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Summary

Now a major ITV series, The Long Call, adapted for television by screenwriter Kelly Jones and starring Ben Aldridge.

The number one Sunday Times best-selling series featuring Detective Matthew Venn, from author and creator of the Vera and Shetland series, 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. His daughter, Eve, is a glassblower, and the murder weapon is a shard of one of her 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 Heron's Cry is the second novel in Ann Cleeves’ Two Rivers crime series, following her Sunday Times best seller The Long Call. 

©2021 Ann Cleeves (P)2021 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

Critic reviews

"Jack Holden demonstrates his full talents in this mystery, bringing the extensive cast of characters in this small and close-knit community in Devon to life with his strong narration. This is particularly apparent as he seamlessly moves between a variety of British regional accents in many of the dialogue scenes. Holden's characterisations of both the male and female characters are strong and he creates a likeable and believable pair in the DI and his husband. His spot-on timing helps keep the story moving towards its surprising end, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable listen." (AudioFile)

"Matthew Venn is a keeper...stunning." (David Baldacci)

What listeners say about The Heron's Cry

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Always a good "read"

I'd forgotten the details of the first in the series. This novel stands alone well. Ann Cleeves is an absorbing writer and a series by her won't disappoint. The story line did seem to be over long.
The narrator is excellent. Initially I wasn't gripped by his reading but soon decided he was perfect. He wasn't unnaturally dramatic but was beautifully able to differentiate the characters and their accents.
When the next episode comes, I'll go for the Audible version.

6 people found this helpful

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Narration

When a narrator is chosen, please check their abilities on regional accents and dialects rather than the narrator’s natural speaking voice. Another abysmal attempt at “scouse”. I am not from Liverpool but far enough “up north” for that attempt to make me cringe and it certainly detracted from listening pleasure.

4 people found this helpful

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Another great story

I love this series, the characters, the interaction between the police officers, our hero and his relationship and of course an excellent story. It’s so refreshing to hear a story that isn’t all about tortured and murdered women. And what a complicated plot it was. Narration can make or break a story, but Jack Holden is up there with the best. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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Highly recommended

I was hooked right from the introduction, I liked the storyline, loved the characters and enjoyed the narration. It was unputdownable.
I hope that there will be more in the series.

2 people found this helpful

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All bones and no meat.

I have listened to just about every book that Ann Cleeves has written and have found them all quite engaging. The narrator wasn't the best, he seemed to drone on and on. I am not a from Liverpool or anywhere near it so couldn't really say how close the accent was as one reviewer had commented on, but the whole book fell far below usual standards of the majority of Ann Cleeves books.
The whole thing just went on and on, it was very easy to lose interest, all bones and no meat.

1 person found this helpful

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Okay

I watched the Long Call prior to reading this but wish I’d read both books first. I’m a big fan of this author though.

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Returning it, narration makes it unlistenable.

Disappointed because I had enjoyed book 1 of this series. The narration is too fast, unsympathetic to the characters and I found it unlistenable.

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Disappointed

I enjoyed the first book in this series but this one was much weaker.

Too much focus on the personal life of the officers. Too many deaths, the book would have been far better with just the first one and a better plot.

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Spoiled by narrator

This story was ok, although not spellbinding, but the narration made it far weaker than it should have been. This narrator has a curiously dreary style of delivery which was uninspiring to listen to. It’s a pity that the same narrator hasn’t been used for both books in this new crime series as, unfortunately, there’s a big contrast in quality between the two. The narrator of The Heron’s Cry manages to sound permanently bored and irritated and, in doing so, has made every character unsympathetic and unrelatable. The worst example of all was the monotonous, dreadful attempt at a Liverpool accent for Jen Rafferty.
I persevered out of respect for the author but I can’t recommend it I’m afraid. If I were the Anne Cleeves, I would insist that it is re-recorded with a far more engaging narrator who is able to bring a story to life.

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Good book, poor narration

Jack Holden is a poor narrator for such a great book. Use someone who can put emphasis into the narration

1 person found this helpful

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  • Colin
  • 03-10-21

Finely crafted story

Having heard An. c,elves talk about her latest book at a recent Literacy Festival , I was keen to learn more about her new detective Matthew Venn based in North Devon.
As always Ann describes the scene & setting so well that you can picture all the protagonists in the story & by using real places it is an added bonus if you know the area.
The story follows the characters introduced in The Long Call , also set in N Devon, they develop & the reader gets to know more about them.
The story itself was quite complicated with lots of peripheral characters &, as always with Ann Cleeves the final dénouement comes as a surprise but then, on reflection , the reader can see how the ground has been subtly laid to bring about this conclusion.
An excellent story which Ann told the festival participants had already been bought by a TV company , something to look forward to.