William Thayer's Peregrine won the Edgar Award for Best Novel of 1981.
The first line is "She didn't know where she was going, didn't care".
A freakishly large peregrine falcon is killing women in Manhattan, women of a certain type: young, brown-haired, slender and vulnerable in one way or another. The bird is much larger than normal, freakishly large. From above the skyscrapers she dives at her victims, building speed until she's moving lightning fast. She stuns her prey by smashing into their heads, then attacks their throats with her talons.
No wild falcon would ever do this. The bird has been trained and is being controlled by somebody, a deranged falconer, a most unusual serial killer. Reporter Pam Barrett happens to be on the scene for the first killing and the sensational story makes her star, turning around a career that was about to fizzle out. In fact, Pam was almost the first victim. She's the right type. But the falconer sees something special in her, a potential to fulfill his most desired dream. And she feels the fascination and finds herself drawn almost willingly into his trap. <