The producer, which recently produced Tom Riley-fronted Dark Heart, has optioned the book, which is the first novel in Cleeves’ Two Rivers series, from Rebecca Watson at Valerie Hoskins Associates on behalf of literary agent Sara Menguc.
Silverprint has previously adapted Cleeves’ Shetland, which has run for five seasons on the BBC, and Brenda Blethyn-fronted Vera, which was recently renewed for a tenth season by ITV.
The book, which is published by Pan Macmillan on September 5, is set in North Devon, where the author spent her teenage years. It follows the reserved and complex Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, as well as an ensemble of characters, evoking the stark beauty of the North Devon coastline, and a community where murder and intrigue bubble just beneath the surface.
In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands alone outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place within. 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.
Cleeves said, “I’m delighted that the team at Silverprint has optioned The Long Call. The adaptations of Vera and Shetland have captured the essence of my books, while making TV dramas that are hugely successful in their own right.”
Kate Bartlett, Executive Producer, Silverprint said, “After almost a decade working together, we are thrilled to be continuing our creative partnership with Ann. The Long Call is a rich and deeply engrossing mystery with a whole host of new Cleeves’ characters led by the inimitable Matthew Venn. Just as the novel feels like a progression of Ann’s writing, this feels like the opportunity to create a wholly unique and ambitious event crime drama with another iconic detective at its heart. We can’t wait to get started.”