The Falcon Thief

A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Search for the Perfect Bird
Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sad, but interesting look into a strange world of illegal trade in wild animals.

Evil comes in many facets in our world. This book tells the story of one man’s obsession with stealing and trading for profit various rare and endangered raptors, as well as describing others similar obsessions, and exposing the economic rationale for such exploits. It’s the same theme one sees in various illegal activity like theft, drugs, etc., and highlights why saving our natural resources is such a difficult and worthy cause. Jeffery Lendrum, the main character is tantamount to a serial killer of endangered raptors, primarily Perigean Falcons , and one has to wonder what the world would have been without this person ever being let loose to pillage such treasures. A sad, but important book that shines a light on this illegal activity and these beautiful birds. Very glad I was able to hear this story.

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Fascinating

The positive Wall Street Journal review of this book ran the day after I had witnessed a peregrine falcon zoom down a narrow sandbar at low tide scattering gulls and shorebirds in every direction. I downloaded the title right away and have been spellbound by this story of obsession, history, and forensics. So well-written and with a very good reader, it’s my favorite listen so far in 2020.