A Siege of Bitterns: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 4 days (on and off)
Pages - 352
Publisher - Oneworld Publishers
Blurb from Goodreads
Newly appointed police inspector Domenic Jejeune doesn’t mind ruffling a few feathers to flush out suspects in the brutal murder of a renowned ecological activist.
Inspector Domenic Jejeune’s success has made him a poster boy for the U.K. police service. The problem is Jejeune doesn’t really want to be a detective at all; he much prefers watching birds.
Recently reassigned to the small Norfolk town of Saltmarsh, located in the heart of Britain’s premier birding country, Jejeune’s two worlds collide when he investigates the grisly murder of a prominent ecological activist. His ambitious police superintendent foresees a blaze of welcome publicity, but she begins to have her doubts when Jejeune’s most promising theory involves a feud over birdwatching lists. A second murder only complicates matters.
To unravel this mystery, Jejeune must deal with unwelcome public acclaim, the mistrust of colleagues, and his own insecurities. In the case of the Saltmarsh birder murders, the victims may not be the only casualties.
First off, I need to say this is not a book I would normally be drawn to or pick up myself. I am so so glad RealReaders sent me a copy of this, otherwise I would have missed a great into to a new author (for me) and a new series. I loved birds as a child and enjoy viewing them as an adult but generally wouldn't pick up a book that features them so much.
Inspector Domenic Jejeune is relatively new to the small English town of Saltmarsh and finding his feet among the people. When an ecological activist is murdered, Jejeune needs to get to the bottom of it, but small towns have their secrets and not everyone wants to tell all to our officer. As the investigation progresses Jejeune gets to indulge in his love of birds and try and piece together possible motives and suspects for the murder.
I really enjoyed reading the bird aspect of the novel, so much so afterwards I read up a bit on the kind of activities of the spotters mentioned in the story. The murder itself was well written as was the show of how the inspectors mindset was focusing. One of the things I didn't like was how sometimes the characters would be called by their first name, other times by their surnames. I personally found this quite confusing at times and for the first while had to kept checking which character it was I was reading about.
I didn't see the twists coming which is always a good thing although I was a bit surprised at how quick it wrapped up and how it all played out. An impressive new way of going about crime, certainly for me. 3/5 for me this time, thanks so much to RealReaders for sending me a copy to review in exchange for an honest review. I hadn't read this author before but I certainly would read him again and more in this series.
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