Book Review | The Heron’s Cry, Ann Cleeves

Goodreads Blurb:
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 soon finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home.

My Thoughts:

I have been so excited for this sequel since I heard of it’s existence, and it did not disappoint. I have loved Ann Cleeves novels for quite a while now, and I find that I manage to love her novels even more each time I read them.

There is something wonderful about the way that Cleeves writes her mystery novels. In this case, she pulls you in first with the beautiful backdrop of North Devon, then hooks you completely when the body is found. I always try and figure out the killer, but Cleeves puts the bait out with certain characters then takes it away at just the right moment and I realise I am wrong – again. I love following Matthew Venn – the main detective – and his process to find out the murderer.

The mystery in the novel itself delved into some dark places. All that lead to some interesting motivations from the suspicious of the supporting characters. I felt that the darker themes (beyond the murder of course – a dark theme in itself) were handled really well. I loved the conclusion to the mystery of this novel, it was rather intense, and had me glued to the page right until the end.

The Heron’s Cry introduces some more interesting Point of View (PoV) characters, especially that of Matthew’s colleague Ross, who’s perspective on the case, as well as his thoughts on Matthew himself is a wonderful addition. Another favourite PoV that this novel brought was Matthew’s husband, Jonathan. It was great to read more about he fits into Matthew’s work life, and their interactions from a different perspective.

I loved reading the development of Matthew’s character as he came to realisations about the way he worked, as well as how he would always try to keep his work and personal lives separate. Especially as throughout this novel his personal and work lives mixed regardless of how much he wants to separate the two. This led to some interesting clashes between Matthew and Jonathan, some of which I feel will definitely be explored later in the series.

Cleeves has yet again brought us a stellar mystery novel, with wonderfully thought out characters and motivations. I am really looking forward to future installments in this series.

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