19 Oct 2015


Here with another review is the lovely Leanne who if you haven't already done so you can meet here.

BIRDMAN (Jack Caffery #1) by MO HAYDER.

FIRST SENTENCE: North Grenwich.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Chapter 43, Page 307) 'Indeed it is.' Bliss sat down behind his desk, and stretched his arms, lacing his hands together and cracking the bones. 'My birthday!'

MY THOUGHTS: DI Jack Caffery's first case with the Metropolitan Police's crack murder squad is a nasty one. Five naked female bodies discovered buried on a London construction site, mutilated and horribly degraded. The killer has left an unsettling calling-card with each corpse and Caffery's team must rush to identify him before he selects another victim.

This is Mo Hayder's debut novel and it is very, very gritty. Shocking yet very well written, the novel covers a huge range of disturbing taboos - including necrophilia. paedophilia and prostitution. I consider myself to be pretty unshockable, but even I was shaken a couple of times!

In spite of the disturbing subject matter, Hayder's characters are rounded, strong and believable. In particular, DI Jack Caffery's history still haunts him and his obsession with past events is described very well by the author.

This is an astonishing first novel and Hayder certainly holds nothing back. Despite this, however disturbing the plot, I never once felt that Hayder was attempting to shock just for the sack of it; every dreadful event was was added for a good reason.

Birdman is definitely not for the faint-hearted or the easily shocked and I would urge that readers use caution when deciding if this book is for them. But I am extremely glad that I reviewed this book, as I really did enjoy it. (I'm not sure what that says about me, of course!)



Lily B said...

wow...there is a lot in this book to take in

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Good. I hate it when scenes are added only for shock. I still may not like the scene but glad it has purpose. Not sure if it is for me, but this book does sound successful as a thriller.

DMS said...

It sounds like Birdman is really well written and the story sounds riveting. I don't always like gruesome scenes, but shocking scenes that are done well I can deal with. :)

Thanks for sharing!

Suko said...

It sounds like a very disturbing but well-written book. Very nice review by Leanne.

Melliane said...

Sometimes tit's nice to have a book like that. I'm glad you had a good time !

Gina R said...

Sounds interesting though I'm afraid not for my own wish list. I do however feel that the first sentence is not in fact a statement but rather a statement of location. Petty, I know...but really, it is! ^-^ Thanks for the share!

Brian Joseph said...

This sounds like a really good book.

I am getting a little squeamish when it comes to violence so something like this might me a bit too disturbing however.

Kelly said...

I'll admit to being intrigued with this one. I use to read quite a few "grittier" novels, but not as much anymore. I might give it a shot at some point (followed by something light to cleanse my brain!).

Literary Feline said...

I read The Devil of Nanking by the same author and was blown away by how good it was. I keep meaning to read this series, but I haven't gotten around to it. I am glad to hear you liked it! I think what keeps putting me off is that I know it's dark. I like dark sometimes, but not as much as I once did.