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Publisher's Summary

Police Sergeant William South has a reason for not wanting to be on the murder investigation. He is a murderer himself. But the victim was his only friend - like him, a passionate birdwatcher.

South is warily partnered with the strong-willed Detective Sergeant Alexandra Cupidi, newly recruited to the Kent coast from London. Together they find the body, violently beaten, forced inside a wooden chest. Only rage could kill a man like this. South knows it. But soon - too soon - they find a suspect: Donnie Fraser, a drifter from Northern Ireland. His presence in Kent disturbs William - because he knew him as a boy.

If the past is catching up with him, South wants to meet it head on. For even as he desperately investigates the connections, he knows there is no crime, however duplicitous or cruel, that can compare to the great lie of his childhood.

Moving from the storm-lashed, bird-wheeling skies of the Kent Coast to the wordless war of the Troubles, The Birdwatcher is a crime novel of suspense, intelligence and powerful humanity about fathers and sons, grief and guilt and facing the darkness within.

©2016 William Shaw (P)2016 WF Howes Ltd

What listeners say about The Birdwatcher

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 16-12-19

Sargent South finds himself involved in a murder

Sargent South finds himself involved in the murder of a friend and neighbor and the staged suicide of his supposed killer while alternately recounting his own childhood story. Each story and set of characters are well developed with plot twists to keep you interested. Author William Shaw and narrator Roger Davis combine to make a good team. This book is well written, with all the elements of a good book, albeit with gloomy, almost sad undertones. Despite this it went into the bottom of the top tier in my library.

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  • Rogayah
  • 28-07-16

A twist in the tail

The story moves from present to the past and Billy's childhood during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It was well plotted and soon became engrossing.

The narrator Roger Davis was good too in conveying the atmosphere of the small Irish village community and the Kentish area of Dungeness.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Louise
  • 21-07-16

Loved this...

This is my first William Shaw book...but I will definitely read the rest...well written, great characters..and a good old yarn...very well narrated.... I'm hoping there will be a sequel....

5 people found this helpful

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  • mollyeyre
  • 16-09-16

Kept my interest!

Quite an interesting tale with two parallel times being shown, South as a boy and as a man.
Although I guessed who the murderer would be it was still enjoyable as reasons unfolded. Well read by Roger Davis, the earlier life being told in a Northern Ireland accent it was easy to differentiate between the different times.

4 people found this helpful

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  • E. L. Baxter
  • 20-08-16

Excellent atmospheric book.

Excellent atmospheric book. Good characters and a strong storyline. Lead character was likable. Highly recommended for fans of Mo Hayder

4 people found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 23-11-19

Should be the first of the Cupidi series

The biggest disappointment of this book was that I only discovered it after listening to the 2 Cupidi books which meant that I was backtracking. It didn’t matter as far as South’s story went but it did mean that the South and Cupidi relationship was a known.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Panny
  • 14-06-16

Most enjoyable book this year.

What did you like most about The Birdwatcher?

I liked everything about this book. The narrator was good and didn't speak too fast and the story line kept me gripped. I found the characters very interesting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Birdwatcher?

I liked the way the book went back and forth in time and I found the Irish part of the book very interesting.

Have you listened to any of Roger Davis’s other performances? How does this one compare?

First time I have listened to Roger Davis. I found I could understand him and he did not speak too fast. I have a great deal of difficulty understanding narrators who talk fast especially if they have an accent. (Are some recordings are speeded up in the sound studio?)

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were several moving moments when William South was a young boy during the Troubles in Ireland.

Any additional comments?

This narration was ideal for me and just at the right speed. I hate it when narrators talk too fast and the sentences are one long garble, particularly if they speak in a strong accent. I give up because I just cannot understand them.

3 people found this helpful

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  • alli100
  • 04-06-16

Great story & narration.

This is my first audiobook by William Shaw & read by Roger Davis & I don't think it will be the last.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Oops 66
  • 29-01-21

A good start to a new series

I have enjoyed this first book of DS Alexandra Cupidi, Book and pleased that this has now become a series. I am about to read the book 1 in this new series. I always like a detective series, the people in the team of detectives you come to know, I always chose these types.

2 people found this helpful

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  • boslon
  • 13-02-20

Fantastic story and narration

I’d read the 2nd and 3rd book in this series before reading The Birdwatcher. This one provides the back story on William and Alex and has an intriguing plot and excellent characterisations. William Shaw has quickly become one of my favourite authors and the narration/acting of Roger Davis is superb.

2 people found this helpful

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  • M D Aron
  • 21-05-16

Great story well read

Really good police story. Listened to it over 3 days. Beautifully read with a great Northern Ireland accent

4 people found this helpful

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  • elizabeth b.
  • 16-02-21

Terrific story

Well performed with great accents. A well written book marvellous characters you can grow very fond of