Dark, intelligent crime novel about a policeman with a secret past, and an emotive exploration of violence within the family.
WHAT DRIVES GOOD MEN TO MURDER?
Sergeant William South has always avoided investigating murder. A passionate birdwatcher and quiet man, he has few relationships and prefers it that way.
But when his only friend is found brutally beaten, South's detachment is tested. Not only is he bereft - it seems that there's a connection between the suspect and himself.
For South has a secret. He knows the kind of rage that killed his friend. He knows the kind of man who could do it. He knows, because Sergeant William South himself is a murderer.
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.
Superb description of a haunting, blighted landscape. His best book so far. - C. J. Sansom
Unfolds a fascinatingly dark tale . . . This is a proper conspiracy thriller, with shameful secrets hidden behind government regulation. It involves real history, real people, real crimes with real consequences - Spectator, on A Book of Scars
Both a first-rate mystery and a compelling and accurate portrait of a changing society that is confused about the present and ill-at-ease with the past - Guardian, on A Book of Scars
Excellent . . . Combines nostalgic period detail with an emotional intensity found only in the very best crime fiction - Sunday Times, Sixty Best Crime Novels, on A Book of Scars
Insightful . . . a novel about the estrangement of fathers and sons, but Shaw has gone beyond that, creating an elegy for an entire alienated generation - New York Times, on A House of Knives
A first-rate police thriller - C. J. Sansom, on A Song from Dead Lips
William Shaw has been shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger, longlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and nominated for a Barry Award. A regular at festivals, he organises panel talks and CWA events across the south east. His books include the acclaimed Breen & Tozer crime series set in sixties London, the newest series featuring DS Alexandra Cupidi, and the standalone bestseller The Birdwatcher. He worked as a journalist for over twenty years and lives in Brighton.