The Stacks: Birdman

by Mo Hayder

From Publishers Weekly

Tread­ing the gris­ly path blazed by Thomas Har­ris in 1981 with Red Drag­on, promis­ing new­com­er Hay­der crafts a blood-cur­dling­ly creepy debut thriller set near the Mil­len­ni­um Dome in Green­wich, Eng­land. When Det. Insp. Jack Caf­fery is called in to inves­ti­gate the puz­zling mur­der of a young woman, he is con­front­ed by a host of ghast­ly details, not the least of which is a live bird sewn inside the bru­tal­ly man­gled corpse. The tim­ing of the case could not be worse: DI Caffery’s rela­tion­ship with his girl­friend is on the rocks; there’s a new DI from CID who’s try­ing to usurp Caffery’s Gold­en Boy sta­tus with the super­in­ten­dent; and Caffery’s obses­sion with his next-door neigh­bor, a con­vict­ed pedophile who Caf­fery believes may have mur­dered Caffrey’s own long-miss­ing broth­er, has reached a con­fronta­tion­al stage. The detec­tive and his good-natured part­ner, Paul Essex, focus the mur­der case on a seedy local pub, which is both the locus of the area’s ille­gal activ­i­ties and the water­ing hole for work­ers at a near­by hos­pi­tal, one of whom, Caf­fery thinks, must be the sur­gi­cal­ly trained killer. Caffery’s CID com­peti­tor tar­gets a local black drug deal­er, which ups the polit­i­cal and media ante uncom­fort­ably. Caffery’s more method­i­cal approach leads him to the man he believes is the killer, whose sui­cide con­vinces him he’s right. But when more bod­ies turn up with the same trade­mark muti­la­tions, Caf­fery must start all over again, and his new find­ings lead him to an alto­geth­er more appalling con­clu­sion.

 

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