This private eye isn't any regular PI. His investigations goes beyond the natural world and into the supernatural. I could say the same about the writing style of Stephen Leather. I'm going to be honest here, I'm not an avid reader of suspense thrillers but when I saw this book, I knew it went beyond the norm. The story is about Jack Nightingale a PI who is called in to investigate a murder case with serious overkill. Jack's supernatural radar goes to yellow when he visits the first crime scene. He is assisted through the investigation by Cheryl Perez, a PI on Mr. Wainwright's payroll. As they go deeper, there are more murders and more demons coming out of the woodwork. They work their way through evidence to find the link that connects the murders and find that something bigger and more sinister is work here.
The writing style of Leather is smooth and crystal clear. There is an almost understated finesse about it that makes reading it comfortable and easy. Word usage is not overbearing but not basic. This shows Leather's prowess in great writing. The conversation between Nightingale and Perez, flows like a stream over river rocks, nice and easy. The banter between the two is comedic enough to lighten the book but not in a way that takes it into the comedy genre. Nightingale's 'Brit humour' and Perez's 'Yankee sass' is like a verbal quick step. Something I personally enjoy in books and takes me back to reading Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'. I found the scenes with Nightingale and Prosepine a great example of this.
As the story continued, Leather reveals more to Nightingale as well as readers. I liked that Leather allowed Nightingale to give us the facts about what we were reading. Not like other books that the reader is sometimes a little ahead of the protagonist. Nightingale expects that there will be more trouble. What was also interesting that the tough talking Perez fell prey to the allure of speaking to her dead husband and being tricked into summoning one of the bad guys. Fortunately for Nightingale, the Sherlock Holmes of the dark and sinister, he was able to squeeze his way out of a tight spot.
The pace of the story was steady. It picked up for the action and slowed down so readers could catch up and grasp what was going on. The characters were well written. They were what I call full characters. They had history and presence. Something that is ignored in the name of shallow plots in some books. Nightingale seemed to have deep history which makes the series even better.
The book climbed and had a great climax. The point where everything came to a head. What was interesting was the fact he seemed to have been tricked by Prosepine and it took going toe to toe with Lillith, Xanaph and Baalberith to realize it; although that is something I'm pretty sure may show up in the 8th installation of the series. I hope there is an 8th installation. There is a cliff hanger but it's one that has me excited and chanting for another book from Stephen Leather.
I give this one 4.5 stars. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good supernatural thriller.
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Praise for Stephen Leather's Jack Nightingale series:
'Another great thriller from Stephen Leather but this time with a devilish twist!' - James Herbert
'Written with panache, and a fine ear for dialogue, Leather manages the collision between the real and the occult with exceptional skill' - Daily Mail
‘A stunning masterclass in darkness from a ferocious talent who excels in putting the devil in the details’ - Daily Record
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