Ann Cleeves ended her Jimmy Perez series with Wild Fire last year, and I was sorry to see it go. Hopefully, her Vera Stanhope series will continue, but in addition, she has begun a new series featuring Detective Inspector Matthew Venn.
Cleeves' first new series in twenty years promises to be just as good as her other long-running series. DI Matthew Venn emerges as a unique character, and like Jimmy and Vera, he is an excellent detective.
Raised in a strict evangelical church, Venn left the church and his family when his doubts became too much. His rejection of their beliefs resulted in rejection by his family, but Matthew still feels the tentacles of the church and his past.
He never expected to return to North Devon, but his husband Jonathan is committed to the community center he manages. Matthew's marriage to another man creates another black mark against him for the fundamentalist community in which he was raised.
The book opens with Matthew outside the church where his father's funeral is taking place; he knows his presence would not be appreciated. As he is leaving, he receives a call about a body on the beach. As you may expect, the murder may have connections to the church.
A full complement of interesting characters and a complex plot that illustrates the destructive path a cover-up to protect a reputation can take.
An excellent beginning to Cleeves' new series.
Read in April; blog review scheduled for Aug. 18.
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press
Police Procedural. Sept. 3, 2019. Print length: 384 pages.