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Publisher's Summary

The Blackbird Papers marks the debut of Ian Smith, a major new talent in crime fiction, and of Sterling Bledsoe, his smart and occasionally combative sleuth.

World-renowned Dartmouth professor Wilson Bledsoe is returning from a party celebrating his latest honor when he encounters a broken-down pickup on the secluded country road to his home. The next day, the discovery of his body with a vicious racist epithet carved into his chest leads to the quick arrest of two loathsome white supremacists. The local authorities seem ready to accept the case at face value as a racial hate crime. But the murdered professor's brother, FBI agent Sterling Bledsoe, has inserted himself into the investigation and isn't ready to buy into this pat solution. A look around his brother's lab and brief interviews with his students and colleagues pique Sterling's curiosity about Wilson's pet project: a nearly completed paper on the mysterious deaths of hundreds of local blackbirds.

©2004 Ian Smith; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

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  • Overall

Good book; terrible narrator

I was very interested in the book's locale and found it quite accurately portrayed with only minor quibbles that I excused as fictional license. The story is fairly well done but the narrator is the worst that I've ever come across in my years of listening to audio books! Perhaps he was a friend of the family? I find no excuse for his use as a reader of this or any other book; his reading abilities were on an elementary school level and he should have been replaced before any recording was made.
The story was fairly predictable but not so much that I gave up on the book before finishing. I would have put it down but I wanted to hear more about the area where the story was situated. If that hadn't been the case, I would have given up on it before the reader/narrator made me any angrier than I already was!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful