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Monday, 13 March 2017

‘The Birdwatcher’ by William Shaw

Published by Riverrun,
9 February 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-78429-724-4

Police Sergeant William South is a birdwatcher and unknown to anyone else a murderer. Reluctantly he is instructed to investigate a murder which has taken place in his road in Dungeness, together with the new D.S. Alexandra Cupidi.

To his horror he learns that it is his fellow birdwatcher and good friend Bob Raynor. When a search is carried out surrounding Bob's house, William finds items he is sure that have come from Bob's and remembers seeing a number of homeless people around a fire on the same spot. Could one of them be Bob's killer?

When a man is found hanged, William recognises him from his childhood and although the police treat it as suicide, William is not so sure, can there be a connection to Bob's death?

William becomes obsessed with finding the killer although the police are convinced the hanged man is the culprit hence his suicide, and William has a big falling out with Cupidi and her superiors. The more he investigates the more William realises Bob led a very different life to the one he presented to his friend.

When he finally discovers the truth, his life is in great danger leading to an exciting and surprising climax.

Running parallel to the main plot is the story of William's life when he was thirteen years old and growing up in Northern Ireland at the time of the Troubles. This is cleverly told in a series of flashbacks throughout the narrative and adds to the build up of tension.

A very good book really well written. It was almost like reading two books at once with the story of Williams childhood running through it. Both I found really gripping, revealing many long held secrets both years ago and at the present time. Well recommended.

Apparently this is the first in a new series about D.S. Cupidi and I look forward to the ones to follow very much.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
William Shaw was born in Newton abbot, Devon, and grew up in Nigeria and lived for sixteen years in hackney. Starting out as assistant editor of the post-punk magazine ZigZag, he has been a journalist for The Observer, The New York Times, Wired, Arena and The Face and was Amazon UK Music Journalist of the Year in 2003. He is the author of several non-fiction books including Westsiders: Stories of the Boys in the Hood, about a year spent with the young men of South Central Los Angeles, and A Superhero For Hire, a compilation of columns in the Observer Magazine. A Song from Dead Lips is the first in a trilogy of crime fiction books set in London in 1968 – 1969. He lives in Brighton.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for that review; hugely appreciated. William