The Birdwatcher (Hardcover)

By William Shaw

Mulholland Books, 9780316316248, 336pp.

Publication Date: June 27, 2017

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Police Sergeant William South has a good reason to shy away from murder investigations: he is a murderer himself.

**Longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year

A methodical, diligent, and exceptionally bright detective, South is an avid birdwatcher and trusted figure in his small town on the rugged Kentish coast. He also lives with the deeply buried secret that, as a child in Northern Ireland, he may have killed a man. When a fellow birdwatcher is found murdered in his remote home, South's world flips.

The culprit seems to be a drifter from South's childhood; the victim was the only person connecting South to his early crime; and a troubled, vivacious new female sergeant has been relocated from London and assigned to work with South. As our hero investigates, he must work ever-harder to keep his own connections to the victim, and his past, a secret.

The Birdwatcher is British crime fiction at its finest; a stirring portrait of flawed, vulnerable investigators; a meticulously constructed mystery; and a primal story of fear, loyalty and vengeance.


About the Author

William Shaw is an award-winning pop culture journalist, who has written regularly for the UK's Observer and Independent, as well as the New York Times. His previous novels are She's Leaving Home, The Kings of London, and A Song for the Brokenhearted. Shaw lives in Sussex, England.


Praise For The Birdwatcher

One of "Summer's chilliest thrillers... Shaw's prose still sinks its hooks in."—Entertainment Weekly

"I liked its discreet, thoughtful prose. . . . By its theatrical but moving conclusion, The Birdwatcher has become an excellent read."—Charles Finch, USA Today

"William Shaw's The Birdwatcher is a gem of an addition to the stellar Mulholland line of crime fiction. Shaw's writing is true British procedural; lean and spectacle-free, it nevertheless grabs and doesn't let go. With minimal telling, Shaw paints full characters and relationships with seemingly preternatural ease. Particularly satisfying are South's relationship with Cupidi's daughter Zoe and emotional flashbacks to his childhood in Ireland during the Troubles. A well-plotted mystery with love and loyalty at its core, The Birdwatcher is a gratifying standalone that both satisfies and cries for more."—Shelf Awareness [starred review]

"A gem of an addition to the stellar Mulholland line of crime fiction. Shaw's writing is true British procedural; lean and spectacle-free, it nevertheless grabs and doesn't let go. . . . A well-plotted mystery with love and loyalty at its core, The Birdwatcher is a gratifying standalone that both satisfies and cries for more."—Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"Well told [and] affecting. The writing is beautifully understated, and the characters are vividly drawn and likable in their imperfections. Shaw makes the stony landscape an important element in the work; it becomes, by the end of the story, a place to which readers will feel a curiously strong attachment."—Booklist (starred review)

"A totally satisfying mystery from the first page to the last."—BookRiot

"There is a lot going on in this book which is artfully presented to the intelligent reader. I've read all of William Shaw's novels to date and consider him to be one of the top major talents to emerge in the last five years. Rating: A"—Deadly Pleasures Magazine

"Award-winning author Shaw ("Breen and Tozer" series) delivers an outstanding stand-alone novel; its gritty protagonist, intricate plot, and atmospheric description of the English countryside will please readers of Tana French's 'Dublin Murder Squad' series."—Library Journal

"Shaw crafts a delicious atmosphere."—Mystery Scene

"The Birdwatcher [is] exquisite in every way. A slow-burn book that begins with a violent crime and ends explosively... You won't want to put it down."—BookReporter

"Engaging . . . A fine procedural . . . The action builds to a thrilling ending."—Publishers Weekly

"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 brilliantly constructed thriller . . . Utterly compulsive, written in sharp, unsentimental style, and with a wonderfully atmospheric storm-battered setting."—Sunday Mirror [UK]

"William Shaw is, quite simply, an outstanding storyteller. The Birdwatcher is the most gripping book I've read in years."—Peter May, Barry Award-winning author of The Lewis Trilogy

"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

"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]