Birdman (Jack Caffery, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Birdman (Jack Caffery #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  6,567 ratings  ·  680 reviews
Greenwich, south-east London. The Met's crack murder squad, AMIP, is called out by nervous CID detectives to a grim discovery. Five bodies, all young women, all ritualistically murdered and dumped on wasteland near the Dome. As each post-mortem reveals a singular, horrific signature linking the victims, officers realize that they are on the trail of that most dangerous off...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 10th 2000 by Dell Publishing Company (first published 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Birdman, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Birdman

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas HarrisDarkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff LindsayRed Dragon by Thomas HarrisAmerican Psycho by Bret Easton EllisHannibal by Thomas Harris
I Like Serial Killers
47th out of 546 books — 851 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAngels & Demons by Dan BrownRebecca by Daphne du MaurierIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Best Crime & Mystery Books
473rd out of 4,347 books — 9,981 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Tim "The Enchanter"

Creepy. Creepy. Creepy. - 3

It is my personal belief that given the right set of circumstances ANYONE is capable of murder. If someone tells me that they are not capable of killing another human, I will disagree with them. Having said that, there are some things that I don't believe every person capable of doing. While I might believe your grandma is capable of shooting or poisoning someone, I don't necessarily believe that she is capable of then cutting them up and cooking them in a stew fo...more
Pretty good premise on the make-up of the hero detective, but I couldn’t quite deal with the Gothic excess of violence . Your mileage might vary.

Our thirtysomething detective on the London police, Jack Caffery. Is damaged goods. Like a lot of tough guys in crime noir, our man has a troubled past. Caffery lost a brother as a pre-teen kid and obsesses for decades on the likely guilt of his creepy neighbor in his permanent disappearance. Instead of working like Kryptonite, the experience instead ap...more
No matter where I lay this book, it immediately improved the visual aspects of that space. True, even when it lay half hazard amid the detritus of day to day. And it is not only the visual aspects that appeal; there is a feeling of what? present. And you’re drawn back, again, considering. This book doesn’t just reside here, it rocks, it rolls, it rules. Great and clever cover art!

Which brings us to the story and it’s a good one. Meet British, Detective Inspector Jack Caffery. He is young, driven...more
Man, what is it about female mystery writers that makes them come up with the most heinous of crimes? From her bio and picture, Mo Hayder seems like such a nice lady. But with Birdman, her debut novel, she launches herself right into the darkest of Val McDermid's territory.

I couldn't burn through Birdman quickly enough. There is nothing not to like about this novel. Take a serial killer with a bizarre signature, an inspector with a dark past and struggling relationship, and short chapters, and...more
Chad Sayban
Detective Inspector Jack Caffery has a lot on his mind. He has a girlfriend he doesn’t love. He has a neighbor haunting him who may have murdered Jack’s brother years ago. He has parents who don’t want to be around him. And now he has five mutilated bodies that were found buried at a construction site in Greenwich, England. Soon Jack finds that it is not just the killer he is fighting against. There are others in the Major Crime Investigation Unit who don’t want to see him succeed. Jack isn’t su...more
Matt Garcia
Excellent mystery novel. Mo Hayder manages to create a superb and frighteningly real detective that I became totally engrossed in reading about. The graphic violence and detestable nature of the antagonist paired with an eclectic cast of characters made this book a fantastic read. Jack Caffrey is a truly empathetic character and I found myself engaged throughout the entire mystery. The Birdman's M.O. was also quite unique and inventive. Violent, bloody, disgusting, and intriguing. "Birdman" cert...more
Depois de ter lido Pele da autora e de ter tido opiniões fantásticas de algumas colegas de blogues e do facebook, não resisti comprar e a ler este livro e não estou nada arrependida. Este livro ainda é melhor do que o anterior.
Mo Hayder apresenta-nos em Os Pássaros da Morte o primeiro caso do inspector Jack Caffery de uma forma chocante de assassinatos a prostitutas que aparecem mortas num terreno abandonado, mas cujos corpos têm uma particularidade: todos apresentam, junto à caixa toráxica um p...more
This book is like a ride that starts out rather slow and appears harmless enough until you realize, too late, that it is about really mess you up. I was reading along, enjoying the tour of London and the exposure to British terms that I had never heard before, admiring the detail of the forensics (I was thinking of calling this CSI London), getting into these interesting characters, trying to solve the clues and only getting it partially right---which I am sure is what the author intended, and t...more

I probably shouldn't be reviewing this; gruesome police procedurals generally aren't my "thing", although a binge watch of the final season of the Netflix-resurrected series "The Killing" and a glowing review from a GR friend of Poppet (adorned with a creepy porcelain cat thingy on the cover) lured me toward giving Mo Hayder a try.

Ms. (sorry, but it threw me for a bit of a loop that Mo was female) Hayder's first novel (and first of seven "Jack Caffery" novels) Birdman proved to be a promising d...more
Many friends have recommended Mo Hayder books to me over the years so I was really looking forward to getting started on this series. Unfortunately I felt that this book was pretty mediocre, even the few twists and turns presented didn't grab my attention to any great extent. I did like Jack Caffrey's character but I found the back story quite flawed regarding his missing brother and his subsequent interactions with his 'neighbour'. This book is not for the faint-hearted. It's pretty gruesome in...more
Birdman was Mo Hayder's first novel and it was a pretty strong debut. Since I've read Poppet, her latest book, it was easy to see how her writing has improved over the years. Where i>Poppet was seamless, this book felt a little more choppy. That is my only complaint. There were still twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. And the gore- phew! It was heavy in the gore. Several times I felt my poor tummy flip at the descriptions. Bluh! It was not easy.

This is where we first meet Dete...more
D.I. Jack Caffery is having a bad day. He wants to dump his pretentious needy bitch of a girlfriend when she suddenly announces her cancer is back. What timing, but Jack has his suspicions. And there is a badly mutilated body found buried in a field he is called to investigate. Correction, on closer inspection there are five mutilated corpses buried in same the field. All women, all strippers. Busy day for Caffery. Each body is cut up in a similar manner and each killed in the same way. All vict...more
Nov 08, 2012 Kaila rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
Although I enjoyed Pig Island this wasn't the case with Birdman. It was (for me) mediocre at best, and if it had been my first time reading Hayder I probably wouldn't have been all that interested in reading any more of her work if given the choice between that and the countless other books on my shelf.

That said Birdman does keep you reading until the end. Not, I found, because of any of the characters, but because the crime itself is interesting and there are enough questions throughout the no...more
I've often wondered what it would be like to write a book. Not just any book, mind you, but one from my favorite genre: a mystery/thriller. I would want that novel to have an, admittedly, flawed protagonist...a young and extremely bright detective, perhaps, working his first big case. One that doesn't sleep well at night, has relationship problems, and maybe drinks a little too much, still haunted by the demons of his past? And the case he'd be working couldn't be a normal The...more
The story was OK. The graphic nature of the subject didn't bother me, but some readers may find it off-putting.

However a couple of minor things annoyed me enough to knock a star off the rating. The first thing is badly researched cars. The badness of this research would probably not have annoyed me if not for the fact that... The cover blah proclaims these books are '100% authentic, drawing on her research association with UK police...'

I beg to disagree because if it was well researched the...more
Lisa Nakamura
A pretty good yarn with some twists, but I thought the author wallowed in the gore excessively and lost sight of developing the characters. The characters are thin stereotypes and even the main character's development is choppy and not well rooted. That the author relies on detailed description of the gross and gory is, I think intended to provide realism and some street cred for the author, which it does, but then goes on and on overshadowing the needs of the characters to give richness to a pr...more
I’d held off on this one for a bit because many readers said it was too brutal, too terrifying. And for the first 80 percent of the book, it seemed like a pretty standard serial killer/rapist territory — very well-written, but typical depictions of violence. But it was like a boiling pot where I didn’t realize how the author was turning up the heat until it was too late to turn away. (Unlike a lot of male authors, she clearly was not secretly getting off on the violence toward the female charact...more
Depois das excelentes críticas a este livro, confesso que esperava mais e melhor...
Mo Hayder, apresenta-nos o primeiro caso do inspetor Jack Caffery. Um policial, que apesar de tudo se lê bem, com alguns ingredientes interessantes, mas que fica a saber a pouco.
Na sinopse deste livro, "Os Pássaros da Morte", é comparado ao "Silêncio dos Inocentes"... que exagero!
4.5 stars.
I read 'Gone' by Mo Hayder and was planning to read 'Poppet' next but my husband pointed out that instead of starting a series in the middle (I do that a lot), I should start at the beginning so I picked up the ebook of 'Birdman' from the Jack Caffery series. Wow! What a start to a series! This is a British crime thriller and Ms. Hayder can definitely write a crime thriller. Not for the faint of heart, this is the story of a serial killer with some unique signatures (you have been war...more
This was a great book! Full of suspense and twists and turns. I didn't know where the book was headed until the very end. I am so glad that someone recommended this series to me! I have already ordered the next in the series and can't wait to see what Hayder has next for her readers. 4 stars!
Really liked Jack. Great character. Good twists to story. Will read the next one!
Birdman is the first book in Mo Hayder's Detective Inspector Jack Caffery series, featuring a quite broken DI, who has haunting dreams of his older brother, who disappeared when both were very young. There are definitely still some serious psychological problems, both with Caffery and his parents. This book delves into some serious stuff, both internal to Caffery and the gruesome crimes committed.

5 bodies are uncovered and obviously a serial killer is on the loose. There are some very strange an...more
I have a hard time rating this book due to the lacking main character.

Let's leave that problem for later. First off, the intriguing crime drama definitely held my interest. Hayder has a deft hand in throwing out red herrings to the reader. She uses the "look over there" school of writing while something important is happening two feet away. Unfortunately she uses a little too much telegraphing ala Stephen King; the annoying "Little did Sue know she'd never set foot in her apartment again" nonsen...more
Vicky (Books, Biscuits, and Tea)
Originally reviewed at:

I should probably start this review with a warning and say that this book is not for the faint-hearted. I read quite a lot of crime fiction so I like to think I’ve had some time to get used to these kind of things and I’m pretty unshockable but some of Hayder’s descriptions of mutilated victims still made me shudder. This is not a book you should read at night or when you’re on your own either. Having said that, I still liked it. I...more
This book reminds me a lot of the Hannibal series. Very creepy, a little disturbing, but very suspenseful and exciting. What was very unique about this story is that it takes whole chapters in the point of view of the killer and relates years of development that led to the way things are currently. There isn't a whole lot of guess work, so you are often waiting for the main character to figure out what you already know. I thought it was interesting because I really came to understand the suspect...more
I was rather conflicted about this book(it was a quick and sometimes diverting read) - but one thing about it WAS clear. To me, it is books like this - that become popular with comments about how "great" they are...that make me realize how easily most readers are pleased and entertained by the lowest common denominator.

Books just like this are a dime a dozen. The story may be slightly engaging with a few twists - but the writing is hackneyed and redundant and the characters are insipid caricatu...more
I got lent this by a horror-fanatic friend, and there is some real stomach churning stuff here. It's not a good idea to read late at night if you get jumpy and/or are prone to nightmares!

I have to agree that most of the characters were incredibly irritating, including Jack - his inability to break-up with Veronica really pissed me off how they had been together for any length of time I have no idea. I sort of understood why she ended up behaving the way she did, even if I think it's completely s...more

Thanks, posters on an Amazon US mystery discussion, for a plethora of raving reviews about Mo Hayder and her character Jack Caffery. Mo is a good-looking British gal who was previously barmaid, security guard, filmmaker, teacher of English as a foreign language in Vietnam. She has to have a sister in Chicago who is also a writer and wordsmith.

Hayder's BIRDMAN, her debut novel...reads easy. In just a few pages, she introduces Jack Caffery. Four years...more
I have been enjoying a lot of BBC series on PBS, including the police dramas, like DCI Banks. When I picked up Birdman by Hayder, it had the same feel as those British police dramas and I was engaged immediately.

The main character, Jack Caffery, is a man haunted by the ghost of his long dead brother, a trail of failed relationships and he is new to his current position in the police department. Flawed but trying to do his best, Jack is someone I think anyone can relate with and root for - espec...more
Michelle (meshe)
This is the first book in the Jack Caffrey series and boy does it pack a wollop. It's a mystery/thriller, but I would also categorize it in my favorite genre, sick shit. Jack Caffrey is a Detective Inspector who himself has a tragic and dark past that makes him flawed and sympathetic character . He's investigating a series of murders involving girls from the wrong side of the track. 5 bodies are discovered in a trash dump and at autopsy some disturbing clues are discovered. Each body has a bird...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Mystery, Crim...: September Buddy Read 69 95 Sep 01, 2014 07:29PM  
  • Dead Politician Society: A Clare Vengel Undercover Novel
  • Gutshot Straight
  • The Devil's Cradle (Kendall O'Dell #2)
  • Needle in a Haystack
  • The Hunt
  • From the Ashes
  • The Retribution (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #7)
  • Cold Granite (Logan McRae, #1)
  • Black Out (Inspector Troy, #1)
  • Meet the Annas: A Musical Novel
  • Pets in a Pickle
  • 212 (Ellie Hatcher #3)
  • Raven Strike (Dreamland, #13)
  • Blood Safari
  • The Entitled: A Tale of Modern Baseball
  • The Crime of Julian Wells
  • Leaving Before It's Over
  • Protector
Mo Hayder left school at fifteen. She worked as a barmaid, security guard, film-maker, hostess in a Tokyo club, educational administrator and teacher of English as a foreign language in Asia. She has an MA in film from The American University in Washington DC and an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University UK.

Mo lives in Bath with her daughter Lotte-Genevieve.

* Jack Caffery
More about Mo Hayder...
The Treatment (Jack Caffery, #2) Gone (Jack Caffery, #5) The Devil of Nanking Ritual (Jack Caffery, #3) Skin (Jack Caffery, #4)

Share This Book