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Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Birdwatcher by William Shaw

The Birdwatcher by William Shaw is set in the bleak but atmospheric Dungeness, a headland along the Kent coast best known for its two nuclear power stations and its wildlife sanctuary.  The area attracts thousands of birdwatchers each year, and William South is both a birdwatcher and a policeman.

When his friend and neighbor is murdered, South is drawn into the investigation by the newly transferred DS Cupidi.  Shocked that his mild-mannered friend has been so brutally murdered, South soon must accept that he actually knew very little about his friend--and what he thought he knew wasn't actually the case.

Sections about South's childhood in Ireland during the Troubles are interspersed throughout.  When a character from that early period in South's life appears, it doesn't come as a surprise, but how the distant past is connected to the current death of South's friend is puzzling.

"What's past is prologue."  

Read in Nov.; blog post scheduled for June 4, 2017.

NetGalley/Mulholland Books

Crime/Police Procedural.  June 27, 2017.  336 pages.


  1. I know it's an often used plot device, but I enjoy books in which someone isn't what they appeared to be underneath type stories.

    1. This was an interesting book for the setting and the way the conflict in Northern Ireland has consequences in the present.

  2. I haven't read that many police procedurals set in Ireland so I think this would be a good one to explore!

  3. It is set on the coast of England, but there are threads that go back to Ireland and the violence of the IRA. I found the Dungeness setting bleak, but it is known world-wide for its bird sanctuary.

  4. I'd probably want less of the Irish connection and more of the birdwatching. But that's just me. :D

  5. Always love a good police procedural and I like it that this has an Irish setting.