The Birdman is the first novel by British crime-writer Mo Hayder, introducing her protagonist-DI Jack Caffery, someone who is also battling his own demons from the past.
So,this novel started out pretty good, like any other crime thriller- there’s an exceptionally good detective, there’s a murder/homicide(in this case it’s the murder of five girls, who are found naked and degrading,with amateur surgical marks), there’s a serial killer on the loose who is pretty sick in the mind, a MO, evidences, speculations etcetera etcetera.
I have a crazy fetish for crime thrillers. And I personally prefer books that hold the identity of the culprit a mystery to both the readers and the characters in the book, until the very end. So when a quarter of the way into this book when the author reveals the identity of the culprit(some random guy) to the reader, it was the first major set back for me. But I still had high hopes.
I have never read a Mo Hayder book before, so I went in with a completely open mind,and in fact with high expectations. First of all, the author has tried to bring forth the murder and the culprit as really gruesome, kind of the blood curling types. But towards the end it just gets ‘too’ much. It’s almost as if the author is just straining to make it too nasty that you kinda miss the point.
Next, I felt that the author is just jumping from one thing to the other at times. I really got confused with the characters in the background and various measures taken up to obtain and analyse the evidence.To put it bluntly, it was a bit messy.
Having said that, though the story started out really good, it gets really predictable. There’s no particular mystery regarding the killer(sans a few meagre twists in the middle), and there is no intriguing suspense. I won’t recommend this book to those who are crime thriller fanatics, cause I believe there are so many better ones out there, and hence you might end up comparing. I am really sure that if this was one of the very first crime thrillers I had read, I would have loved it. So having said that, if you haven’t read too many crime thrillers, you should definitely give it a try.