May 14, 2010

Dead Birds

The Conjurer's Bird by Martin Davies
Reviewed by Joie

They are searching for that one bird, whose presence was recorded only once in history before disappearing forever from the world. The Mysterious Bird of Ulieta was never found again after Joseph Banks was given the specimen. The only documentation the seekers have is a painting of this bird and the paper- thin leads that pop up. But this mystery, which weaves through past and present, shows the grand stories and loves of both those who had the bird so many years ago, and the ones that are searching for it now. All through the book a desperate question rushes — can it be found?

John Fitzgerald is both a naturalist and a taxidermist for aviaries. Basically, he preserves dead birds, though haunted by a failure many years ago when his once promising project died . He quietly disappeared back into his small taxidermy job until many years later when an inquirer by the name of Anderson comes calling, looking for the Mysterious Bird of Ulieta which has vanished from history. Anderson claims a lead on the bird, and offers John a chance of a lifetime. Soon, other prospectors arrive, including a shady Mr. Potts, and Gabriella, John's former partner. It's a race for leads to find whether the bird now exists at all.

Yet that is not all of the story. It whisks you into the past, into the true love story of Joseph Banks and his mistress, the mysterious Miss Brown. It details their intricate lives and feelings, creating a mystery thoroughly and beautifully haunting.

This book is an intricate mystery, the race for the last specimen of a probably extinct bird. Twisting and captivating, this book pleases and puzzles. The mystery is hard, but the moments of glory are spectacular, especially the beautiful ending of the book. Martin Davies has proved his ability to write mind-blowing mysteries that keep you on your toes, and The Conjurer's Bird is no exception. This is an excellent mystery with a touching message of holding on to the lost.

Posted by at May 14, 2010 02:51 PM
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