Nightfall, Midnight, and Nightmare by Stephen Leather
Narrator: Ralph Lister
“You’re going to hell, Jack Nightingale.”
These are the words that ended Jack Nightingale’s career as a police negotiator. Now a struggling private detective, the chilling words return with a vengeance when Jack inherits a mansion with a priceless library—and a terrifying warning from a man who claims to be his father.
Nightingale quickly learns his soul was sold at birth and a devil will come to claim it on his thirty-third birthday, which is just three short weeks away. It’s a hard pill to swallow. He doesn’t believe in Hell and probably doesn’t believe in Heaven either. But when people close to him start to die horribly, he is led to the inescapable conclusion that real evil may be at work. And if he doesn’t find a way out, he’ll be damned for eternity.
Dripping with brooding intensity, unrelenting suspense, and surprising wit, United Kingdom thriller master Stephen Leather’s first book in the Nightingale series is a riveting, heart-stopping mystery with extraordinary range and power.
“Your sister is going to hell, Jack Nightingale.”
Somehow, variations of that line keep former police negotiator Nightingale’s life careening in wild, unforeseen directions. This time, it is uttered by a dead woman hanging over a staircase, her neck broken by the laundry cord she tied around it before tossing herself over the banister. But Jack and his sister have been separated since birth…How can he save someone he’s never met?
Nightingale goes on the hunt for the sister he never knew, but everyone he talks to about her dies horribly. It’s as if someone—or something—is determined to keep them apart. If he’s going to save her, he’s going to have to do what he does best: negotiate. But any negotiation with the forces of darkness comes at a terrible price, and first Jack must ask himself a question: is every soul worth saving?
Sharp and intense, UK master Stephen Leather’s second book in The Nightingale Trilogy is a taut, relentlessly paced thriller as terrifying and dark as midnight itself.
The last case of police negotiator Jack Nightingale’s career ended in the death of nine-year-old Sophie Underwood. Since then he’s saved his own soul from the devil…but now he’s haunted by Sophie’s cries for help. And when a gangbanger lying in a hospital bed with no brain activity repeatedly drops Jack’s name, Nightingale realizes Sophie may desperately need him. But why?
Police superintendent Ronald Chalmers is determined to pin the gangbanger’s almost-murder on Jack, but he is preoccupied with Sophie and whether or not she’s in eternal torment—or if demons are torturing and deceiving him in order to gain the ultimate prize. With time running out, he’ll have to face down Chalmers and the police, south London gangs, and Hell itself in order to find the answer…
A riveting climax to The Nightingale Trilogy, Nightmare is a freight train of action, intensity, and suspense that delivers the force of eternal damnation and the power of the human soul.
My Review: This is such a great series. I couldn’t help it. I had to listen to these in a row. I couldn’t help it I tell you! I love Stephen Leather’s books and Ralph Lister is beyond perfect reading them.
Jack Nightingale is a truly great character. He is everything you want in a tragic hero. He thinks he fine. We love that in a hero. He doesn’t think he’s alone in the world because he has his friends that are more like family. Yet he is alone. Nightingale was forever changed by the terrible death of little Sophie and it haunts him. He has been carrying her around with him for two years when the story starts. I don’t think Jack realizes how much more he has to lose.
These books also have some lite moments. Jack is a smoker. He is a heavy duty smoker and he is constantly defending himself to everyone. It’s sort of the running joke in this series.
If that isn’t enough to get you to listen to this series then listen for the mystery. Sophie’s father, who was abusing her, takes a flying leap from his office window. Jack was there when it happened and everyone thinks he did it. He was interrogated by the police and fired from his job over it. That’s how he becomes a private investigator. Did he or didn’t he do it that is the question. It isn’t an open ended question either. We get an answer.
This series has everything the world has come to expect from Stephen Leather. Lots of guns and bodies to go with a cleverly crafted story. You have to pay attention because everything is important.
These books have a high body count. High probably isn’t the right word. Huge, maybe enormous, or even gigantic covers it better. People are dropping like flies. It’s creepy and proves that Stephen Leather is one creative author. I’m not sure that two people die in the same way. That’s saying something. Just when you think he’s covered all the bases he comes up with something just as terrible as the thing that you would have sworn twenty minutes ago was the most terrible way to die that you had ever read.
In these books Jack asks the questions about God and the devil that people tend to ask at some point after something changes their lives forever. Things like if God exists why does he allow absolutely horrible atrocities to be committed. Remember that Jack is carrying around Sophie’s death. Nightmare is totally about Sophie and what Jack is willing to do to make things right for her and the other innocents that died because of what happened with Sophie.
I have one word of caution. When you get to the end of book three and you start to feel short changed by the turn of events consider something. Everything that goes bump in the night knows who Jack Nightingale is. They know the things he’s capable of and the things he’s done. They’ve been watching him closely from hell and something tells me they have long memories. I am really excited to read the final two books in the series: Nightshade and Lastnight. They sound just as amazing as the first three.
I don’t think this is for anyone under sixteen. Mature content: Violence- I believe I mentioned a gigantic body count.
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