When famous poet Kirsten Waller is found dead in her bathtub, only her daughter Sam Boswin refuses to believe the verdict of suicide. Her mother's journals are missing, and so is her latest poem - titled "The Murder Bird". When she discovers the journals are in the possession of her stepfather Raph (Kirsten's ex-husband), a well-known lawyer, Sam must go to extreme lengths to obtain them, eventually seeking help from Raph's clerk, Mick. Despite Sam being a highly-strung, high-maintenance pain in the ass, Mick is strangely attracted to her and risks his professional career to help her.
Sam believes "The Murder Bird" poem might relate to an actual murder, and that Kirsten was killed over what she knew. Raph, his sister Miriam and their mother Diana certainly have quite the checkered past, and Raph seems particularly intent on keeping the journals away from Sam. What exactly do they have to hide?
"The Murder Bird" is the sort of book that requires its characters to behave like they belong in some alternate universe in order to move the plot along. Absolutely nothing here makes any sense whatsoever. What sort of moron, believing that a murder has been committed, WRITES ABOUT IT IN AN OBSCURE F***ING POEM INSTEAD OF GOING TO THE POLICE??? What the f*** does that achieve? The event that sets the whole plot in motion is just too ridiculous for words. Therefore, it was just about impossible to buy into any of the events or character actions that followed. These don't feel like real people at all. They're merely puppets to serve the pathetic plot. It makes no sense for Kirsten to write a poem about a suspected real-life murder. It makes no sense for Raph to steal Kirsten's journals. It makes no sense for a killer to be worried about an obscure poem in the first place - exactly how many people do they expect to read it and immediately connect to an event they would know nothing about? It makes no sense for Mick to help Sam when she's such a pissy, ungrateful bitch. What a stupid, stupid book.