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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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The fourth book in the Jack Nightingale series. I have to say I thought the series might be wrapped up with the way the first three finished, but was delighted to see a new book and intrigued to see how Stephen Leather was going to take things forward.

It does help if you have read the books in order (and why wouldn't you - they are good!) but this can be read in isolation. Having said that, I think you will get more from it if you know where the character has been and how he got to where he is.

Anyway there are two main storylines in this story, neither of them overly comfortable. A farmer kills a number of school kids (and himself) and an abducted and abused child is rescued just in time. Possibly. Ex-cop Nightingale investigates the background to the incident with the farmer and finds that it does not all add up and can't figure out why. Eventually he also gets involved in the other storyline and finds himself having to do something utterly unthinkable...

So, while we accept that Jack Nightingale understands the occult, he is no superstar, makes mistakes and lacks confidence in his personal life. He likes a fag and a beer or two and peace and quiet. He kind of knows that he could make a move on his assistant but can't quite bring himself to do it. He basically wants a quiet life with nobody bothering him but can't resist getting stuck into things when they present themselves. It's this conflict between a normal guy in (para)normal circumstances that makes these books so interesting. And it stays on the right side of horror/dark fantasy without going over the top as I often felt that the late James Herbert failed to do.

So, good characterisation, edgy plot and quite a few twists and turns. We expect a lot from Stephen Leather and he has delivered once again.
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on 23 July 2013
I had just finished the first three and downloaded this whilst still reading those. I read the reviews on this and they are correct. It could be read as a stand alone book as a lot of characters are new. But, so saying, it really does make more sense when you know what went before. An occult dabbling sceptic PI with even more sceptical friends is a good premise, and when you throw in child abuse, corrupt policemen and gangsters, it is a rollicking read. Really wish there was a 5th that I could start straight away!!
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on 2 January 2014
Having already read and enjoyed the other books in this series I was not disappointed with this 4th contribution. The weaving of police/crime and supernatural themes was interesting and the resulting plot kept me reading and intrigued to the end. I still like Jack as the central character and again I think it is his ordinariness that helps in this regard.

The story clearly evolves from the previous three books and to fully understand and appreciate the issues and events of this book the reader, in my opinion, needs to have already read the others. One could read it as a stand-alone but I feel that much of the enjoyment would be missing.
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on 21 October 2013
I loved, loved, loved the Nightingale trilogy, and if you haven't read them I won't spoil anything, but they do have a pretty definite ending, so I wondered how Mr Leather was going to progress. The direction is different, but it does follow on really, really well from Nightmare. This is a dark, amazingly well-written novel which cleverly juxtaposes the evil that men do alongside supernatural evil, and leaves Jack Nightingale to clear up both. It's disturbing in places, but without that edge of darkness you wouldn't get the same feeling of pure evil being manifested.

Definitely a "must read" book, no matter how much of a cliche that is. If you haven't read the first three Nightingale books, the genius of the tale is worthy of any readers time. (They're basically one big book split into the 3 pieces with the conclusion at the end of the 3rd book)
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on 26 January 2014
Have read Stephen Leather books for a few years now and the Jack Nightingale series are my favourites. The series is tremendous. Combining a classic downtrodden private detective with the supernatural is a stroke of genius. As an out and out detective and crime novel fan, I don't normally go for horror/supernatural stories or plots but Jack Nightingale works for me. Nightshade is no let down in the series although I think it's the weakest of the four so far.
Great series, good book, excellent price.
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on 19 April 2014
Every bit as good as the previous 3 books. I started reading this earlier in the evening and became so engrossed I suddenly found myself on the last page. No idea how much time had slipped away but it seems it was many hours. Hate that these books have an ending, they are so gripping and a joy to read.
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on 24 May 2014
This was a good follow on from the first three and I liked that it followed a new story rather than focusing on the plot of the first three. The story had me gripped pretty much from the start and I read it in the space of a few days and have immediately bought book 5.
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on 25 November 2013
I read this after reading the previous 3 books. The stories are good and different with the supernatural touch. The only thing that bothers me is the authors' constant mention of Jacks smoking: as a non smoker & being aware of the risks attached to smoking I feel that the author is almost encouraging the reader to smoke. I appreciate the description is to give the reader a fuller 'picture' of the character but feel it's mentioned too much.
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on 13 January 2016
I love this story, the characters and the plot, the whole supernatural thing...devils, demons, angels and souls for sale but the timeline now has me utterly confuddled. Is this more or less back to the timing of the first book after the way the previous book ended? What about the biological father and inheritance? What about the sister? Surely even after the twist in the last book these things would still have come up....? As I said...confuddled! But still hooked so on to the next!
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on 20 April 2013
I'm not really an avid reader, nor a seasoned book reviewer, but I have read pretty much everything Stephen Leather has ever written.The man tells good stories that keep your interest and drive you forward to finish the book.
This one was no exception and kept me entertained for two long afternoons out in the sun It's a clever blend of crime, conspiracy,horror and the supernatural, featuring ex-police negotiator and reluctant supernatural student Jack Nightingale. The writing is tight and uncluttered and the pace rarely slackens. It's really hard to go into specifics of the plot without giving too much away, but there are two stories in here which come to centre around Nightingale.

If this is your first try with Nightingale then I strongly suggest you read the first three to see where he has come from.

As you may see from the description, this one is not for the cozy mystery/romance fans and does have some nasty bits, but they were necessary for the plot.

No, I didn't buy it...I "know" Mr Leather from various social networks and he sent me a surprise paperback copy. He never asked for a review, and I wouldn't have written one if I hadn't enjoyed the story.
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