by Ann Cleeves
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,
Serialization — releasing a book in sequential installments, often in magazines and newspapers — has been used to build suspense for hundreds of years. Every day over the course of several weeks, two or three new chapters of The Long Call were released here. Serialization took advantage of the book's natural chapter arcs — and helped build the mystery before unraveling it.
All of the chapters are available to read now. Click on the table of contents below to access them, or scroll down the page to see a brief introduction of each chapter — and wonderful illustrations by artist Stan Fellows.
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