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Birdman (Jack Caffery #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  8,174 ratings  ·  839 reviews
Now in Grove Press paperback for the first time, Birdman showcases Hayder at her spine-tingling best as beloved series character Jack Caffery tracks down a terrifying serial killer.

In his first case as lead investigator with London’s crack murder squad, Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is called on to investigate the murder of a young woman whose body has been discovered n
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Grove Press (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Arah-Lynda
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
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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 f
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Bill
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
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Michael
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
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Jean Coldwell
I am giving this 3-1/2 stars.

The title character in Mo Hayder’s Birdman is nowhere near as benevolent as Jack Stroud, the infamous prisoner of Alcatraz. No, no, no. This “Birdman” is far more deviant. In this first of the Jack Caffrey novels, Hayder creates an extremely perverted, sadistic plot that takes us to a place where most would rather not go. This Birdman is given the name for an entirely different reason than one might expect.

The corpse of a prostitute is found in a remote location in G
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Suzy
Propulsive! I was out of breath at the end of this, but Hayder lets us down easy in the excellent last chapter. This is really a 4-star book, but I deducted a star because of the many disturbing graphic descriptions of the murders. Maybe only one or two other mysteries that I've read have been this grim. I almost abandoned it several times during those scenes, but the multiple layers, Jack Caffrey and his back story, the portrayal of the psychology behind the crimes and the cast of characters ke ...more
Jim
This looked interesting, but started off slow & never really got me going. Might have been the format, although the reader wasn't bad, but I did want to move him & the story along. Seemed very realistic, maybe too much so. Police procedure isn't exciting as it is on TV.

I also didn't care much for the main character. Again, he wasn't awful, but nothing about him drew me in. None of the others did, either. There were also a couple personal issues the MC was dealing with. His neighbor was o
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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
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
Chris
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
Cat
Ok, so Mo Hayder's got a sick and twisted mind. Only that can explain these dark and bloody stories she writes.

But I'm not complaining, far from it! Birdman, disgusting as it is, is an addictive story. I couldn't leave it when I needed to, and kept thinking about it when I wasn't reading. I kept thinking who could be the terrifying psychopath who was killing those women in such gross ways. And when I (and, I guess, all the readers) thought I had it all figured out, the story takes an interesting
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Best Crime Books
I have been meaning to read this series for a long time and finally made a start. It’s always exciting when you start a new series and this one certainly got my attention. Jack Caffery is certainly a great lead and his very clear and troubling issues actually made him more likeable. He is called into a murder scene which I was expecting to be like numerous others I’ve read about. One thing that was very apparent from the start right through to the end is that this book is not for the faint heart ...more
Pat
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
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Maria
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
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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
Gina
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!
Jack
4.5/5.0

On an early morning in mid-May, young DI Jack Caffery finds himself called upon to investigate the murder of a young woman, who's corpse has found found at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, south east London. Her body is brutalized, mutilated beyond recognition. What makes this case more terrifying, the discovery of four more corpses - all female, all ritualistically, savagely murdered.

Caffery is an extremely damaged man, haunted by the abduction of his brother Ewan years back, to this d
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Snotchocheez

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
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Jamie
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
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Noeleen
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
Tracy Fenton
Not sure whether I should be more worried about me "enjoying" this rather sick and gruesome book or the author for writing it. Not recommended for those of a squeamish disposition. .but right up my street. Straight on to The Treatment Jack Caffery book 2 for me now
Mona Temchin
This very dark and brutally gory book is the first in the Jack Caffery series by British crime writer Mo Hayder.

London Detective Inspector Jack Caffery, newly assigned to a particular investigative unit, gets involved with a frightening case involving a serial murderer. The case has a number of false starts and twists and turns. Several times when they think they've found the perpetrator, they've been "barking up the wrong tree". Caffery is a brilliant young detective with nerves of steel and gr
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Sara
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
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Carol
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
Kaila
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
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Devin
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
Jeanie
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 on...it couldn't be a normal case...no. The ...more
Jason
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
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Doreen
This is the first installment in the Walking Man series which introduces Jack Caffery, a British Detective Inspector.

Jack leads the investigation into the deaths of five women whose bodies are found with evidence of strange mutilating surgeries. The victims were all drug users/prostitutes who would not be missed. The investigation becomes personal for Jack when he begins a relationship with Rebecca, an artist/former stripper, who knew several of the victims. Everyone is lead to believe that the
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Sian Wadey
This has been my favourite book of the year so far and it's hard to explain why. You jump, feet first, into the murder. It's almost like going underwater, you have to take a deep breath, and it's not until you've finished that you can breathe again. Mo Hayder has a brilliant, if rather gruesome imagination, and reading the detailed descriptions of the bodies and the acts taking place, can at times make you feel physically sick. For me, that's part of the reason why I loved it. To get such a stro ...more
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Mysteries & C...: October read - Birdman 36 130 Nov 02, 2014 01:48AM  
The Mystery, Crim...: September Buddy Read - Birdman 154 169 Sep 30, 2014 03:47PM  
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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.

Series:
* Jack Caffery
More about Mo Hayder...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Caffery (7 books)
  • The Treatment (Jack Caffery, #2)
  • Ritual (Jack Caffery, #3)
  • Skin (Jack Caffery, #4)
  • Gone (Jack Caffery, #5)
  • Poppet (Jack Caffery, #6)
  • Wolf (Jack Caffery, #7)
The Treatment (Jack Caffery, #2) Gone (Jack Caffery, #5) Ritual (Jack Caffery, #3) Poppet (Jack Caffery, #6) The Devil of Nanking

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