“ Genre: Horror. This is the first book in the Jack Nightingale series. It is read by: Paul Thornley. „
Nightfall by Stephen Leather
This is the first book in the Jack Nightingale series and was published in 2010.
Jack Nightingale is a private detective working in London. Out of the blue, he inherits a mansion from a man who claimed he was his biological father.
He also finds out via a DVD his father made before he committed suicide, that he sold Nightingale's soul to the devil, and he will come to claim it on his 33rd birthday which is only a few days away.
(In this novel, the word devil is used to describe demons as well as 'the devil'). There are various types of devils with their own personalities.
Nightingale doesn't take it seriously but when random people start to tell him, "You're going to hell, Jack Nightingale", and people close to him start dying horribly, he has to find a way to save his soul before his 33rd birthday . . .
The author Stephen Leather, usually writes basic thriller novels featuring spys, terrorists and soldiers, but this is a slight departure from the norm for him. This is a mixture of a thriller novel combined with paranormal fiction. I wouldn't say it was horror. I didn't find any of the scenes in this disturbing. This may be due to the easy-going writing style the author has and also the voice of the narrator.
I initially picked this audio book up as I thought the novel would have more private detective elements like maybe the main character would be given a case to solve which would have paranormal elements in it. This didn't feel like a detective novel though. The main character goes about doing his research, as if he's a normal guy, and even though he owns his own private detective agency, he doesn't seem to be getting many cases.
Overall, I liked reading this novel. I normally don't read paranormal fiction, but the twists and turns in this kept me gripped. I wasn't too sure what would happen right till the end.
All the characters lead normal lives, going about doing their everyday activities. Nightingale is a character I could empathise with. His past in the police as a negotiator is revealed to us as the book goes along, so I won't say too much. I did find it weird that Nightingale didn't show any real anger towards the demon that had killed people close to him during the novel. In that regards, he came across as being selfish and interested in saving his own soul.
I was able to do the suspension of disbelief thing as the author managed to describe the demons / devils and the magic in a way that was plausible. I don't know much about the occult and he manages to explain it in a way that anyone can grasp what is happening. The main protagonist doesn't know much either at the start of the novel, so we learn with him as he goes about investigating what kind of devils there are out there, and how to summon them.
I have to say this did remind me somewhat of the Charlie Parker series of books written by John Connolly, but whereas that series is darker, I felt this was a book you could pick up anytime and read for a bit of light entertainment.
== Audio narration ==
This is unabridged and was read by Paul Thornley. It is 12 hours and 5 mins in length. He does a good job of reading the book. He doesn't have too deep a voice which may have helped to give it a lighter tone.
== Summary and recommendation ==
I give this 4 stars. I thought this was a different and intriguing novel that kept me hooked all the way through. Paranormal fiction is not something I read normally, but the author manages to make it intrusting and believable in the way he describes it. He also has an excellent easy-going writing style that makes you want to read / listen to this. I'm thinking this is due to his time spent as a journalist.
This novel is much better than the next one in this series 'Midnight', as by the next novel, you know all about the demons, the rituals to summon them and what the likely twists are going to be.