The Falcon Thief – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleThe Falcon Thief
AuthorJoshua Hammer
PublisherSimon and Schuster February 11, 2020
FormatPaperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook
ASIN # / ISBN #B07TGF9Y2 / 9781501191886


Joshua Hammer is the author of many other manuscripts, articles and has worked with organizations as notable as National Geographic Magazine as well as many other prestigious publications. He is an experienced professional writer and this book is a clear demonstration of his expertise. Click here to read more about the author and his other work.

Who is the target audience?

Those who find true crime compelling and those who share a love for all earth’s creatures will be the primary audience. This book will entice readers who enjoy the thrill of the chase or who have interest in learning new facts about the customs and cultures of faraway lands. It also holds a much broader appeal for those who identify as environmentally astute.


The narrative is well written in the style of a crime thriller and is interlaced with twists and turns worthy of that title. The eclectic mix of characters makes for a compelling story, all the more so as it is a true tale.

Hammer begins with the chance apprehension of Jeffery Lendrum, the raptor thief. Lendrum commits a rookie mistake and is apprehended, and just like that the chase is on to find his clients. He subsequently reveals the tragic context that leads to Falcons becoming an endangered species. The negligent use of chemical DDT leads to a massive reduction in bird populations thus placing them on the verge of extinction in a number of British Isles.

The ancient and noble sport of Falconry turns a previously innocent pastime into a thriving black market. Buyers and suppliers traverse the globe in pursuit of their chosen birds of prey.  The suppliers use any and all means to obtain the elusive birds without any consideration to the impact on the species.

The suspense builds as Andy McWilliam; the investigating detective uses all his acumen, resources, and cunning in the hunt for the buyers of illegal birds of prey. Hammer transports us from the gritty streets of Liverpool, in Great Britain to the opulent abodes in the desert heat of the Middle East, and then farther on into the Arctic in this epic pursuit.

Hammer weaves a compelling case for the plight of the falcons and highlights the very real and present danger that poachers such as Lendrum pose to wildlife populations. Lendrum’s antics in the pursuit of his prey verges at times on that of an anti-James Bond. He guides us through the interconnected panoply of Lendrum’s criminal enterprise, and does it in a gripping narrative.


This yarn has everything to satisfy those wanting to escape the drudgery of everyday existence: falcons that can out pace falling parachutists, a criminal who flouts International Law, Emirate Sheiks who will pay hundreds of thousands for a single Falcon egg, and a police detective who’s experience and dedication leads to a satisfying and acceptable conclusion. The characters discussed in this book don’t even begin to come close to the magnificence of the Falcon Family and their agility, speed, and unique ophthalmic.

I firmly believe that the reader will come away with a greater respect and understanding of the threats posed to our wildlife; particularly the threat to endangered species globally. Lendrum’s work is precise and without verbosity. The pages just fly by and all too soon the journey is over. I highly recommend this book to you. It is definitely a “buy it now” kind of book.    


My sincere thanks go out to NetGalley, Joshua Hammer, and publishers Simon and Schuster for affording me the opportunity to review The Falcon Thief.

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