Lastnight by Stephen Leather

Lastnight by Stephen Leather

A killer is murdering Goths with relish – skinning and butchering them. The cops aren’t getting anywhere so Jack Nightingale’s nemesis, Superintendent Chalmers, asks him for help.

Nightingale discovers that the murdered Goths had one thing in common: a tattoo connected to the secretive Satanic child-sacrificing cult called the Order Of Nine Angles.

As Nightingale closes in on the killers, the tables are turned and he finds himself in the firing line, along with his friends and family. The Order will stop at nothing to protect their secrets and Nightingale realises that there is nothing he can do to protect himself. Nor can he run, for the Order has connections across the world. It leaves him with only one way to stop the carnage – and that’s to take his own life . . .

Lastnight is the second Jack “Bird-Man” Nightingale title I’ve had the opportunity to read, not quite sure how I’ve missed the other books in the series – the first being Midnight back in 2011 – but I have to say it was good to get reacquainted with Jack, a character who’s slowly becoming a firm favourite of mine!

Although a dark subject matter – after all we are talking about child sacrifices, murder and satanic rituals – I found the book lighter than Midnight; I know right?! Humorous at times the book balances the dark occult and investigative prowess of our intrepid and soulful Nightingale admirably, allowing the book to move along at a very quick pace indeed. The book was over in a tick, a combination of a well crafted storyline and an intelligent and entertaining narrative. Another factor of course is that once you’ve reached the inner sanctum, the meaty part of the book, you really begrudge putting it down. I know I did!

Jack is an intriguing character and one I’d love to have a drink with and share stories and experiences. Jack has been around the block and uses his vast knowledge of the occult well in his investigations. It’s funny how these bizarre situations always seem to follow him but he’s certainly the man for the job, Chalmers would be stuck without him. He’s humorous and infectious and despite his dark side he’s truly likeable, you can’t ask for more than that.

Other characters of note include Superintendent Chalmers and Jenny, Jack’s assistant. Chalmers isn’t a likeable character, it may have something to do with the fact that he’s always at odds with our protagonist. One dimensional he certainly isn’t however and there were parts in the book I found myself softening to Chalmers, not for long though. He’s a curious character, he begins to let you in, tempts you with a morsel of kindness and then he pulls away and reverts to his usual self a page later. His moods change more times than the four seasons found in one Melbourne afternoon. He keeps you on your toes that’s for sure. Jenny is the polar opposite, dependable, likeable and good at her job – she’s also a good friend to Jack.

I have to say I was disappointed to reach the end, I wanted it to continue, the ending is shocking and unexpected. Although he ties everything up nicely Leather certainly leaves you wanting more. I want to know what happens next and I don’t want to wait! Talk about leaving you hanging – and no that’s not a clue!

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (16 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444742655
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444742657
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