The Birdwatcher ~ by William Shaw

Very slow moving book – read because it was the 4-Mystery Addicts selection for the second half of January.  I was not impressed for the first half of the book but then it kind of started making more sense to me and about  3/4 of the way through I was thoroughly engrossed and thinking I should go back and get straightened out about the first part.  Oh well –  I wanted to get to the ending.



The Birdwatcher
by William Shaw
2016 / 337 pages
read by Roger Davis – 9h 53m
rating:   B+  / British crime (procedural) 

Police officer  William South has a murder in his own past which he has really tried to forget about for the past few decades.  His partner,  Detective Alexandra Cupidi, the single mother of a teenage daughter,  has recently relocated  to Dungeness (Kent) from London.   They find a box with the badly beaten body of Bob Rayner,  a neighbor, inside it.

The murderer looks  like it might probably be one Donnie Frasier –  a drifter who is found dead.    Unfortunately for South,  Donnie is from Northern Ireland,  the same area South is from and there might be connections to the crime South committed.  Actually,  Frasier was convicted of murdering Fraser’s father.  So the question becomes,  how was Rob Rayner connected and why was Judy Farouk missing?   South has to  keep all this from Cupidi because of his own involvement.

And part of the book is revisiting the Northern Ireland of William’s (Billy’s)  youth when  William’s father was killed.

It gets complex what with overlapping murders and memory and the relationships of fathers and sons.

Another aspect to the story is that South is attracted to Cupidi and her 15-year old daughter is a budding bird watcher so the workaholic Cupidi makes use of South to take Zoe on outings.  They enjoy them and each other and it leads to further information,

The ending is excellent.


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