- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 18 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: December 7, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006JEXWO2
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Crocodile Bird Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
The story starts like this: A reclusive, young, beautiful mother kills people deep in the English countryside while raising her young daughter in solitude and providing her a classical education. When the police show up to arrest Mom, she tells Liza to hide until the police have left, and Mom gives Liza strict instructions on what to do. After all, Liza knows nothing about money, modern life or surviving in the '80s, and she is only sixteen, pretty and completely naive. Nothing goes to plan after that ...
The real question is: Does Liza have her mother's love for killing?
Interesting book, with Liza as the single protagonist, she tells the tale of her life and her mother's (as she knows it), to a third party, interspersed with her current life after seclusion. A perfect example of an unreliable narrator, but even wilder is an unreliable narrator who has knowledge of some of the problems with their story and later corrects them. Curious and curiouser ...
A very well written psychological thriller which was highly original in its
conception and execution. This is more a psychological study of why some people kill that first time, then continue to solve certain problems permanently. It also raises the question of having offspring that are predisposed, or learn to kill. It is also about what is truly important in life, and what people will do to achieve it.
THE CROCODILE BIRD opens with the shocking revelation that Liza's mother, Eve, faces arrest for murder, and it's not even her first kill. Liza, after spending her entire life sheltered from the big and bad world on an idyllic and remote English estate with her mother as her tutor, faces the unfamiliar world on her own at the tender age of 16. Plucking up her courage, Liza runs to her secret lover and as she embarks on a new life on the "outside," she recounts the fascinating, but creepy, tale of her childhood in a Scheherazade-type nightly chats. And what a story it is!
This is no whodunit; this is a proper psychological mystery. The question is not who--since we know from page 5 that Eve did it--but why. If you like to poke around in people's psyches, this is the book for you.
Despite the slow-moving plot and calm prose, I found myself utterly capitivated by the mystery of Eve and Liza. I asked myself, "How does a beautiful, intelligent, and unconventional woman like Eve turn into a murderess?" and "What will happen to Liza?" The answer to both is rather shocking, but not in a lurid way, but because the dilemmas that these women find themselves in are so real. You start to wonder if the woman across the street could turn black, just like Eve.
I also loved that Rendell doesn't shy away from fraught issues, such as rape and codependent relationships. If you want a smartly written mystery that delivers some thinking with the thrills, this one is for you.
During Liza's sixteen years, Eve committed three murders. After the last one, which Eve knows will be pinned on her, she sends her daughter to stay with her friend in London. Liza, instead, goes to live with Sean, the gardener with whom she has recently begun an affair. Over the next 101 days she relates to Sean, Scheherazade-style the story of her life with mom, leaving off at strategic places in the story.
This was my favorite of all the Rendell books that I have read so far. The story-telling and character studies were superior.