Sunday, 1 April 2012


Jason Deas

Birdsongs focuses on Benny James, a failed FBI agent, who has developed his own business as an investigator. 

He lives in a houseboat, which is different, but I was disappointed that he didn't seem to spend much time there. We heard about it, but that's more or less about it. 

As a murder/mystery book Birdsongs has it all: a murder (or two), a grouchy failed FBI agent, love interest, and several characters that made you wonder if they were the baddies or not.

In the first half of the book I felt Benny James was a caricature of every crime book the author had read until news anchor Rachael Martin arrived on the scene, and then I saw more character development and some very good scenes between them. Indeed, the book heated up until I was turning the pages quite fast.

The secondary character Red, was my overall favourite. Jason Deas did a fantastic job bringing out the sympathetic and menacing characteristics that made up this person. Secondary characters do have a habit of trying to take over, but I think Deas managed to control this one very well.

Over all, Birdsongs had likeable characters, plot and visualization but I think the author needs time to grow before he writes anything else. He certainly has potential, and will be an author to watch out for in his chosen genre of crime.

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.