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Birdman [Paperback]

Mo Hayder
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 2001
Greenwich, south-east London. The Met's crack murder squad is called out by CID detectives to a grim discovery. Five bodies, all young women, are ritualistically murdered and dumped. Post mortems reveal a most dangerous sexual serial killer on the loose.

Frequently Bought Together

Birdman + The Treatment: Jack Caffery series 2 + Ritual: Jack Caffery series 3
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group); New edition edition (1 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553812653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553812657
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 10.9 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 633,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mo Hayder has written some of the most terrifying crime thrillers you will ever read. Her first novel, Birdman, was hailed as a 'first-class shocker' by the Guardian and her follow-up, The Treatment was voted by the Times one of 'the top ten most scary thrillers ever written'. Mo's books are 100% authentic, drawing on her long research association with several UK police forces and on her personal encounters with criminals and prostitutes. She left school at 15 and has worked as a barmaid, security guard, English teacher, and even a hostess in a Tokyo club.

She has an MA in film making from the American University in Washington DC and an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University. She now lives in England's West Country and is a full-time writer. For more information on Mo Hayder and her books, see her website at www.mohayder.net.

Product Description

Amazon Review

This crackling psychological thriller introduces police detective Jack Caffery, on the hunt for a serial killer nicknamed "The Millennium Ripper" by the British tabloids after the bodies of five prostitutes are unearthed beneath the rubble of a Greenwich landfill. All the victims were raped and their bodies horrendously mutilated--but not until after they were killed by a dose of heroin injected directly into the brain stem. What stuns Caffery even more than the post-mortem savagery is the one detail of the murders the public doesn't know; the hearts of the women were replaced with birds that were still alive when they were sewn into the victims' chests. Caffery himself is a tortured man, still burdened by guilt over the decades- old murder of his younger brother and frustrated because he cannot bring the man he knows to have been responsible to the bar of justice. When the Millennium Ripper confesses to the prostitute killings just before taking his own life, Caffery faces his own limitations and begins to make peace with his past. But then another prostitute is found dead, her body savaged in the same way, a bird where her heart was, and Caffery realises that his past may never truly be put to rest. A solid page turner, this gripping debut by a young Englishwoman introduces a complex and fascinating protagonist destined for another appearance. Meanwhile, Birdman will enthral readers who just can't get enough of Hannibal Lechter. -- Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'A first-class shocker' -- Guardian

'Extraordinarily good' -- Daily Mail

'It'll scare the hell out of you' -- Elle

'Not for the faint-hearted…what sets Birdman apart is Hayder's talent' -- Val McDermid

'One of the best things I've read…she has the ability to walk the mean-streets walk as well as talk the mean-streets talk' -- Independent

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have summarised the plot so I'm not going to bother repeating that. I've had a mixed response to Hayder: I thought Skin was pretty terrible, really liked Tokyo and have just read Birdman.

In lots of ways this is a fairly run-of-the-mill crime thriller with women being tortured and killed by a psychopathic killer with mother issues... Some of the plotting and writing is quite clunky and amateur, especially the flashbacks to said killer's childhood. However, the characterisation of the lead hero/anti-hero Jack Caffery really lifted this book out of the more usual fare for me.

While he's certainly a variation of the familiar 'tortured cop' fictional stereotype, Hayder manages to imbue Jack with life beyond this. Charming (when he feels like it), sexy, attractive and vulnerable, Jack is also driven, obsessional and hard with a very dark core to his psyche.

There are a few too many cliched elements to make this an outstanding book, but Hayder's ability to get under the skin of a fascinating, intriguing and edgy character like Caffery makes it one well worth reading.

Be warned, as other reviewers have said, this isn't for anyone averse to blood and gore (and yes, some of it is gratuitous), but alongside that more schlocky element is something genuinely compelling about the main character.

I am mid-way through The Treatment and think it's a far better book, more polished and intense than this one, but to really get a handle on Caffery, Birdman has to be read first.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book! 31 Oct 2002
By Debbie
Format:Paperback
I randomly selected this book at a UK airport before travelling to Australia. As a result, I lost 4 days of sightseeing so that I could get to the end! As an avid reader of all types of fiction and non-fiction - this will stick in my mind as one of the best books I have ever read. Destined to be made into a film, it would far outstrip anything in the 'Lector' trilogy and has a multitude of twists that no one could envisage. As far as thrillers go, it was also refreshing to read a novel that is set in the UK - (unlike the fine work of Grisham, Harris and the like). Characters are well defined, the plot is well structured and it will impact on you for days. Thoroughly recommended - buy it now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Birdman by Mo Hayder 20 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am afraid that I could only give this book 2 stars because for me there was far too much irrelevant detail.
The plot was far too unbelievable and I had a job reading it to the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly Decent 10 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback
Serial killers come in all shapes and sizes, but overall there is a pattern that most follow. Jack Caffery is a detective working on a team trying to uncover the killer of five women whose corpses have been found. He believes in a profiling technique and suggests that the killer must be educated in medical techniques in some way. This does not go down too well with all the squad as others want to look at the easier option of a local man who happens to look suspicious. Caffery will need to work on his own ideas parallel to the general consensus. Whoever is right they need to find the killer quick as they are speeding up and are deranged - why else would they leave a dead bird in each corpse?

`Birdman' is a very well written novel that is extremely dark and disturbing. The first 30 pages in particular do not hold back in describing in minute detail the bodies of five women. For some this is an instant turn off and I cannot blame them as I too almost stopped. However, rather than just being over sensational for its own sake Mo Hayder uses this initial extreme section to get you hooked - and it works. The pace of the story is excellent with some very good twists and turns. If you can stomach the over indulgence in the macabre you will find an excellent mystery hidden underneath.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A suprisingly good read 22 May 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I selected this book quite randomley from my local library - but from the minute I picked it up I realised that I was on to something special.
The main character is Jack Caffrey the detective, who as you would expect is not just your run of the mill kind of guy.
The story is excellent, although some people may find the subject matter disturbing. However the writing is first class and the subject is dealt with skillfully, and reallistically.
I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for a pacy, gritty novel to keep you interested from page1.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I could not disagree more with the reader from Leeds. I too had seen the review by Maxim Jakubowski, and had also seen it recommended by Val McDermid in The Sunday Express. There's generally been quite a lot of hype about it, and, to be honest, I expected that the book might be a disappointment, as hyped books often are.
But Birdman is a fantastic piece of writing: it's gripping, fascinating, the hero is totally believable, and the story a real page turner. From the moment we meet Jack Caffrey, Hayder's DI, he is instantly attractive. Like all the best cops, he is intensely private, hard on the outside and soft on the inside, and with a wonderfully wry sense of humour. But he's not just a tired washed up cop, like so many other literary DIs; he has a life and a set of problems that a lot of people in their 30s could identify with, and as a character, you just want to know more and more about him. I've read somewhere that Hayder wrote him because she was lonely at the time and wanted someone to fancy - and I think a lot of women will be able to identify with this as he is very attractive!
The story itself is anything but predictable, and the much talked-about scenes of violence and gore brilliantly done. Its darkness reminded me of the film SEVEN, and it is just as compelling. The story twists and turns, and the final scene, and the images in it, will stay with me for a long time.
Basiclly, this is a supremely intelligent crime novel that would appeal to fans of crime fiction, but also to people who just enjoy good writing. I really think that she will be a major star.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good read
Published 4 hours ago by Lynne Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book would definatley recommend :)
Published 2 days ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping book
wanted a good read and this book was passed on as a recommendation i was gripped from start to finish and could not put it down. cant wait to start book 2 in rhe series.
Published 6 days ago by madeleine toole
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
fantastic read. very gritty,realistic and always keeps you wondering what's gonna happen next. 1 of the best books I have ever read. very impressed.
Published 7 days ago by ali
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great author can't put book down
Published 11 days ago by catherine martin
5.0 out of 5 stars but I might have to admit that this series is even better!
Having read the third book in the Jack Caffery series first, I was apprehensive about going back to the beginning of his life as his story unfolds in the later book. Read more
Published 14 days ago by M. Peacock
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
As ever, Jack Caffrey is in the thick of it. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Published 1 month ago by Julie Mulholland
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 1 month ago by susan latimer
4.0 out of 5 stars Horrible but compelling...
I don't know how to feel about this book. It's undeniably a horrific story, the graphic scenes of torture and murder are not for the faint hearted. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This is dark crime drama at its very best!
Finished this last night after a four-hour reading session (I couldn't stop) and was officially too terrified to sleep afterwards. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Isabelle Broom
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