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Ann Cleeves : The Raging Storm , Stories From The Sea

Ann Cleeves : The Raging Storm , Stories From The Sea

Sun 17 Mar

Join us for a special anniversary event…

The Raging Storm, Stories from the Sea with Ann Cleeves & RNLI

Number one bestselling author, Ann Cleeves OBE returns to the Landmark for a special 200-year RNLI anniversary event, and to mark the paperback publication of The Raging Storm, the latest book in her Devon series. Ann will be joined on stage by Ilfracombe RNLI crew members to share their rescue stories from the sea. Ann will also talk about the RNLI rescue of her late husband Tim, which inspired the new book.


Joining Ann Cleeves on stage will be Stuart Carpenter and Gillian Cole, two very experienced members of the Ilfracombe lifeboat crew. Stuart joined RNLI Ilfracombe as a volunteer when he was just 16 years old. He started as a member of the shore crew, helping the boats to launch and recovery as efficiently and safely as possible. Over the past three decades, he has progressed to being a mechanic, Systems Technician and then coxswain on the all-weather lifeboat, The Barry and Peggy High Foundation. Last year he was appointed as a full-time Coxswain Mechanic at the station. Over the years, he has taken on more or less every role available with RNLI Ilfracombe and last autumn, he featured on Saving Lives at Sea for his role in the rescue of an exhausted kayaker. For that rescue he was helm of the inshore lifeboat.

Our special guest interviewer is Jack Holden is a critically acclaimed stage and screen actor, writer and producer, whose debut play ‘Cruise’ garnered rave reviews and an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play 2022. He hails from the depths of north Devon has voiced three Ann Cleeves audiobooks, all from the Matthew Venn series.

Gillian Cole, a community physiotherapist, has been a volunteer with RNLI Ilfracombe for around twelve years. She has trained up to the level of helm of the inshore boat and Navigator on the all-weather lifeboat and also is now the volunteer training co-ordinator. This is a critical role at the station as all crew members follow specific ongoing training programmes to ensure that the crew are as safe and effective as possible. Gillian also continues to go out on shouts whenever she is needed and has a particular role in providing care for rescued casualties who may be injured or suffering ill-effects from being in the water.


The Raging Storm, the third book in Ann’s Devon series featuring Detective Matthew Venn, released in hardback in August 2023, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller. The paperback publishes 14th March, Pan Macmillan.

When Jem Rosco – sailor, adventurer and local legend – blows into town in the middle of an autumn gale, the residents of Greystone, Devon, are delighted to have a celebrity in their midst. The residents think nothing of it when Rosco disappears again; that’s the sort of man he is. Until the lifeboat is launched to a hoax call-out during a raging storm and his body is found in a dinghy, anchored off Scully Cove, a place with legends of its own.

This is an uncomfortable case for DI Matthew Venn. He came to the remote village as a child, its community populated by the Barum Brethren that he parted ways with, so when superstition and rumour mix and another body is found in the cove, Matthew soon finds his judgement clouded. As the stormy winds howl and the village is cut off, Venn and his team start their investigation, little realising their own lives might be in danger. . .


ANN CLEEVES is the author of more than thirty-five critically acclaimed novels, and in 2017 was awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the CWA Diamond Dagger. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Matthew Venn, who can be found on television in ITV’s Vera, BBC One’s Shetland and ITV’s The Long Call respectively. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide.


Ann moved to North Devon when she was 11 years old. Before then the family lived in a tiny village, and as the headmaster’s daughter she always felt like the outsider at school. But in Barnstaple, Ann found a real home. She made life-long friends and fell in love with the beautiful North Devon coast, which still has a very special place in her heart. She worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. Ann also spends her time advocating for reading to improve health and wellbeing and supporting access to books. In 2021 her Reading for Wellbeing project launched with local authorities across the North East, and in 2022 she was awarded an OBE for her services to reading and libraries. She lives in Northumberland where the Vera books are set.