Nightfall by Stephen Leather

A review of the supernatural crime thriller novel Nightfall by Stephen Leather.

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Nightfall is the debut of the Jack Nightingale series by Stephen Leather. The book follows Jack Nightingale; a private investigator as he tries to save his soul. Before he was a PI, Jack was a negotiator with the police. The final case he worked on involved a fourteen year-old girl who admitted to Jack that her father had been raping her for years. She then killed herself. Incensed by this, Jack went to confront the father. The encounter didn’t go too well. The father leapt to his death, his final words being, “you’re going to hell, Jack Nightingale.”

Jack didn’t tell anybody what had happened. He knew that nobody would believe that he didn’t push the father and he couldn’t explain what was said. So, he left the force and became a private investigator instead. The story itself centres on Jack inheriting a house from his birth father. In the house there’s a library full of rare, occult books and Jack discovers that his father gave him up for adoption because he’d sold Jack’s soul. Something will be coming to collect that soul on Jack’s thirty-third birthday, which just happens to be a few weeks away.

I really enjoyed this book. Jack is a very well fleshed out character that reacts about as realistically as I think a person could to finding out that your dad sold your soul to a devil. I found the plot to be quite interesting too. The whole ‘inherits something from a dead relative to start the story’ concept has been done almost to death, but Nightfall did it well and in a refreshing way. The supporting characters are just as fleshed out and well-written as the main.

I would very highly recommend this book to people who like fantasy-style books or mysteries and thrillers. One of the things that Leather does exceedingly well is bridging two genres together seamlessly. It works as either singularly or as an amalgamation of the two, and that’s all down to Leather’s excellent writing.

I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, yet, but they are on my wish list, and I’ll definitely be checking out some of Leather’s other books as well. I would urge you to give it a go, too.

David Chitty was born and raised in Thanet in the 90s. He devotes most of his energies to writing fantasy fiction novels.

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