Birdsongs is a fast-paced mystery centered on former FBI agent, Benny James. Fired from the FBI for inadvertently sleeping with the perp in a murder case, he tries to disappear to a houseboat and retirement. Not having what it takes to relax, Benny starts a service offering discreet investigations. That is until a body is found crucified near his marina. The local police department requests Benny's help and he knows if he can catch the killer, redemption is his.
The Chief gives Benny and the department ten days to solve the crimes before he promises to request the help of the FBI. As the case grows, grabbing national attention, and the murders continue, the media soon fills the normally quiet town. Media goddess, Rachael Martin arrives and adds spice to an already flavorful mix. A few newcomers straggle in as well. An ex-convict fresh out of prison from a thirty year murder rap slinks in unnoticed with revenge on his mind.
Days later, a Greyhound bus delivers a strange young man raised by deaf-mute parents from deep within the Ozark Mountains. An old newspaper clipping and a dark secret pulls him to town. Whatever is going on has something strange to do with birds. At each murder site, dead birds are displayed in disturbing ways-the killer arranging them as an artist might. All the strange occurrences and unexplained visitors to this quiet town press Benny James to his max as he vehemently struggles to solve the most important case of his life.
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Yes, the vocal characterizations are just great.
This story is an odd combination of many different books and styles.
Anything concerning Red Jasper.
Not particularly as the whole story is moving.
I am adding my review for Goodreads:
Tilley, Georgia is a quiet hamlet where all the inhabitants know everyone and everything that goes on, not only in Tilley but the all of Gladdis County; not that much ever happens. That is until a murder victim, Ryan Mableton, is found crucified in a house under construction. The location isn’t really surprising as Ryan worked as a construction worker. Shortly after the discovery, another body, that of Danny Hill is found. He is also posed, although not in the same position. With this second discovery, it looks like a serial killer was working in Tilley. One homicide is a rarity, two have never previously happened. Needless to say, Tilley was soon in utter consternation and a paranoiac frenzy.
Forty-eight-year-old Benny James is an ex-FBI agent and currently the only employee of James Investigations. Being the only one in Tilley or Gladdis County with enough experience in this situation, he is soon attached to the case.
Originally I thought this story was going to be a crime story like were very popular in the 40’s and 50’s as it is packed full with colorful metaphors and similes. This impression is changed when cell phones and computers are introduced, making it sixty or seventy years later. The reader is introduced to a cacophony of colorful characters that are bound to either bring a smile to their lips or a chill down their spine. The short chapters move the stories (as it is, in fact, many stories gyrating around the murders) read easily and keep the reader interested. It is like Mayberry revisited with serious killers on the loose. *
- Thomas Swennes
Excellent first in series!