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Birdsongs (Benny James Mystery Book 1) by…
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Birdsongs (Benny James Mystery Book 1) (edition 2009)

by Jason Deas, Mary Metcalfe (Editor)

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1042165,181 (3.36)None
Member:datrappert
Title:Birdsongs (Benny James Mystery Book 1)
Authors:Jason Deas
Other authors:Mary Metcalfe (Editor)
Info:3 Day Ranch Press (2009), Edition: 1, Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Collections:Your library
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Birdsongs by Jason Deas

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Yes: unfortunately, I'm giving this two stars. Why? For the very simple reason that, for me, it felt like a first or second draft.

This story has potential. I think it could have been really good. The author kept introducing subplots and dropping information well past the point where the wrap-up should have been occurring. With some beta reading and editing, this could have easily been resolved (i.e., quite a bit could have been outright cut or worked into earlier chapters, making the story cohesively flow).

This is potentially a SPOILER, but I'm not really giving any specifics and I wouldn't consider it one: One o my pet peeves are superfluous romances or relationships that seem to come out of nowhere. I know that very many enjoy having their stories peppered with relationship angst. I could be a pain and say, "If I wanted a romance I would have bought a romance novel." But when written into the story well, I really don't mind, and just barely pay attention to it (unless it has direct bearing on the storyline). This one seemed out of the blue and forced onto two characters that I really didn't read as having any chemistry. It completely didn't help that afterward the male lead got to completely lay out the rules of the relationship, despite the female partner's hesitation and his disregard of how she felt about such things. The one encounter went something like this: heeeey - let's go back to my place for dinner; what?! that's a bed?! we better use it!; then, sorry ma'am, it's my way or the highway, regardless of how you feel or what your personality or gut is telling you, as far as any planning or future in this relationship - now hand me my pants. (No, these words were used and/or written, but this is what I took away from it, on top of being absolutely pissed off at what I had just read. I was VERY close to putting the book down.)

To sum it up: I liked the premise of the story - I think it could have been really great. I had problems with the flow and unfolding of the story because it needed some editing or beta reading. I think his characterizations weren't terrible, just on the naive side. If you're looking for a quick read about a murder mystery (I can't say about a serial killer - it just wasn't what it was) and what bothered me doesn't tend to bother you - I say go for it. ( )
  Amy_Jesionowski | Nov 3, 2015 |
Well written thriller. ( )
  winecat | Mar 21, 2014 |
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Book description
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.
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