Reviews for The heron's cry

Library Journal
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Devon police detective Matthew Venn and his team are called to an artists' compound where Dr. Nigel Yeo has been found in his daughter's glassblowing studio, having been stabbed to death with a piece of her glass. Sergeant Jen Rafferty now regrets that she had too much to drink at a party the night before and missed the chance to talk to Dr. Yeo; he had wanted to discuss a suicide he was investigating for his mental health services watchdog group. When another artist is killed, again stabbed with a shard of glass, the police's focus turns to the artists' commune and the glassblower Eve Yeo. Matthew's husband Jonathan is a friend of Eve's and is protective of her, and Matthew becomes upset with Jonathan's interference in his case. Manipulation and murder only increase the pain for the involved families and the local community. The unsettling investigation finds Matthew's team examining their own family relationships as they unravel a story of suicide and depression and the inadequacy of a rural English town's mental health services. VERDICT Matthew Venn, introduced in The Long Call, is the primary detective in this installment, but Cleeves uses multiple voices, including those of Matthew's team members, to show the personal effects of this troubling case. Fans of Cleeves's "Vera Stanhope" and "Shetland" mysteries will be eager for her latest novel, where a police team struggles to cope with professional and personal lives.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

Publishers Weekly
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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. Agent: Sarah Menguc, Sarah Menguc Literary (U.K.). (Sept.)

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In her follow-up to The Long Call (2019), Cleeves provides a complex mystery full of surprises. Detective Matthew Venn’s North Devon team is stretched to the limit by a series of homicides. An aborted conversation between police officer Jen Rafferty and Nigel Yeo, who wants to discuss a problem at a party thrown by a mutual friend, is the first hint of trouble. The next morning, Jen is called to a murder scene at an artist’s workshop on the grounds of wealthy Francis Ley's home. The dead man is Nigel, who was killed by a spear from one of his glass blower daughter Eve’s pieces. The investigation is complicated by several preexisting relationships. Jen had a one-night stand with Wes Curnow, the other artist in residence at Ley's, who also has studio space at an art center run by Venn’s artistic, upbeat husband, Jonathan. The murdered man worked for a watchdog organization that’s investigating the National Health Service after several families complained that their depressed youngsters got little help and committed suicide, including the son of a local family that could be seeking revenge. The homicide team, which in addition to Jen includes an ambitious detective named Ross, work in their own intuitive ways alongside Venn, a clever, soft-spoken, deeply conflicted man—he's still working on his fraught relationship with his mother after having been brought up in a cultlike religious group that doesn’t welcome gay people. A second murder with another shard of Eve’s glass widens the possible range of suspects, making it more difficult for the sleuths to ignore their personal feelings. This character-driven exploration of people’s darkest flaws is a sterling example of Cleeves’ formidable talents. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.