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William Bayer

PEREGRINE, a chilling suspenseful tale of obsession, won the Mystery Writers of America prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award (the “Edgar”) for Best Novel.

Circling high over Rockefeller Center is a peregrine falcon, the most awesome of the flying predators. She awaits a signal from her falconer. It is given: the bird attacks, plummeting from the sky at nearly 200 miles an hour, striking a young woman and killing her instantly.

By chance, newscaster Pamela Barrett witnesses the slaying. Her impassioned account of it on television that evening thrills the falconer — a brilliant madman who identifies with his deadly bird and, through her, seeks catharsis. He becomes fascinated with Pam and enmeshes her in a bizarre and deadly scheme even as she finds herself drawn to him by an erotic need she does not understand.

As killing follows killing, the terrified city beomes the backdrop of an extraordinary drama. Police and the media engage in cutthroat competition to find the murderer. Two predator birds are pitted in a fight to the death above Central Park. Call girls, rich eccentrics, striving careerists, dealers in the black market for rare birds — all play their roles in this study of secret passion, desire, fulfillment, and ecstasy. The ancient sport of falconry, in which birds are trained to hunt and kill on command, is the key to the spectacular operatic finale.

For all its excitement and intricate detail, PEREGRINE  is more than a thriller: it is a study of secret passion – desire, fulfillment, ecstasy. In the falconer, in Pam his prey, and in the burnt-out detective who finds in this case a means to his salvation, author WILLIAM BAYER has created vibrant characters each of whom is both hunter and hunted, each of whom fulfills the others in extraordinary ways.



Publisher’s Weekly: “Bayer’s original, carefully built thriller almost defies readers to stop at any point no matter how horrified they may be. . . The ending is right out of Grand Guignol, after a series of frights in a story most brilliantly characterized.”

Le Figaro (France): “The most astonishing book of the year. Since Eye of the Beholder, this is the most spellbinding tale ever to appear in the Serie Noire Collection.”

Des Moines Register: “This is a powerful novel, fast-paced and full of tension. A winner!”

Buffalo News: “Little wonder this thriller won the Mystery Writers of America’s top award for best book of the year. It melds ingenious plot, flawlessly realized characters and elegant style in one of the most dazzling suspense packages that have ever kept a breathless reader hurtling throuygh pages. Thriller writers produce thousands of novels but few classics. PEREGRINE is one of the latter.”

El Paso Times: “William Bayer has created a masterpiece of suspense, of the hunter and the hunted, and of violent obsession.”

Booklist: “An ingenious suspense tale, a great deal of falconry lore, well-paved excitement, and a deep sense of tragedy all make PEREGRINE soar!”