Wednesday, 23 March 2016

A Pitying of Doves - Steve Burrows

A Pitying of Doves - Steve Burrows

Apparently this is the second in the series of ‘Birder Murder' mysteries but not having the read the first one was no barrier to enjoying this one. The crime/thriller/detective genre is in many ways oversubscribed these days and I think a writer needs a unique yet plausible angle to really pique and sustain the interest of those loving this genre. Having an interest in birds myself went a long way to endear this book to me and the writers own love and knowledge of ornithology was almost palpable here so I feel that box is ticked. I was momentarily reminded of Ann Cleeves The Crow Trap but only momentarily.

Inspector Domenic Jejeune is a Canadian detective living in Norfolk and, as is the fashion these days for fictional detectives, is a conflicted, somewhat flawed character. I did wonder sometimes whether he was somewhere on the spectrum as I found him hard to get to know. There were plenty of other characters, maybe as flawed, but somehow more accessible. I also felt there was plenty for development for all of them. My understanding is that there are to be more in the series. Perhaps it would be something of a first to have a whole team as your main ‘character’ and allow them to develop through a series of novels.

The plot is as twisty and as convoluted as you would wish in a good crime yarn. I also liked the way the ornithology theme was ever present, crucial to the story but not to the extent that it saturated the readers’ sensibilities. It would have been easy for that to happen. 

It kept my interest going, sufficiently to consider seeking out the first story and I am grateful to Real Readers for the opportunity to read this novel.