With the forensic acumen of Patricia Cornwell and the atmosphere of Lynda La Plante's Prime Suspect series, Birdman - already an international sensation prior to publication - introduces a troubled homicide detective battling the demons of his past while facing the psychopath of the century.
In the chilling opening to Birdman, the bodies of five women are found, ritualistically mutilated and dumped on wasteland in Greenwich, England. When post-mortem examinations reveal a single, horrific signature linking the victims - a tiny bird sewn into each chest - the police realize they are on the trail of a serial killer with a terrifying mind.
Detective Inspector Jack Caffery, young,driven, unshockable, finds himself facing both hostilities within the force and his own memory of a lethal failure, as he struggles to unravel the most macabre murders he's ever seen. Now, as he employs every weapon science can offer, he knows he has little time before the sadistic killer strikes again. But he has so little evidence. All he has are five mutilated corpses and five dead little birds.
Mo Hayder - with a keen psychological insight, brilliant forensic and procedural detail, and a psychically wounded but charismatic lead investigator - has written a first novel of raw intensity and deep understanding that will thrill the hearts of the most demanding readers of crime fiction.
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