Is The Long Call on ITV based on Ann Cleeves' book?

Is The Long Call on ITV based on Ann Cleeves' book?


ITV IS bringing us a new murder mystery crime thriller, The Long Call.

But some viewers may wonder if the series is based on Ann Cleeves' book of the same name.

Is The Long Call based on Ann Cleeves' book?

The show is based on the novel by writer Ann Cleeves which was released in 2019.

The Long Call is the first book in the Two Rivers series.

Actor Ben Aldridge takes on the lead role and told ITV: "I’m delighted to be playing Matthew Venn, a brilliantly unorthodox detective who audiences will see solving a gripping and intricate case, whilst simultaneously surmounting a deeper, more personal mystery within himself.

"And I feel privileged to be bringing it to ITV viewers in The Long Call.”

What is Ann Cleeves' book about?

In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father's funeral takes place.

The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.

Now he's back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose.

A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew's new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

Finding the killer is Venn’s only focus, and his team’s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

Who is Ann Cleeves?

Ann Cleeves was born in 1954 and is an English crime writer. 

She was born in Herefordshire and brought up in north Devon, which is often reflected in her books.

Ann is of course best known for her novels being turned into major ITV and BBC series'.


Ann's novels which focus on Vera Stanhope have all been dramatised in the TV show Vera on ITV.

The hit show, which started in 2011, stars Brenda Blethyn in the title role.

The only book in the series which hasn't been turned into a TV show is The Glass Room.


In 2013, Ann's book Red Bones was dramatised by David Kane for BBC One.

Shetland, which stars Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, has proved to be a huge success.

The show returned in 2021 for series 6.

Inspector Ramsay

Although these books haven't been made into TV shows yet, these novels are what helped Ann launch her career as a crime writer.

There are six books in the collection which are:

  • A Lesson in Dying (1990)
  • Murder in My Backyard (1991)
  • A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy (1992)
  • Killjoy (1993)
  • The Healers (1995)
  • The Baby Snatcher (1997)

How can I watch The Long Call on ITV?

The Long Call will premiere on ITV at 9pm TONIGHT (Monday, October 25, 2021).

The four episodes air each night this week (except Friday), concluding on October 28, 2021.

Each episode will also be made available on the ITV Hub right after broadcast.

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