Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review: Nightfall

Nightfall by Stephen Leather

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually finished this book over 12 hours ago, but then I crashed and went to sleep. So here's the review.

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy/Occult Detective
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of fast-paced and darkly humorous urban fantasy
Trigger Warnings: murder, suicide, pedophilia

My Thoughts: After reading Once Bitten a couple years ago (review linked here where formatting allowed), I went through Stephen Leather's available books and added a number to my wishlist. When Midnight, the 2nd book in this series, came available through Vine, I saw it was on my list and grabbed it and then bought this book (first in the series). My point is I enjoy this author's writing style and expected something that was dark but with a touch of humor, and that was exactly what I received. The story is fast-paced and furious, often quite dark and nasty, but with unexpected bits of humor to lighten things just when it is most needed.

The only major problem I had was that there was some sloppiness in the editing department. Not spelling and grammar, but problems with inconsistencies in the plot. For instance, Jack explicitly says several times that the master bedroom in Gosling manor has been cleaned perfectly, leaving no traces of blood spatter or chalk, yet when he finds the CCTV viewing area and looks at it through the CCTV cameras, he describes seeing the outline of the body and the chalk on the floor. At another point, when he first meets Rebecca, she opens her mouth and he describes her mouth as having no tongue, only ulcerated gums, yet two paragraphs later her tongue is described as being coated and later she actually speaks. These sorts of things should have been caught and fixed well before publication.

But not everyone is likely to have noticed that, I suppose; it's just one of those things I noticed. There was also a comment that really started me thinking. Someone said, “Apparently quite a few people who dabble in the occult top themselves.” Weirdly enough, this sort of attitude seems to be fairly wide-spread, because I had a doctor tell me as much at one point. A lot of people seem to think that people who are involved in the occult or supernatural or consider themselves Pagan because despondent as a result (for some reason). I don't think that's the way things work at all. I think people who tend to be despondent about how the world is tend to turn toward the occult and supernatural and Paganism as a place to belong, as a place where they won't be constantly judged and have fingers pointed at them and told they are going to hell. I think these people are just a lot more likely to take their own destiny into their own hands and decide to move on to what comes next sooner out of a hope that it is better than the mess this world is in. That's what I think.

Anyway, this is a book that is more focused on a male readership, I think. The pace is fast and the characters are developed, but the plot is mostly focused on action and not talking, and that's just fine with me. I really enjoy these sorts of stories, and I'll probably end up buying the final book in this series for myself to read before too much more time passes. In the meantime, I'll be moving on to the 2nd book in the series, Midnight, next.

Disclosure: I bought this book for myself. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: ‘You are going to Hell, Jack Nightingale.’ They are the words that ended Jack Nightingale’s career as a negotiator with the Metropolitan Police. But two years later, when Nightingale is a struggling Private Eye, the words come back to haunt him. Nightingale discovers that he was adopted at birth and that his real father, a confirmed Satanist, sold Nightingale’s soul to a demon from Hell. And on his thirty-third birthday – just weeks away – the demon is coming to claim its prize. 

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