Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Book 11 of 2015: Nightfall by Stephen Leather

Back in February last year, one of my colleagues at work discovered I would read virtually anything you put in front of me and recommended that I try the Jack Nightingale series of books. I agreed to give them a whirl.

The first in the series is Nightfall which introduces us to the character of Jack Nightingale. A former policeman turned private investigator who discovers that the father he didn't know he had has died and left him an enormous mansion. Oh, and he sold his unborn son's soul before he was born, so unless he can win it back, Jack doesn't have long to live.

I found this a fairly quick and easy read. It's the sort of book you might pick up to read on a train or plane journey. Distraction from what's going on around you. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from it but once I started it I got into it very quickly. It's one of those 'just-one-more-chapter' kind of books. The sort of one that you find yourself reading late into the night because one chapter before lights out soon becomes three or four, or six.

It deals with the supernatural. It doesn't take very long before lots of people who Jack knows or speaks to keep turning up dead. This makes for a very creepy read, especially if you're reading it late at the night due to the aforementioned 'one-more-chapter' thing. Luckily it's nicely balanced with some funny bits as well.

I couldn't help but think that Leather was really annoyed by the smoking ban. It seemed to get a mention at least every sixty pages or so. I imagine that he's a smoker who is now peeved that he can't smoke indoors.

Throughout the book Jack ends up getting messages from people who keep on telling him that he is going to hell; most of these people then ended up killing themselves in weird and wonderful ways. I didn't quite get why that was happening in this book. All this became clearer to me as I read the later books in the series.

Jack isn't always a particularly likeable character, but he is a very intriguing character. I never knew quite how he was going to react to any situation. That probably helped add to the 'one-more-chapter' aspect of the book. This book does also set things up well for the next book, which I went on to read within a couple of days. Look out for that review in two weeks' time.

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