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Birds of Prey

M. E. Braddon

Book Overview: 

The first part of the book builds the characters of four con men who become interconnected and attempt their schemes on each other. This book is the first of a two part story, the second part is the book Charlotte's Inheritance.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .She found her father sleeping placidly in his easy-chair, while a young man, who was a stranger to her, sat at a table near the window writing letters. It was a dull November day—a very dreary day on which to find one's self thrown suddenly on a still drearier world; and in the Westminster-bridge-road the lamps were already making yellow patches of sickly light amidst the afternoon fog.

The Captain twitched his silk handkerchief off his face with an impatient gesture as Diana entered the room.

"Now, then, what is it?" he asked peevishly, without looking at the intruder.

He recognised her in the next moment; but that first impatient salutation was about as warm a welcome as any which Miss Paget received from her father. In sad and bitter truth, he did not care for her. His marriage with Mary Anne Kepp had been the one grateful impulse of his life; and even the sentiment which had prompted that marriage. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Classic ME Braddon, the novel begins with a gruesome, satisfying murder, goes on to blackmail, and from then on gets better and better as a pack of rascals try to get rich quick on the same get-rich-quick scheme. Evil stepfathers, shady lawyers and cardsharps all form part of the background

This sc

I have enjoyed about 5 other books by Mary Elizabeth Braddon but not this one. There were too many despicable characters and not enough on the heroines I could root for.

Very enjoyable, despite and maybe a little because-of having read the sequel first by mistake. It's fun to see the story your mind invents for the first half of these characters' lives set against what's actually there. It reminds me of renting RPGs as a kid and just picking a save file that existed

First of all I must warn you that this book is only the part one of a story that goes on in a following book called "Charlotte's inheritance".
And now my review: maybe four stars could be too much for a sensation novel, but it was so absorbing that I couldn't give it less than this.
It starts well,

Birds of Prey is Part 1 of Charlotte and her family and friends' story, with Charlotte's Inheritance being Part 2. Birds of Prey is a bit confusing at first, because each of the first several chapters is a separate vignette about one of the characters, without any seeming reference to the others. Bu

This is the first of two books which do not stand alone. I didn't realise this until the end of the novel. Glad I didn't attempt to read the second one (Charlotte's Inheritance) first.

Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Birds of Prey is the first of two books you will need to read if you want the story to come to its conclusion. The second book is Charlotte's Inheritance.

Birds of Prey is well titled. Two brothers, both of whom dwell on the fringes of respectability and the law eagerly look

I read this book along with its sequel, Charlotte’s Inheritance, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s rather hard to review just this book, because the story doesn't end when the book does, so I’m lumping Birds of Prey and its sequel together.

I’ve been exploring various authors from this general time pe