Review: A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows


Published by: Oneworld Publications (3rd March 2016)


ISBN: 978-1780748436


Source:  Real Readers


Rating: 3*



Newly appointed police inspector Domenic Jejeune doesn’t mind ruffling a few feathers. Indeed his success has elevated him into a poster boy for the police. The problem is Jejeune doesn’t really want to be a detective at all; he much prefers watching birds.

Recently reassigned to the small Norfolk town of Saltmarsh, located in the heart of Britain’s premier birding country, Jejeune’s two worlds collide with the grisly murder of a prominent ecological activist. His ambitious police superintendent foresees a blaze of welcome publicity, although doubts soon emerge when Jejeune’s best theory involves a feud over birdwatching lists. A second murder does little to bolster confidence.

Jejeune must call on all his birding knowhow to solve the mystery and deal with unwelcome public acclaim, the mistrust of colleagues and his own insecurities. For, in the case of the Saltmarsh birder murders, the victims may not be the only casualties…



Usually I'm a fan of crime and police procedural thrillers, so thought this would be right up my street, despite the 'birder' element. I must confess I know nothing of bird watching and thought the correct term was 'twitchers' - I guess I was wrong! 

When I started reading, the birder aspects were quite interesting as an aside, and even educational. A murder occurred, so my interest was piqued as the detective work really started. I couldn't seem to warn to Jejeune as a character, he was too aloof and the parts narrated by him didn't hold my interest. I preferred Maik's character and found his narration much more interesting.

As the story progressed, however, it seemed that the author was determined to make the birds the focus. I tried my best to persevere, but I abandoned the book at page 212 as I had just heard enough about the damn birds!


Thanks to Real Readers and Oneworld Publications for the opportunity to read a review copy.