Review: Birdman by Mo Hayder

Title: Birdman
Author: Mo Hayder
Pages: 337
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Source: Library e-book

Rating: A

Review: It is generally my practice to go into new books blind. I like to hear people’s general opinion of them, I like to know the genre (hard not to really), but I don’t want to know the premise of the story. And I don’t go to a lot of effort to collect the aforementioned details. If it falls into my lap, so be it. Basically, I don’t want a lot of outside input influencing my experience of the story. So, what I heard about Birdman was a combination of raving about it (by many people I know who enjoy horror), and people saying they couldn’t finish it because it was too disturbing (so…horror, right?). Because of all of the above, and my presumption that this was a really horrific story, I thought it would be a great read for the month of Halloween.

The book was great! A wonderful, clever, sometimes intense mystery (not quite thriller). Loved the characters, loved the twist midway through. Well done. Very, very well done. Mo Hayder is now on my hits list.

But horror? No. No. No. I suppose I can see how people who didn’t grow up reading (and loving) V.C. Andrews, Dean Koontz, and William Peter Blatty (never mind all the horror movies I saw in the drive in when I could barely write my name, but I digress) might be a little put off by the nature of these crimes, but I never flinched. I don’t say that as a brag, I’m just saying it wasn’t especially descriptive, and I didn’t have a visceral response to the crime scenes. And I’m someone who avoids cut ‘em up/torture/gratuitous violence. The Saw movies? Big dose of HELL NO. The older I get, the lower my tolerance for that kind of thing. But this book is much more The Silence of the Lambs. And I get that, for some people, that might be too much, but for me, it’s pretty tame.

All that said, I truly enjoyed this story. I’d absolutely recommend it to people who enjoy smart, well-paced, dark mysteries. As I said, I see more Mo Hayder in my future. I recommend she be in yours as well.

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