About Little Bird
Some secrets are best kept quiet.
Declan Wells, a forensic psychologist, has a lot on his plate. He has been struggling with the aftermath of a car bomb, which has left him in a wheelchair, his wife has been dutiful but Declan is certain she is having an affair, and his eldest daughter Lara’s new property developer husband, has dubious business practices.
Meanwhile, Anna Cole is running away from her mother’s death and a stale relationship. On secondment to the Police Service of Northern Ireland from Wales, Anna hopes that she can throw herself into work to distract herself from her guilt.
Then the murders begin and the killer leaves behind some very strange messages.
Can Anna and Declan work together to catch this deranged murderer?
Will either of them be able to get over their turbulent pasts?
My review of Little Bird
Little Bird is the debut novel from Sharon Dempsey and what a page turner it is. I loved this book, and found it very hard to put down. Described as a serial killer thriller, I feel that this book is so much more. It is a book about a serial killer that has so much depth to the writing and two utterly captivating lead protagonists in Anna and Declan. Yes, the story is obviously about a serial killer, but it is really the story of their past, and learning to deal with the present.
So, the story begins with Anna moving to Belfast from Wales. Her mother has recently died of cancer, a slow and lingering death. Anna is running away from this, as well as the pressures of living in a relationship that she knows is long over. On her arrival in Belfast, she is thrust into her new job. Here we meet the enigmatic and boyishly handsome Detective Thomas King (I loved him) and together they start to investigate the first of the murders in the book.
Anna is a detective who was very 'real' to me. I found that sometimes, woman detectives are often stereotyped and share similar qualities. the attractive yet determined female officer on the force, but Anna is completely her own woman. She has flaws but is instantly likeable. She very much felt like the girl next door to me, doing her job at any cost. She fascinated me, as I needed to learn her back story, who she really was, what motivated her. Declan was equally fascinating. A man who was the victim of a car bombing, and became paralysed as a result. The man whose daughter was murdered, an educated man, a police psychologist who wants to be in the inner circle of the investigation, who wants to contribute to the investigation. I really felt for him, for his pain, both physically and emotionally. These two very different characters worked well together on the page to create a most unusual and refreshing read.
The book is written in the third person, with viewpoints from Anna and Declan, plus the killer. This gave much insight into their thoughts and feelings and gave the novel great depth, especially the inner thoughts of the killer. The writing is sharp, descriptive and to the point. It is methodical. I knew exactly what was happening and was propelled along the pages. The pace is pretty much relentless, although the investigation is slow, as the killer is clever, methodical and knows all the tricks of the trade to keep off the police radar.
Little Bird is part detective novel, part serial killer thriller and a novel about self discovery. It highlights Belfast's past and present troubles. These stories are interwoven into the plot and help to add substance and meaning to the narrative.
I enjoyed reading Little Bird, for me it was a very different type of serial killer read and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Little Bird released July 17 with Bloodhound Books can be found on Amazon here.
About Sharon Dempsey
Sharon Dempsey is a Belfast based writer of fiction and non-fiction books, with four health books published. She facilitates therapeutic creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges and runs a creative writing group for young people, called Young Scribblers, at the Crescent Arts Centre.
Sharon studied Politics and English at Queen’s University and went on to City University, London to do a postgraduate diploma in journalism. She has written for a variety of publications and newspapers, including the Irish Times.
Through the Arts Council NI’s Support for the Individual Artist Programme (SIAP), Sharon was awarded funding, which she used to acquire mentoring from, bestselling Irish crime writer, Louise Phillips. Louise was a great support while Sharon was writing Little Bird, her first crime novel.