The Nightside stories are so hard boiled that it’s hard to put in perspective, but I’m going to try anyway: If you took Dashiell Hammett’s corpse, rolled it in batter, then deep fried it till black, you would have a pretty good approximation of what Simon R. Green is going for.
Nightingale’s Lament is the third book in the Nightside series, and follows the same pattern as the previous books do: basically, another case file for John Tayler. This time he’s been tasked to discover the cause of the mysterious suicides surrounding a young singer’s performances. Through the course of the mystery he once again uses his reputation to help him solve the case. And, as usual, Simon R. Green throws some new and fascinating characters into the mix.
With each Nightside installment, Green’s writing gets tighter, and his world gets more exciting. The gritty fast-paced style is really starting to grow on me. Nightingale’s Lament is full of memorable lines, which I’ll call Taylorisms. For example:
- I don’t use guns. Never have. They have too many limitations.
- That man could brood for the Olympics, and pick up a bronze in self-pity while he was at it.
- Condiments, Never leave home without them
Those are just a few of many great quotes. The book’s tone is almost always tongue-in-cheek, but it remains just serious enough to keep the suspense high. Green has something special with the Nightside series. I hope he continues to improve the narrative, and keeps entertaining me for years to come.
Green’s writing is becoming repetitive, but he continues to dream up really wacky characters in strange situations. Very creative. Very quick read. The audio is the way to go, I think.