who met with Nigel the morning before the murder, can't afford to have his reputation sullied by blame for the suicide. But when a second victim is found murdered by glass from one of Eve's vases, Matthew reconsiders her involvement. Conflict erupts at home, as Eve's a friend of Matthew's husband, Jonathan, who thinks Matthew's suspicion of Eve is misguided. Jonathan also dislikes Matthew drawing rigid lines between his personal and professional life. Though Matthew's inflexible personality mutes the narrative at times, the intricate plotting, complex characters, and rich atmosphere more than compensate. Both new and existing fans will be pleased.