cover image Birdman


Mo Hayder, read by Damien Goodwin. Dreamscape Media,  unabridged, nine CDs, 11.5 hrs., $49.99 ISBN 978-1-61120-645-6

Eschewing histrionics, narrator Damien Goodwin uses an understated, soft voice to effectively convey the horrors of this latest serial killer yarn from Hayder. London homicide detective Jack Caffery has been summoned to the iconic Millennium Dome in Greenwich to investigate a particularly gruesome crime. A young woman was raped and then killed via an injection of heroin into her brain—but the kicker is the killer’s postmortem addition of a live bird, sewn inside the victim’s torso in place of her heart. And that savagery is just the beginning, as the body count of the murderer dubbed the Birdman rises. While the volume of extreme violence in this audio edition could overwhelm some listeners, Goodwin’s matter-of-fact delivery—even when narrating insect activity on a cadaver—helps obviate the gore and slaughter. The voices Goodwin lends the different investigating officers could have been more distinctive, but given his strong representation of Caffery, fans of the series will likely look the other way. A Grove paperback. (May)