Police Sergeant William South has a reason for not wanting to be on the murder investigation.
He is a murderer himself.
But the victim was his only friend; like him, a passionate birdwatcher. South is warily partnered with the strong-willed Detective Sergeant Alexandra Cupidi, newly recruited to the Kent coast from London. Together they find the body, violently beaten, forced inside a wooden chest. Only rage could kill a man like this. South knows it.
But soon – too soon – they find a suspect: Donnie Fraser, a drifter from Northern Ireland. His presence in Kent disturbs William – because he knew him as a boy. If the past is catching up with him, South wants to meet it head on. For even as he desperately investigates the connections, he knows there is no crime, however duplicitous or cruel, that can compare to the great lie of his childhood.
Moving from the storm-lashed, bird-wheeling skies of the Kent Coast to the wordless war of the Troubles, The Birdwatcher is a crime novel of suspense, intelligence and powerful humanity about fathers and sons, grief and guilt and facing the darkness within.
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Praise for The Birdwatcher:
“A brilliantly constructed thriller . . . Utterly compulsive, written in sharp, unsentimental style, and with a wonderfully atmospheric storm-battered setting.” Sunday Mirror [UK]”
“The Birdwatcher is Shaw’s most accomplished book yet, and a demonstration of why so many of his fellow writers have lined up to praise him.” The Independent [UK]”
“A fine, atmospheric, emotionally compelling thriller.” Thriller of the Week. Mail on Sunday [UK]”
“A gripping plot, atmospheric setting, highly believable characters, and dialogue you can imagine real people saying, make this a contender for thriller of the year.” The Sun [UK]”
“The Birdwatcher is an astoundingly good crime novel. The characters and setting are brilliantly drawn–the descriptions spare but always telling–and the plot builds to an unforgettable resolution.” Elly Griffiths, author of The Woman in Blue“