The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves #TheHeronsCry @AnnCleeves @RandomTTours @panmacmillan


Award winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, Ann Cleeves, returns with the second in her new TWO RIVERS series set in North Devon featuring Detective Matthew Venn

Book 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.
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. It’s not long since Matthew’s returned to North Devon with Jonathan, after 20 years estranged from his deeply religious family, now he 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

Matthew Venn is having his mother to a birthday lunch on Sunday and Jonathan is planning a meal that, he hopes, will bring mother and son happily together after years of estrangement. After reconnecting over the last year this is a big step and Matthew is both dreading it whilst hoping it will go well.

His thoughts on that will have to be put to one side as he and his team attend the scene of a death when they are called inland to an estate which houses a group of artists and artisan workers in it’s outbuildings.

Clearly it is foul play. Matthew and the team investigate. Why has Dr Nigel Yeo been murdered? A man who seems to be liked by all who he comes in contact with. He had been to a party at which Jen, Matthew’s DS, attended. She had spoken to him and he had said he wanted to have a chat with her about something connected to his work. Dr Yeo headed up an organisation that looked into patient issues and complaints. Could whatever it was he needed to talk about be the reason he was killed?

As the investigation is not getting very far and Superintendent Oldham, Matthews boss, puts pressure on him to solve the killing there is another murder.

Ann Cleeves instantly puts you right into the wonderful area of North Devon with her tremendous sense of place as she paints her story with the wonderful words that are her craft.

Full of excellent characters this book continues to bring us the excellent Matthew Venn who is a considered, intelligent and thoughtful detective that likes to play by the rules but is trying to work on the relationships that surround him at work and home. Matthew’s husband Jonathan is a kind, happy and considerate person and a good support to Venn. Then we have Matthew’s team including Jen and Ross. Jen is a good cop with great instincts whilst Ross is quite a self absorbed man who has split loyalty with the team and the rather annoying Superintendent Oldham.

This is the second book of Ann Cleeves new Two Rivers series, you can read what I thought of the first book, The Long Call, below.

I’m a huge fan of DCI Vera Stanhope books (and TV) and I enjoy the Shetland series still The Two Rivers series is fast becoming my favourite of Ann Cleeves to read and I cannot wait to see this on screen.

The Heron’s Cry is an absolutely wonderful, absorbing story which I wholeheartedly recommend.

Previous books: I have also read and reviewed The Long Call (first in the Two Rivers series), The Sleeping and the Dead and The Seagull (DCI Vera Stanhope series) by Ann Cleeves.


My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join this incredible Blog Tour and to PanMacMillan for providing an eARC of The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves.


The rest of the Blog Tour here detailed in the BlogTour poster, you’re in for a real treat with these wonderful bloggers, so do check them all out.


Published: PanMacMillon (2nd September 2021)

Buy:|AmazonSmileUK|Waterstones|your independent bookshop



Ann Cleeves is the author of over thirty critically acclaimed novels and is translated into as many languages. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez who can be found on television in ITV’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide. Sunday Times number 1 bestseller, THE LONG CALL, was the first in Ann’s Two Rivers series set in Devon, and is now in production for an ITV drama.

Ann moved to North Devon when she was 11 years old. Before then the family lived in a tiny village, and as the headmaster’s daughter she always felt like the outsider at school. But in Barnstaple, Ann found a real home. She made life-long friends and fell in love with the beautiful North Devon coast, which still has a very special place in her heart. She worked as a probation officer, librarian, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she embarked on her career as an author.

Ann’s been awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the 2017 CWA Diamond Dagger, and is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. A passionate champion for libraries, she was a national libraries Day Ambassador in 2016. Her new ‘Reading Coaches’ project, providing support for health and wellbeing in communities, launches in the North East this summer. Ann lives in North Tyneside near where the Vera books are set.

Find her on twitter @AnnCleeves or visit her website Ann Cleeves.


THE TWO RIVERS: The Long Call|The Heron’s Call

VERA STANHOPE: for all things Vera including all the books in this wonderful series.

SHETLAND: for all things Shetland including all the books in the series.

INSPECTOR RAMSAY: A Lesson in Dying|Murder in My Backyard|A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy|Killjoy|The Healers|The Baby Snatcher

GEORGE and MOLLY: A Bird in the Hand|Come Death and High Water|Murder in Paradise|A Prey to Murder|Another Man’s Poison|Sea Fever|The Mill on the Shore

OTHER BOOKS: The Sleeping Dead|Burial of Ghosts


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