‘Nightfall’ by Stephen Leather


Jack Nightingale is going to Hell, or at least that’s what he keeps hearing. Trouble is, are people actually saying it to him, or is it his imagination? When Nightingale’s career as a cop ends and he starts up as a private detective, his past, and that creepy expression, keep coming back to haunt him. On discovering his parents weren’t his real parents, and that he’s been left a huge mansion and a library of spooky-looking books in the will of a man he’s never met, Jack finds his world spiralling out of control. As he struggles to learn the truth, the people he cares about are turning up dead. And as for his soul being sold to a demon, well, that’s just silly. But if it isn’t, Jack Nightingale needs to find a way of escaping a hideous afterlife. And time is running out…

Apart from a Jack Nightingale short story, this is the first volume I’ve read in Stephen Leather’s supernatural thriller series and I have to say it bodes well for the other five books in the series. ‘Nightfall’ is a proper scary story with devils, horrible deaths and a denouement that leaves the reader wanting more. The writing is smart and well-crafted with great characters and a plot that would keep James Herbert happy on a dark night. Quite why Leather’s publishers didn’t pick up the sixth book in the series (he ended up publishing it himself), is beyond me, but unless a demon comes along to claim my soul, I for one will be reading anything featuring Jack Nightingale (I’ve already ordered the next one – ‘Midnight’), so watch out for the review.


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