The Birdwatcher (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Shaw's unique novel of juxtaposition is not to be missed! Set on the harsh Kent coastline, loner and peace-loving birdwatcher Sgt. William South hides a deep-rooted secret. South's 
neighbor, fellow birdwatcher and only friend is found brutally beaten to death. Was he the person South believed him to be?  And South's newly assigned supervisor has come to Kent, 
bringing along her own set of secrets. Shaw's intelligently-written psychological thriller is sure to entertain. Be sure to pick up a copy! - Brenda

— From Brenda's Staff Picks


Set on the Kentish coast, The Birdwatcher is about William South, a modest beat-cop with a passion for birding and a dark past. During the Troubles in Northern Ireland, South may or may-not have killed his own father. When South's birding buddy and neighbor is found murdered in his cottage, South is reluctantly thrust into the investigation. Seamlessly floating from past to present, and with intricately drawn characters, The Birdwatcher is a fantastic British procedural. The book has enough action to keep you engaged while still being well written. This is sure to be the start of a sensitive, gripping series. - Sam

— From Sam's Staff Picks


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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316316248
ISBN-10: 0316316245
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017
Pages: 336
Language: English