THE LONG CALL - Ann Cleeves
Meanwhile, in the tiny village of Lovacott, elderly Maurice worries about his daughter, Lucy. She has Down's Syndrome, and, although high functioning, her father knows she can be too trusting. Today she's come home from Woodyard on the bus, as usual, but is upset because a man who has sat with her recently and given her candy, was not on the ride today. Lucy tells him that the man tells her secrets and makes her laugh.
Matthew assigns his crew to follow up on various leads, most of which seem to be linked to Woodyard where Simon volunteered as a cook. Caroline is his landlady, and, according to Gaby, had allowed Simon to move in with them after he turned up at her work down and out. The daughter of the man who helped start and finance Woodyard, Caroline, known also as Caz, is dating the young cleric at the church nearby. Some of the people who daily attend Woodyard are, like Lucy, mentally challenged, others are students or locals learning art from Gaby, or attending counseling sessions held by Caz. Upon questioning by Matthew, most knew Simon as a cook, but no one seemed to be aware of where he came from or why he was there. He paid his rent to Caz and had worked at a nearby restaurant at one point. The investigation seemed to be going nowhere.
It isn't until a young Down's Syndrome woman disappears that Matthew and his staff begin to gather more clues, although nothing seems to make sense. They have no suspect for either the murder or the possible kidnapping.
THE LONG CALL is the first in author Ann Cleeves' new Two Rivers series. Readers will be pleased to know that as her two previous detective series, The Vera Stanhope, and Shetland books, her new detective and his environment are equally entertaining. All the characters are compelling, each with their own back story, the mystery is well developed, and the killer could be any of the people involved. The writing is so tight and beautifully scripted that it's impossible not to want to read this book in one sitting. Matthew is a man who has a poignant history, a man who has doubts in himself, and one who loves with all his heart, wondering all the time what Jonathan sees in him. I really liked Jonathan and his confidence, and how he deals with Matthew's inner turmoil.
Make sure you pre-order this book for its September publication. THE LONG CALL is excellent.