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Publisher's Summary

A 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 14 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 listeners 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 minute.

©2020 Joshua Hammer (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Falcon Thief

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    1 out of 5 stars
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What a crock of B.S.

The whole premise of the book is speculation and innuendo. There’s never a connection between the taking of raptor eggs and six figures sales to the Saudi’s. If the author knew anything about falconry he would know nobody has EVER paid more 30k for a gyr

2 people found this helpful

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Nearly Interesting

Marred by a baffling commitment to facts and descriptions of EVERY component of the account, an interesting crime story does live inside this book. But, I found myself wondering half the run time why I needed to know the endless facts being recounted to me. With the help of a more ruthless editor—unafraid of chopping out the chaff—the tale could have been much better told.

2 people found this helpful

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Good story, terrible narrator.

Very interesting story, but the narrator was simply terrible. I think he does it for dramatic effect, but will begin a sentence in a regular speaking volume, and then halfway through drop it to a whisper. I listen in the car a lot, with some background noise, and found it hard to understand what he was saying much of the time.

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Entertaining read

I generally enjoyed it, I thought we were going to dig a bit more into aspects of the falcon trade specifics (who, prices, etc). The benefactors of the smuggling remained (rich Arabs). Jeffrey Lendrum is a terrible criminal in that we know about him, addicted to the thrill more than anything. Good not great

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enjoyable

informative read. easy listen. kind of slow. but it was still interesting enough to keep me listening.

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Just not into it

If I wanted an education aid falconry I would have boughten a book about it. Couldn't find the story line. It was boring. I don't know what the hype was. The narrator was fine. He did well with what he had to work with. It was a boring book and I didn't get past the 3rd chapter and I was trying to find something interesting - didn't happen....

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Egg Snatcher

Who know there were people that climbed trees and mountains to snatch the eggs of falcons and other birds of prey so they could sell them to other unscrupulous people? According to the "The Falcon Thief" there is a unique industry of people that deal in the selling and buying of eggs and birds for various purposes, including collections and contests. As a bird-watcher, I found the story engaging, but not quite as much as another recent book about birds, "The Feather Thief."

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automatic sexy

The Falcon Thief gets a good rating from me and a recommendation for anyone interested in birds of prey. The story is about the dark existence of an international raptor trade and the story about a nest robber. The author presents an interesting story about aspects of Falconry, Hawking and egg collecting I had only just been aware of...

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The Pablo Escobar of egg thievery

Lighten fast read. Would love to see this as a movie. Very much reminds me of The Feather Thief.

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  • JW
  • 02-26-20

Read this if you enjoyed "The Feather Thief"

Good book and performance. Reminded me of The Feather Thief in the way it is structured and some of the characters.

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  • Nick
  • 01-03-22

Fascinating, well researched insight a vile trade

Joshua Hammer has done a fantastic job piecing together the various pieces of the jigsaw that explains the life of one of the most notorious egg collectors of the 20th and 21st century. It's a brilliantly woven story. The only downside to the whole book is that it is true. We can only hope that thanks to the determined work of the law enforcement mentioned in the book, that egg collectors will become extinct before their quarry.