The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird
DescriptionA rollicking true-crime adventure about a rogue who trades in rare birds and their eggs--and the wildlife detective determined to stop him.On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain's Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales. So begins a tale almost too bizarre to believe, following the parallel lives of a globe-trotting smuggler who spent two decades capturing endangered raptors worth millions of dollars as race champions--and Detective Andy McWilliam of the United Kingdom's National Wildlife Crime Unit, who's hell bent on protecting the world's birds of prey. The Falcon Thief whisks readers from the volcanoes of Patagonia to Zimbabwe's Matobo National Park, and from the frigid tundra near the Arctic Circle to luxurious aviaries in the deserts of Dubai, all in pursuit of a man who is reckless, arrogant, and gripped by a destructive compulsion to make the most beautiful creatures in nature his own. It's a story that's part true-crime narrative, part epic adventure--and wholly unputdownable until the very last page.
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About the Author
"A tale brimming with eccentric characters, obsession, deception, and beauty. It has the grip of a novel, with the benefit of being all true."-- "David Grann, New York Times bestselling author"
"I couldn't tell a jaybird from a jaywalker, but I loved this book: an international, ornithological whodunit. By the final page, I had learned, and cared, more about the secret world of falcons and the people who love them than I ever thought possible."-- "Eric Weiner, New York Times bestselling author "
"In this well-written, engaging detective story that underscores the continuing need for conservation of rare bird species...the author beautifully renders this tale 'of human obsession and nature's fragility, of man's perpetual insistence on imposing his will upon the wildness of our world, and of the tiny handful of investigators, most unrecognized, working to safeguard the environment's bounty and wonder.' A sleek, winning nonfiction thriller."-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
"This book moves like a falcon: sleek and fast. It's an absorbing story of a thief, an obsession, and an astounding bird."-- "Russell Shorto, author of Descartes' Bones"
"Hammer is one of our great nonfiction storytellers, and he's got a terrific one here: a true crime saga about how love of nature can go very, very wrong."-- "Bruce Handy, author of Wild Things"