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Birdman

By: Mo Hayder
Narrated by: Damien Goodman
Series: Jack Caffery, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (250 ratings)

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Summary

Greenwich, south-east London. Five bodies have been found, all young women, all ritualistically murdered, dumped on wasteland near the Millennium Dome. When a post-mortem examination reveals a singular, horrific signature linking the victims, officers realise that they are on the trail of the most dangerous offender known to the force: a sexual serial killer. Detective Inspector Jack Caffery, young, driven, unshockable, he now employs every weapon forensic science can offer, he knows time is limited; this sadistic killer will strike again.

©1999 Mo Hayder (P)2003 Isis Publishing Ltd

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • T
  • 19-01-14

Seriously dark stuff!

If you could sum up Birdman in three words, what would they be?

dark chilling gripping

What other book might you compare Birdman to, and why?

Any other Mo Hayder in the DI Jack Caffery series, They're all similar in the style of writing and the suspense Hayder creates.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The performance was continually energetic and enthused, unfortunately some of the accents and the portrayal of the female characters voices was almost comic at some points due to the masculine tone of the narrator.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

As a fan of Mo Hayder in the written word it was a great experience to hear her words come alive, however this certainly amplified the gory and disturbing sexually deviant (and just plain wrong) descriptions. I certainly felt a little sick at the odd stage towards the end of the book

Any additional comments?

Nice twist in this book, typical of Hayder, sometimes with this author they are a little obvious and you see them coming but this one caught me out! I would definitely recommend this audio book but only if you can take the sick, perverse sexual abuse brought to life in your head. A great book but definitely for adults.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

excellent thriller

i'm always a little pessimistic when i start with a new author - sometimes that's justified, but not in this case. this is an interesting, well-paced thriller with a coherent plot. it is very well narrated and so i would certainly recommend.



after finishing this i promptly bought "the treatment" and it was as good. i've now gone for "tokyo" as the reviews for the other jack caffery novels don't praise the (different) narrator.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Get it on Kindle

If you could sum up Birdman in three words, what would they be?

Excellent story

What other book might you compare Birdman to, and why?

Graham Masterson Katie McGuire series or DS Scott MacLean. A very good procedural crime thriller.

What didn’t you like about Damien Goodman’s performance?

Some of his female characterisations were a bit creepy when they should not have been. I know it is difficult for a man but I have heard much better performances. If the actual story was not so good I would have returned this for the dreadful editing - you can really tell when a sentence has been re-recorded.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Probably not.

Any additional comments?

A great book but please sort the atrocious editing - really shameful!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very gory, but excellent thriller

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend it if my friend had a strong stomach and a penchant for horrid multiple murder stories! It's really quite nasty: the mental images it provokes are strong and scary.
However, it was a really good read if you like that sort of thing. A detective story but told from every angle.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Birdman?

The whole story was good. It unravelled at the right pace and with the right tension and intrigue.

Have you listened to any of Damien Goodman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not that I can remember. It was very well done, fantastically presented.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Never go anywhere unarmed!

Any additional comments?

I'm looking forward to listening to more Mo Hayder books - very well written, although I do worry about the mind of someone who can think this sort of storyline up and describe it so well!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

My first Mo Hayder novel and what a ride it's been! It's dark and gruesome and peppered throughout with a little romance, some red herrings and a believable main character who has some unusual baggage.

I'm an insomniac and I listen to books to while a way the wee small hours and many do put me to sleep but Birdman kept me full awake and also caused me to look under the bed (was the cat hanging upside down from the springs) but I generally got a fright. I consider it a 5 star read when it keeps me gripped throughout and throws in a bit of terror!

Vivid descriptive narrative alongside an excellent reader in Mr Goodman results in a good all round outcome and a purchase of book 2!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good Start

The first in the series of Jack Caffrey books gets off to a great start. Likeable characters, with not too much back story, an interesting plot that is followed through to a logical conclusion, good writing. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ms
  • 16-04-20

Brilliant

Caught my attention from the start. I listened to the whole book in three days. Very good. I liked the writing style and the narration was excellent.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disturbing serial killer story

One of the more disturbing police thrillers I’ve read. The motive behind the series of killings weird to say the least (and coming from someone who is an aficionado of Criminal Minds, that is saying something). Five bodies are discovered in differing degrees of decomposition, but all show signs of post mortem mutilation, even going as far as sewing up a live bird in each of them. The Area Major Investigation Team is set to work to find the killer. When additional resources in the form of another AMIT for a different area tension being to run high. Newcomer to the Jack Caffery is soon at odds with the direction of the investigation when it starts to focus on a local black drug dealer. He is convinced that they should be looking for an intelligent white guy probably with medical training.
The police procedural element of the book does lack pace, but realistically shows the painstakingly slow nature of a criminal investigation the cross checking, entry into HOLMES etc. During this there are a large amount of acronyms which for anyone new to crime novels would I imagine be extremely frustrating.
As, it appears, with all crime series the central character must be massively flawed. Caffery has a clingy, narcissistic girl friend that he is trying to split up from when her cancer appears to have returned. He is also fixated on the disappearance of his brother when they were children and is convinced he knows who took him, and has been running his own investigation into the matter for years. His obsession with the past is one of the main reasons for his failed social life.
The narrator was OK, I can’t say I was always impressed with the vocal choices made to represent the different characters and certainly early on was tempted to give up on the book because of the narrator even though I new there was a decent story in there. Glad I persevered to go the end of the story, but he isn’t a narrator I would seek out in the future.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

Love Mo Hayder and have read all the Jack Caffery series, now starting on the audio, great job with the narration on this one , found Damien Goodman very clear

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dark and fantastic

This has to be one of the darkest books I have ever listened to. Yet the darkness draws you in. Superb performance and great story. I will definitely be listening to all of Mo Hayden’s books.

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  • Gary
  • 19-03-15

Don't listen to it alone if a bit squeamish


Great story line.
Typical MO. I have read many of her books.

For s different but excellent Mo read Tokyo . Just loved it as did my friends.
I'll be back Mo.
Highly recommended.