Ann Cleeves’ The Heron’s Cry, the second installment in her Two Rivers’ mystery series, sees the residents of the coastal destination town of North Devon, England endure a rash of murders and suspicious suicides with suspects galore. Lucky for them, Detective Inspector Matthew Venn is as meticulous a crime solver as he is a fastidious dresser.
When Venn’s Detective Sergeant Jen Rafferty is approached by public servant Nigel Yeo at a party where she’s had too much to drink to talk, she considers it a possibly-missed love match. When Yeo ends up dead the next day at a local artist colony, stabbed with glass made by his artist daughter, Jen wonders if the man sought her out to tell her something important. Soon, another murder with the same ‘MO’ takes place, and things become complex indeed in their small community. Venn and his team investigate as the case evolves into a complex web involving suicide chat rooms, medical malpractice and an artist colony where tensions run high.
If you like atmospheric, character-driven mysteries, this one is for you. And, while The Heron’s Cry can be read independently of its predecessor, The Long Call (which has been adapted for TV and currently airing on Britbox), why not read them both?