Friday, 29 April 2016

A Pitying of Doves - Steve Burrows

With murder, everyone pays a price ...
Why would a killer ignore expensive jewellery and take a pair of turtledoves as the only bounty?
This is only one of the questions that piques Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune’s interest after a senior attaché with the Mexican Consulate is found murdered alongside the director of a local bird sanctuary. The fact that the director’s death has opened up a full-time research position studying birds hasn’t eluded Jejeune either. Could this be the escape from policing that the celebrated detective has been seeking? Even if it is, Jejeune knows he owes it to the victims to solve the case first. But a trail that weaves from embittered aviary owners to suspicious bird sculptors only seems to be leading him farther from the truth. Meanwhile, Jejeune is discovering that diplomatic co-operation and diplomatic pressure go hand in hand.
With two careers hanging in the balance, the stakes have never been higher for Inspector Jejeune. And this time, even bringing a killer to justice may not provide the closure he’s looking for
This book is a sequel to the book I reviewed here A Siege of Bitterns and is the middle book of a three part series.
It didn't seem that long since I last read the first book and to be frank I wasn't really ready for another bird book. However, I do like a challenge, so I began to read.
This time it wasn't so much all the bird references that annoyed me as Jejeune himself. He still can't fully commit to his police role in his mind, and it seems like he also can't do the same with his girlfriend Lindy, who I felt very sorry for in this book.
I was intrigued by the "whodunnit" aspect so I kept reading, but I found long portions of it boring. Around 3/4 of the way in suddenly (well not that sudden after 250 odd pages) the book began to get a bit exciting. I appreciate a story has to be woven and all of that comes together at some point, but it takes so long to get there with such a pedestrian plot line (but it is set in Norfolk not Miami). Yet again I felt the stronger character was Maik, and enjoyed his story line more, including a bit of a stand off he has near the end.
There was also some unexplained goings on in St Lucia where Jejeune and Lindy go apparently for a holiday - but guess what? Birding was the main pastime - another part where I felt sorry for Lindy.! I assume the outcome will be covered in the third book.
So to summarise - there are murders, birds are involved - The Chief thinks it's a closed case but Jejuene knows differently because of his birding and superior intellect.
I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars which is one up from last time, perhaps because I am getting into the characters more. It is certainly no reflection of the writing - just the subject matter!
My thanks go to Real Readers for an advance copy of this book which is out on 2 June 2016.

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