Newly appointed police inspector Domenic Jejeune doesn't mind ruffling a few feathers. His success has elevated him into a poster boy for the police. The problem is Jejeune doesn't really want to be a detective at all; he much prefers watching birds.
Recently reassigned to the small Norfolk town of Saltmarsh, Jejeune's two worlds collide with the grisly murder of a prominent ecological activist. Jejeune must call on all his birding knowhow to solve the mystery and deal with unwelcome public acclaim, the mistrust of colleagues and his own insecurities. For in the case of the Saltmarsh birder murders, the victims may not be the only casualties....
©2014 Steve Burrows (P)2016 Isis Publishing Ltd
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"For. The. Birds."
I'm not a birder, but I know the breed very well (I'm married to one!). There's a lot of this book that will appeal to the zealous former and be all too familiar to the puzzled latter. Steve Burrows does a good job of presenting the enthusiasts' world and some of its inhabitants.
That said, I didn't find "A Siege of Bitterns" to be very good mystery. We're told often that the Inspector - who would rather be birding - is a genius at his job, but obscure and coy hints of the nature of this talent (past and present) become just annoying. Clues are kept close to the author's chest, and red herrings (is there a bird equivalent?) abound and distract. It seems to me that Burrows commits a real mystery "no-no" in not giving the reader sufficient information to have a chance at solving the case.
There are some interesting and well-presented characters to be sure, but the whole book is just too long and doesn't offer much suspense or action. The narrator has a pleasant enough voice, but some characters are too similarly read to be distinguishable, and the accents are often just plain odd.
Unless you really will do just about anything "for the birds", I wouldn't recommend this!
"Good mystery, superb narrator - excellent listen!"
Not exactly a page turner but intriguing enough to keep me listening, especially after a somewhat slow start. Stay with it - as you get to know the well drawn characters it gets more exciting. Steve Burrows is an excellent writer - his prose is almost poetic.
An environmental theme with some interesting bits of information about birds. The way the murder is solved is very cool.
David Thorpe is one of the best narrators and does a splendid job in this book. His regional accents are fun and distinctive and I like the way he does Canadian.
I highly recommend A Siege of Bitterns to lovers of British mysteries, especially those who like intelligent plots and are fond of nature. I hope many readers discover this book and enjoy it as much as I did.
"Good Mystery, with Clues to Discover"
Yes, there were a lot of different turns in the plot, and subtly buried details that made it important to stay attentive
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