The Heron's Cry by Ann Cleeves

The Heron’s Cry by Ann Cleeves

9th July 2023.

This is another beautifully crafted investigation that draws you in from the opening chapters with engaging characters and a shocking murder. Dr Yeo is stabbed in the neck with a glass shard that comes from one of the vases his daughter crafted. The impact ripples through the local community, affecting the families of those connected with the doctor, his daughter, and DI Matthew Venn.

A second murder with another glass shard has detectives investigating on several fronts, straining local relationships further.

It’s a complex story that moves at a sure and steady pace. The affect on the local community and families is at the core of the novel as the police try to make sense of the deaths and the motives that drove the killer. And just when you think it’s all starting to make sense, you discover you were looking in the wrong place for answers.

It’s a deftly handled story, as you would expect of an author with Ann Cleeves’ pedigree and history. The characters come alive as you’re drawn into their lives and stories. The strain on relationships and the devastating impact of murder are compassionately revealed, all making for a deep and resonant story that’s a joy to read.


North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coast-line. 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 Eve is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.

Then another body is found – killed in a similar way. Matthew finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community and a case that is dangerously close to home . . .

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