June 7, 2014
Birdman by Mo Hayder
Jack Caffery Series #1
2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC (audio)
Reader: Damien Goodwin
Finished on 4/1/14
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
Your worst nightmare is his dream come true....
A relentless debut novel filled with cutting-edge forensic and investigative detail, Birdman marks the arrival of a uniquely talented writer.
Detective Jack Caffery—young, driven, and seemingly unshockable—catches a career-making or career-breaking homicide in his first case as lead investigator with London's crack murder squad. A young woman's body has been discovered, dumped on wasteland near the Millennium Dome site in Greenwich, England. It's the most brutal degradation of the human form that the squad has ever uncovered. Caffery's well-deserved reputation is that of the most stoic of detectives, but his initial inspection of the corpse will forever sear his psyche.
One by one, four more corpses are discovered only steps away from the first. Five bodies, all young women, all ritualistically murdered with cunning precision. And when a postmortem examination reveals a singular, macabre signature linking the victims, Caffery realizes that he's facing the most dangerous offender known to the force: a sexual serial killer.
In the murky recesses of his own mind, Caffery harbors the haunting legacy of a loved one's slaying. What baffles him is that not a single missing person's report has been filed for any of the five young women. How has the Birdman chosen these seemingly perfect victims?
Now, as he employs every weapon forensic science can offer, Caffery knows that time is running out before the killer strikes again, and that he must put away his tortured past in order to safeguard the Birdman's next prey.
With refined craft and beguiling imagination, Mo Hayder is certain to skip the hearts of the most demanding readers of crime fiction.
It’s been almost exactly two years since I first read Mo Hayder’s intense thriller, Gone. I am very particular about reading a series in order, but when one of my friends insisted I read Gone, and not knowing it was the fifth in the series, I dove in. Looking back, I probably couldn’t have started with Birdman, as it wasn’t yet available in the U.S., but now that Mo Hayder has gained popularity over on this side of the pond, I can easily catch up on her backlist, as well her latest release, Wolf.
I read the print format of Gone, but decided to listen to Birdman when I saw it was available at my library. Damien Goodwin does a fine job as a reader and I was quickly transported Jack Caffrey’s modern-day England. The narrative kept my interest and while it’s been almost three months (!!) since I finished this thriller, I can still envision many scenes quite clearly.
Final Thoughts: Mo Hayder and Tana French have become my go-to authors when I’m looking for a fast-paced thriller. Both audio and print versions of these authors’ series work well for me, but I gravitate more toward the audios since they don’t require a lot of concentration and I can work while listening (or helping to fly an Airbus jet, even if only mentally!).
Click here to read my review of Gone.