Nightfall by Stephen Leather

Nightfall by Stephen Leather

I was sent a review copy of Nightfall (at no cost to me), then my computer died. This review was written on a nook color, so please forgive the typos and formatting mistakes.


From the cover…

“You’re going to hell, Jack Nightingail.”

The last words spoken in Jack’s final case as police negotiator have been haunting him ever since leaving the job. He’d been a cop long enough to see people at their worst, to doubt the existence of God, heaven, hell, or souls. Now a struggling private detective, those chilling words return with a vengeance when he inherits a mansion with a priceless library and a terrifying warning.

My Opinion

Nightfall plays with the tropes of the private detective, but comes across like a vintage British horror movie. You know, the movies you see on late night cable. Starring Peter Cushing (if you’re lucky) tracking down some mysterious force of evil, or perhapes looking into the tragic history of a quaint country cottage. Lots of atmosphere and dialog, interspersed with the occaisonal gruesome murder.

If you enjoy those movies, you’ll enjoy Nightfall. If, however, you find those classic films tedious, then Nightfall may move a bit too slowly for you in some parts.

I love those movies, but there were a couple of moments where I got impatient. I understand that Jack Nightingale’s world has been shaken on it’s foundations, but I couldn’t help but think …

“The dude is an investigator, shouldn’t he be investigating instead of moping over crappy beer?”

In spite of his poor beverage choice, I enjoyed the book. The slow moments weren’t numerous enough to damage the story for me. They were understandable for a man dealing with the kind of life altering news that he’d received. I doubt that I could have dealt with it half as well, but I would have moped over better beer.


I enjoyed Nightfall more than I expected. Demons playing with people’s minds, instead of their entrails, was a nice change. I would gladly return to the world of Jack Nightingail, but I’d bring my own beer.

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