Rating: 2 1/2 stars
Jack Nightingale was a top police negotiator until a 9-year-old girl he was trying to help jumped 13 stories to escape her sexually abusive father. Shortly after, Jack threw the girl’s father out of a 20 story window—allegedly.
Now a private investigator, Jack is reduced to tailing cheating spouses and commiserating with his beautiful, and totally overqualified, assistant Jenny; that is, until his whole life changed.
Just two weeks short of his 33rd birthday, Jack learns a few important facts: he was adopted and his birth father just committed suicide, leaving him a mansion of a house.
A DVD Jack's father recorded for him reveals two key nuggets of information. First, Jack has a sister. Second, his father was a Satanist who sold Jack’s and his sister’s soul to the devil; and, the debt comes due on Jack's birthday.
Caught between shock and disbelief, Jack's first instinct is to chalk it all up to the babblings of a deranged man. However, when people close to him begin dying violent deaths, he has no choice but to find a way to cheat the devil.
Jack Nightingale is a fairly dynamic character. However, Leather's portrayal of Jack as a manic chain smoker is wearing, as is the repetitive grumbling regarding the work-place smoking ban.
Even more frustrating is Jack’s tendency to beat around the bush in regard to his situation, while having lengthy conversations with people dealing in, or having knowledge of, the dark arts, rather than just coming right out and asking the million dollar question. These "interviews" slow the story down, and do nothing to move the plot forward in any significant way.
Nightfall combines the intensity and suspense of a thriller, with the mysticism of the supernatural, all wrapped up in a light police procedural with a few surprising twists. Though the plot lags at times, it definitely has its moments, and those moments keep the pages turning.
The first in a trilogy, Jack Nightingale has my attention.
Paperback: 438 pages
Publisher: 47North (March 20, 2012)