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#BookReview of Nightfall by Stephen Leather


  30 May 2020 |    3 minutes  |   Paul Mitchell

Book cover of Nightfall by Stephen Leather

Title:  Nightfall
Author:  Stephen Leather
Date Published:  1 Jan, 2010
Genre:  Supernatural
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN:  9781444700633
Series:  Jack Nightingale #1
Pages:  441
Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis

(Blurb for Nightfall From GoodReads) When he couldn’t save a little girl who was being abused, policeman Jack Nightingale left the force and became a private investigator. He has recently inherited a mansion from a man who turns out to be his father. A father who killed himself when he was unable to reverse a deal he did with a demon – a deal that sold his son’s soul.

My Review

The concept of Nightfall is devilishly good, and I kind of like it; but it’s just that little bit short of being great.

Police negotiator Jack Nightingale is unable to save a young girl from committing suicide, but not before finding out that she was abused. As a consequence, he rushes off to find her father at work on the twentieth floor of a Canary Warf bank. The father ends up flying through a window to his death. Was he pushed or did he jump?

Move on two years later and Nightingale is a private eye just about breaking even. He receives a note asking for him to visit a solicitor based in Surrey. To his surprise, he finds that it’s not to work on a case but to discuss his inheritance from his father. This is a shock as his parents died over 10 years ago, and there was no mention of adoption. However, his real father Ainsley Gosling died recently leaving him Gosling Manor.

Upon visiting the Manor, he finds that there is a cellar full of occult paraphernalia. He has also been left a note explaining that his soul has been sold to a demon Proserpine. The debt would be collected on his thirty-third birthday only a few days away. On top of this, his father was virtually penniless, mortgaging the house to cover debts.

For the remainder of the book, we follow Jack’s attempts to get himself out of the contract with Proserpine and raise the cash to cover his debts. During this period, he meets Alison Steadman the owner of Wicca Woman selling potions, magic wands, etc. It is Steadman who puts him in touch with Joshua Wainwright, a Texan who buys several of Jack’s books for two million euros.

So, Jack has cleared his debts, but will he succeed in cancelling the contract with Proserpine? I can’t reveal this, but, there are further books in the series…

I Liked

You’re Going to Hell Jack Nightingale

Throughout the story, complete strangers will say this to Jack, completely oblivious to the fact. It piques our interest even before we know about Jack’s predicament.

You could compare Jack Nightingale with DC Comics John Constantine, there are plenty of similarities. But, Jack is a complete novice in the world of witchcraft and demonology who has been thrown in at the deep end. Whereas Constantine has years of knowledge and experience on his side.

I also liked Proserpine who appears at various intervals throughout the story usually dressed as a punk with a collie in tow. She blends into the background easily but has a mean side to her.

Conclusion

I thought Nightfall was nicely paced without really having me on the edge of my seat although there are several gruesome moments. However, it’s an interesting mixture of detective novel and supernatural story which kept me entertained throughout.

I’ll certainly be reading the next instalment.




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