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Biggest one for me: How did the murderer frame the man who ended up hanged? It seems like a lot of work went into that. William Shaw This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [ He found him after he'd murdered South's friend. Planted the axe handle where he'd been drinking. Offered him some more alcohol. Drove him to the …more He found him after he'd murdered South's friend. Drove him to the disused army hut and sat with him drinking till he'd passed out, then hanged him.

The Birdwatcher by William Shaw | Incredible books from Quercus Books

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The Birdwatcher

The opening paragraph is definitely a hook, a self confessed murderer. But how and when? As we read we come to know Community officer William South, an avid birder living on the coast at Kent, a mild mannered man, a quiet soul who lives alone. He has never been part of a murder investigation before, but is brought into one when a neighbor and fellow birder is murdered. Alternating chapters take us back to the past, William's past as a child, living in Ireland with his mother and father during th The opening paragraph is definitely a hook, a self confessed murderer.

Alternating chapters take us back to the past, William's past as a child, living in Ireland with his mother and father during the period designated as The Troubles. What happened there will have a huge impact on his life as he lives it now and on his future. This is a slow burner of a book, the tone somewhat melancholy and lonely. Although William loves his quietness, his isolation, he becomes involved in a strange concurrence of events, although is to to back away. A young,troubled teen and a new officer to the police rota also play important parts.

One of those books that has almost the whole package, good and multilayered characters, a steady if slowly unraveling pace, gorgeous setting. Interesting asides about birds and birding, a book that connects past with present in a surprising way, a book to become immersed is and just enjoy the unraveling. ARC from Netgalley. View all 13 comments. Oct 15, Linda rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery-thrillers , nature-themes , police-procedural , favorites.

A good birder should be able to sit still for hours, just watching. It was like a marksman lowering his heart rate to steady his aim. He lowers the binoculars held in his tight grip with the depleting hope that no one will ever see into the inner chambers of his own soul. For t "Birding made you patient. For there lies the remnants of a murder so long ago. But when South's birding friend and neighbor is brutally murdered, he must search for answers both professionally and personally.

Who would want Bob dead and why in such a rage-filled manner? This small community on the coast is a refuge for birds and small animals and certainly not a draw for murderers. But as the days pass by, South is led to believe that there is more to Bob's story than anyone ever knew. Cupidi will head up the investigation. South hopes that Cupidi's detective skills will rank a bit higher than her careless parenting skills.

Zoe, prone to wayward actions of her own, is left to fend for herself most of the time with Cupidi clocking more office hours than home hours. South will find himself more involved in young Zoe's life than what he bargained for.

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William Shaw has sculpted the likes of a painfully "human" individual within the character of William South who still breathes heavily from the weight of his past. South has been soldiering through life since he was a young boy in Northern Ireland.


  1. The Book Trail The Birdwatcher - The Book Trail!
  2. I Got To Tell You Something.
  3. Reggie Rocketship: and His Galaxy of Secrets!
  4. MORE BY WILLIAM SHAW;
  5. Watching the Birdwatcher.
  6. Apartments in London.

Shaw creates a paralleling storyline that slowly reveals South's deeply held secret of his youth with the conflicting incidents of his present day life as an officer. It's here that Shaw shines with the nodding head of reality. Your past will always bleed into your future. I certainly hope that this next book will include William South in some capacity. South has been the complete draw of this present book as you will come to know. While able to identify many a bird in flight, South seems to have the uncanny knack of finding the true pulse of human nature as well.

A very worthy read, indeed.


  1. The Shift.
  2. The Birdwatcher.
  3. Pronunciation Supplements: Lists and sentences to aid in the teaching of American English sounds!
  4. Life Without Summer: A Novel!
  5. About this book!
  6. Apartments in Paris;
  7. Lightspeed Magazine, January 2011;

View all 16 comments. The Hook - The birds and the bees, well, not really, it was the birds, the birder and the mystery that made The Birdwatcher a must to purchase. Now how can that be? It took me awhile to get into this story. I wanted more birds and less detecting. However, I soon found myself wrapped up in this slow, literate procedural and did get those birds in the end. The main character at least for me , William South is revealed slowly. Deeply atmospheric, moody, the bleak countryside of Kent nails the whole.

So, William Shaw? What do you say? Will William South return? View all 26 comments. This is a slow burn and offbeat read located on the bleak, isolated and atmospheric Kent coast within sight of the ominous Dungeness Nuclear Power Station. DS William South has a buttoned down and emotionally closed personality who has two things in his life, he has an all consuming passion for birdwatching and works the local beat as a committed police officer.

KIRKUS REVIEW

He is tasked to acquaint DS Alexandra Cupidi with the local area and work the rage killing of a local man, who transpires to be Robert This is a slow burn and offbeat read located on the bleak, isolated and atmospheric Kent coast within sight of the ominous Dungeness Nuclear Power Station. He is tasked to acquaint DS Alexandra Cupidi with the local area and work the rage killing of a local man, who transpires to be Robert Raynor, the only friend William had and whom he introduced to birdwatching.

Initially reluctant to be on the murder team, William comes to find himself driven to discover what happened to his friend. Running alongside the present day investigation is the compelling story of a 13 year old Billy William and his life growing up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland. He already has an established interest in birdwatching largely because it allowed him to escape his drunk and violent father who serves as an enforcer for the loyalists. Against his natural instincts, an unsettled and upset William finds himself becoming closer to Cupidi and her daughter, Zoe.