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Posts Tagged ‘paranormal detective’

blood-bath

This short book (I listened to the audiobook which came in at around an hour and a half) is part of a series of stories featuring Stephen Leather’s creation Jack Nightingale, paranormal detective. I wasn’t aware of that when I bought this one, but certainly didn’t feel that I missed out on anything but not having read/listened to any of the others in the series. Before I talk about this specific story, it’s worth mentioning that the print version of the story also features six other stories of the same name written by other authors. Having read reviews, it appears that the Stephen Leather one was by the far the best of them all, and so I am not particularly bothered by missing out on the others, but some readers may want to have the whole lot.

In this story, Jack and his assistant Jenny take on new clients Mr and Mrs Stokes, who have bought a hotel. However, due to the high number of suicides in the hotel over the preceding years, nobody wants to stay there and the business is losing money. Jack investigates and discovers that the suicides may in fact be murder by a malevolent supernatural force, so it is up to himself and Jenny to find out the truth.

As far as short stories go, this was…okay. Not really a horror, more of a fantasy novel, which admittedly is not necessarily a favourite genre of mine although the occasional fantasy novel will grab me. It was basically just a straight up chronological account of their investigation. I did like Jack and Jenny – both had a good sense of humour and a nice working relationship, and the story itself was serviceable even if it held no major surprises.

There were a few editing mistakes which annoyed me – one character went from being called Timothy to Thomas and back to Timothy again. Also, at the beginning of a conversation with Mr Stokes, the hotel owner says that he has no guests stopping there at that time and a minute later, during the same conversation, Jack asked him if he still had no guests stopping there. Little things like this do tend to niggle me somewhat.

I’m not sure I would be that bothered about listening to any more Jack Nightingale stories, but I also wouldn’t be against the idea of popping one on to pass the time during a long run or car journey.

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