Arts & Leisure

Book review: The Falcon Thief — by Joshua Hammer

(Simon & Schuster)
Prepare to enter the surreal landscape of the wildlife-crime underworld where you’ll meet notorious wild-bird trafficker and convicted egg thief Jeffrey Lendrum. You, like the author, may not have even considered that a lucrative black market for wild birds’ eggs existed, much less that obtaining these valuable eggs would involve dangerous missions to the remote corners of our planet. In Dubai, one of the places this well-researched and meticulously-documented book will take you, there are exquisitely organized falcon racing competitions, with prizes in the millions of dollars, as well as cars and engraved golden trophies. Falconry is now an international business opportunity, and wild-born falcons, or at least, eggs born in the wild that are viable, are very desirable. In 2013, a pure white gyrfalcon was sold for $250,000. Lendrum, the main focus of this rich and textured account, was fascinated with falcons from an early age, and he was also adept, and very much inclined, to climb trees and scale cliffs in a bid to reach their nests. He was also a remarkable fabricator, an opportunist, a charmer. This singular story is packed with adventure — a true-crime exploit featuring the world’s fastest animals.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
 

10 more books about cons, heists & robberies
The Truffle Underground, by Ryan Jacobs
The Dinosaur Artist, by Paige Williams
The Feather Thief, by Kirk Wallace Johnson
Catch Me If You Can, by Frank W. Abagnale
The Rescue Artist, by Edward Dolnick
The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean
Winged Obsession, by Jessica Speart
Billion Dollar Whale, by Bradley Hope
The Queen, by Josh Levin
In Vino Duplicitas, by Peter Hellman

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