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Birdman Mass Market Paperback – October 10, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (October 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440236169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440236160
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,229,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This crackling psychological thriller introduces police detective Jack Caffery, who is on the hunt for a serial killer the British tabloids have nicknamed "The Millennium Ripper."

The Ripper is behind the murder of five prostitutes, whose bodies are unearthed beneath the rubble of a Greenwich landfill. All the victims have been raped and their bodies horrendously mutilated--but not until after being killed by a dose of heroin injected directly into their brainstems. What stuns Caffery even more is the one detail of the murders the public doesn't know; the hearts of the women have been replaced with live birds sewn into the victims' chests.

Caffery himself is a tortured man, still burdened by guilt over the decades-old murder of his younger brother and frustrated because he cannot bring the man he knows is responsible to the bar of justice. When the Millennium Ripper confesses to the prostitute killings just before taking his own life, Caffery faces his own limitations and begins to make peace with his past. But then another prostitute is found dead, her body ravaged in the same way, a bird where her heart was--and Caffery realizes that his past may never truly be put to rest.

A solid page turner, this gripping debut by a young Englishwoman introduces a complex and fascinating protagonist destined for another appearance. Meanwhile, Birdman will enthrall readers who just can't get enough of Hannibal Lechter. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. Hayder is impressively successful in appealing to a broad, multigenre fan base (mystery/police procedural, thriller, horror). She displays a good working knowledge of forensics and English police procedures, and Birdman's plot has more twists than a surgeon's knot. But the weak of stomach are forewarnedAher graphic imagination knows no bounds. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild featured selection. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The twists and turns of this book kept me on edge until the last page.
Suzanne Howe
This is a story that got off to a slow beginning (for me), but I hung with it simply because Mo is a new author, and I wanted to give her writing a good chance.
Sue
The story line was intriguing but it was a little too graphic and twisted for me.
Bobbi M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Sue on January 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
and Jeffrey Dahmer look like choir boys!
This is a story that got off to a slow beginning (for me), but I hung with it simply because Mo is a new author, and I wanted to give her writing a good chance. I'm glad I did.
The last two-thirds of the book had me on the edge of my seat; near London, five bodies were discovered w/birds sewn INTO their chest cavities. The police are trying to discover the who, what, when, where, why when they follow a lead to a very good suspect. Only problem: the suspect commits suicide (this info was also told in a PUBLISHERS WEEKLY review--so I'm giving very little away!) & another body is discovered ... after the suspect's demise!
Slowly the puzzle pieces begin to come together ... the action picks up & takes off like a run-away truck down a mountain road as the ultimate bad guy loses all touch w/reality (like he had any to begin with!).
What happens to the victims in this story is NOT pretty; nor is it fun to read about what they are put through. You'll be squirming & closing your eyes & shaking your head & crying out & the whole nine yards if you decide to take this story on.
It's a disturbing story. A haunting story. One that will stay w/me for awhile.
To be honest w/you, I have to go back & reread parts--simply because the tension was so high, I had to (just HAD TO) keep turning the pages to find out what was going to happen.
I can't wait for more stories from Mo!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm1 on October 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the second book I read by Mo Haydor and it makes Hitchcock's movie The Birds seem like Mary Poppins.

I can't believe a female writer could come up with such a scary novel, but I was on the edge of my couch and couldn't put the book down.

I am now so fascinated with the Jack Caffery character, I want to read all the books that feature him.

This book was so creepy, but you cannot stop reading to see what's next. All I can say is try it you'll like it but leave a light on.

Happy Halloween and Happy Reading!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter H. Kistemaker on January 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Fond on books about serialkillers, this one grabbed me by the troath from page one. Mo can put herself on the same level with Thomas Harris (Hannibal) and Kathy Reichs (deja dead) Her style is very good and it takes the reader just a couple of pages of this book and you can't get it out of your hands until its finished. Her descriptions of character, crimescene and victims are chilling real. To consider this is her writing debuut, promises a lot for the future. She shows she has insight in the mind of a serial killer and probably has done intensive study at some of them. I would say that Jeffrey Dahmer was her favorite and that shows in this book. Go on, mrs Hayder, give us mo'.!
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By William Malmborg on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
When it comes to fiction few things have the power to disturb me, not because I've been desensitized, but because I'm good at compartmentalizing things into a `real' and `not real' category. Of course, this isn't to say that things that occur in fiction can't happen in real life, lord knows that isn't the case, just that I'm really good at telling myself `it's only a novel' when faced with something that starts to get to me. With non-fiction I can't do that. When reading about how wounded Civil War soldiers were often eaten alive by feral pigs after a battle, I have to accept that such events really happened; that at some point some poor young man not much different than myself had to struggle in agony as he was being eaten. Things like that stick in my head and upset me. Put it in a fiction book, however, and I'll probably just marvel over the wicked imagination the author had. I might even grow envious of it. But that's it. Things just don't get to me when I know it isn't real. At least they don't get to me that often. The novel Birdman by Mo Hayder was an exception to this. Halfway through the book I came upon a scene that provided an explanation for something that had been noted earlier in the autopsies of several female bodies, and it was like a blow to my senses with a ball ping hammer. I couldn't believe I had read what I had just read and had to close the book for a while, my mind completely overwhelmed. After that, once I regained my composure, I silently applauded Mo Hayder for what she had managed, and then quickly told everyone I knew to read the book via Facebook and other social media sites. After all, if something has the power to disturb me, chances are it has the power to disturb a lot of people, and moments like that should never go unshared.Read more ›
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book without realizing that it was being billed as the newest 'Silence of the Lambs' wannabe, and that turned out to be fortunate. I consider that work a great display of talent and a great serial killer tale. 'Birdman' is a good story, but it is no 'Silence.' Had I been expecting one this would have been a considerably different review. It is a shame that modern publishers do not trust a book to make it on its own merits, and thus set up readers for unnecessary disappointments.

'Birdman' is set in London, and opens with the discovery of the corpses of five women, each surgically modified, made up, and provided with an 'artificial' heart. These grim, ugly victims become the custody of one Detective Inspector Jack Caffery, as he tries to understand and track down their killer. Jack has his own problems, a relationship he doesn't seem to be able to extract himself from and a compulsive need to seek revenge on the man who killed his brother when they were children.

Jack finds himself in conflict with the prejudices of his new department as well as a deviant criminal mind. His fellow officers have little patience with profiling techniques and are quick to settle for anyone who appears to have had the opportunity. But Jack knows the murderer is no simple pimp or drug dealer. This dark mind defies both the intellect and the stomach in its insatiable quest for sexual partners among the dead. The killer, who seeks his victims among London's ladies of the night, doesn't play and kill, but prefers his victims dead first - a necrophile.

The narration expands to include the story of the killer as well as the activities of DI Caffery.
Read more ›
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