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(Jack Caffery #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  22,347 ratings  ·  1,615 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 December 1st 1999)
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This series is not supernatural - it is based solely in reality. However, it is suspense filled and can be shocking.

This series is not supernatural - it is based solely in reality. However, it is suspense filled and can be shocking.

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  22,347 ratings  ·  1,615 reviews

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Paul Bryant
Aug 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, crime-grime
Birdman is a solid genre crime thriller and fans of this kind of novel will be happy to see the following old favourites present and correct:

Sexy mid-ranking but fuckedup policeman hero with deeply troubled past – check!

Who meets during the investigation a babelicious middle class artist so that both of them know something’s gonna happen soon – check!

Gruesome crimes the like of which are never seen in real life – check check check!

Yards and yards and YARDS of police acronyms, police tech-speak,
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said
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
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sean Peters
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was the " Pick It For Me", with my group " A Good Thriller", so thank you to my members that picked this book for me.

Detective Inspector Jack Caffery - young, driven, unshockable - is called to one of the most gruesome crime scenes he has ever seen. Five young women have been ritualistically murdered and dumped on wasteland near the Dome. Subsequent post-mortems reveal a singular, horrific signature linking the victims.

Soon Caffery realises that he is on the trail of that most dangerou
Wayne Barrett

"In the midnight hour... I cried Mo, Mo, Mo... " Yes, I believe I have become a Mo Fo'n, Mo Hayder fan.

During the first half of this book I would have said that Mo was giving Thomas Harris a run for his money... hell, probably leaving him in the dust. The second half veered a little and I thought the train was in danger of derailing, taking more of a Joe Hill course, but I made it to the end in one piece, still considering this to be an excellent thriller-horror.

Jack Caffery, a good detective w
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, 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. I enjoy dark crime novels. I hav
Crime by the Book
4/5 stars for this gritty, graphic serial killer thriller.

I've been waiting for the right moment to read Birdman for literal years, and I finally made time this past month—and boy oh boy was this book intense. Birdman is the first in a series of British crime novels, and it's been compared to the work of Thomas Harris... which is a very, very accurate comparison. Hayder is a fantastic writer, and she has crafted here a complex and intricate crime novel that fans of British procedurals and
Dannii Elle
Hayder gives her readers crime thriller fiction so macabre as to border into the horror territory. This is seriously 'I'm sleeping with the lights on' reading, at its finest!

Birdman is set in the dawn of the new millennium and follows the London Metropolitan Police's Murder team as they attempt to track down a possible contemporary Jack the Ripper serial killer.

Hayder's power is that she shines the spotlight on the quiet, often overlooked, moments and the minutest of details, for added impact
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
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This murder mystery has the usual flawed police detective, Jack Caffery,(who you can't help but like) and just when you think Caffery's got it figured out, think again :-). This is VERY dark, twisted and gory! If you are squeamish this is probably not for you! I can't help but wonder what goes on in the minds of these authors! I'm looking forward to finding out what else Jack Caffery gets into in the next installment! ...more
This was a deeply unpleasant experience. There may be spoilers in this review....

(view spoiler)
Tracy Fenton
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Lisa Dunckley
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Explosively exciting start of a new series! I have to admit that I do love a good “catch the serial killer” book, and this one is great! The killer was uniquely evil, and the hero, Jack Caffery, is endearing, slightly flawed, and very human.

One of the best things about the book is the fact that Jack is haunted by the unsolved abduction (and suspected murder) of his younger brother. The suspect is a pedophile neighbor. The detective work to solve the serial killer crime is engrossing, and is blen
Best Crime Books & More
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Excellent thriller. Lots of suspense, fascinating characters and a good pace make this book a great read.
There is sadly also details in this novel which can get easily people upset if they are suspectible to it.
Chad Sayban
Mar 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Yigal Zur
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
well. talented writer. but i found the thriller not amazing. i thought the decisions to go to necrophilia a bit too much. it seems a choice of just to give a shock to the reader. the build up of this nuts guy was not interesting. too obvious. the same goes to his background . too much scientific details which are boring as we do not understand all the terminology.
but mistakes of good writer. i enjoyed her third thriller ritual much more as it touched human and social issues.
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will continue on with more from this author. I was warned it was gruesome, which it was, but this did not turn me off at all.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
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 one I did
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mo Hayder is one of those authors I always meant to pick up and read but always managed to find something else to pick up. In the end, I decided to give her a go despite my initial hesitation. Of course, this brought about a new kind of problem: which book did I start with. I battled between a standalone or starting the Jack Caffery series. As you can see, I decided upon the latter. Namely because I’m a sucker for a good crime series, but also because I felt as though it was best to start where ...more
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jamie Rose
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Lisa Nakamura
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Undomiel Books (Rosie)
Unfortunately, this wasn't really the book for me.
Too full of crime-genre cliches, with a plot that seemed more focused on the detectives' personal lives than the actual crime, that over half-way through still had zero suspects or leads, which personally I like them to have. Even if its the wrong suspect, I am not a fan of crime novels that remain a big mystery until the last 1/4 of the book.
However, the crime itself was gruesome and gory, and highly thrilling, I just don't feel like Hayder's wr
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Crime, Mysteries ...: Birdman - October 2014 36 147 Nov 02, 2014 01:48AM  
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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.

* Jack Caffery

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)

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