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.
©2009 Jason Deas (P)2013 Jason Deas and Nick Sarando
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"Excellent first in series!"
This was an Amazon “freebie” picked up a while ago and is the first I’ve seen of this author. I must say, I’m impressed. A man spends 30 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, and he’s out for revenge. When he hits the town, where his nemesis is located, strange murders begin. We all know this man isn’t the killer, but who is. The nemesis has changed his name, and we don’t have it. The murders all have a theme – a musical theme – but it takes a boy from the back country to figure that out. All in all, this is a very good story, with well-rounded characters and a sure and steady plot. I will be looking for more from this author. 5 stars.
"Excellent mystery with endearing characters."
This was an engaging read, with a believable story that came together in the end. Wise and witty with many surprises yet a happy ending. Able to please readers of many genres.
Yes, the narrator's ability to develop the accents and persona's for the characters surpassed the print version
This is really the first mystery/crime book I've read/listened to so I can't really answer this question
Nick's ability to create separate character accents and development of the characters easily and quickly pulled the reader into the story
the dangers of mixing business with pleasure
I loved it. I hope this becomes a series. There was so much going on from kidnapping to murder.
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. *
"Choice of narrator irked me throughout"
I'm not saying Nick Sarando is a bad narrator. He performed various characters' voices well. But he sounds like an 17 year old kid, which just didn't fit for the protagonist, Benny, who's a mature veteran FBI guy. There were times his voice was so monotonous I had to go back several minutes to re-hear what happened. I kept wishing Benny was represented by a more adult sounding voice.
The brevity of the chapters chafed at times. It's a plot story for which character development was an afterthought, which is okay for a time filler crime fiction book. But nothing particularly made me care to revisit this Benny if indeed he's in future books.
"Solid all around."
I thought the narration was pretty strong. The book is solid and enjoyable. Nothing super deep, but definitely a great beach read.
I would recommend this book to a friend, but with a warning. You have to pay attention or you will be lost because the author skips around a lot. Not a bad thing necessarily.
I didn't really have a favorite character. I liked all of them.
character voices were done well for the most part
My previous comments may come off as negative but this really is an interesting book. Even though I have listened to it I plan to read it at a future date. I prefer the mystery but for those of you that like love stories you will be pleased to know that's included. One thing I really liked about it was how the author was able to be descriptive without using an abundance of unnecessary words.
"Good book, very engaging"
I would say it is my favorite so far.
It was very easy to follow, good story telling and the pacing of the story was good.
He has a very good voice, his character distinction is great.
I was happy at the end with the final line. Gave me a chuckle.
"Keeps you on the edge of your seat!"
I loved that the book didn't just give away the ending. Usually I'm able to figure out everything before it happens, but I was pleasantly surprised!
There were so many characters that were played by Nick Sarando it's hard to choose only one. I was really impressed with how many different voices he was able to come up with.
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