- Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Ace (April 27 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780441011636
- ISBN-13: 978-0441011636
- ASIN: 0441011632
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.8 x 17 cm
- Shipping Weight: 136 g
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #506,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Nightingale's Lament Mass Market Paperback – Apr 27 2004
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
John Taylor has just solved the mystery of two friends' deaths when he is called to another case. Charles Chabron wants Taylor to contact his daughter, Rossignol (French for nightingale), a young singer who has fallen under the sway of the ruthless Cavendishes, a husband-and-wife management team. Rossignol used to sing upbeat, happy songs, but now her set is so melancholy that people leave her show and commit suicide. After visiting Rossignol at the Goth club Caliban's Cavern, where she performs nightly, Taylor knows something is wrong. When he goes to the Cavendishes' management company, a pair of somnambulists beat him mercilessly, leaving him near death and with no one to turn to but Pew, an old enemy. With the help of Dead Boy, a deceased mugging victim who now fights criminals, Taylor tries to locate the Cavendishes' former protege, Sylvia Sin, and find a way to rescue Rossignol from the couple's clutches. The latest installment in Green's Nightshade series is a delight--exciting, action packed, truly suspenseful. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"What could be a long and extremely addictive series."—Black Gate Magazine
"Another wildly fantastic extravaganza."—Publishers Weekly
"Cross The X-Files with The Twilight Zone...and one might have a glimmer of an idea what the Nightside is like."—BookBrowserSee all Product description
Showing 1-3 of 10 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
That striking little line sums up the general life of Simon R Green'a grizzled anti-hero John Taylor, an unconventional private eye in the "sick, secret magical heart of London." And "Nightingale's Lament," the third book set in the gloriously gruesome Nightside, has a solid little mystery at its center, filled with grotesque characters and weird supernatural happenings. Something is definitely rotten in the state of the Nightside.
While arguing with his secretary about his personal life, John is approached by Parisian banker Charles Chabron, who asks him to help him with his daughter, a nightclub singer called Rossignol. Not only has the girl withdrawn from everyone except her management, but her sad songs are driving people to suicide. And when John starts investigating Rossignol, he finds that she is always in a depressed, drugged stupor and her managers the Cavendishes keep her isolated.
After one of her fans shoots off his own head during a concert, John joins forces with the zombieesque Dead Boy, and starts prowling around for the last singer that the Cavendishes took under their wings. Turns out that Sylvia Sin has become something inhuman and horrifically desirable -- and the Cavendishes have done something even more terrible to Rossignol. Rescuing the trapped nightingale will stretch John's abilities to the limit... and he may not be able to truly save her.
Transvestite superheroes, ghostly lovebirds, temporal triplets, the Victorian Adventurer, Hell's Neanderthals, teenybopper-goth groupies, sleepwalking thugs, and a twerpy probability-shifting guy called Count Entropy. Even if Simon R. Green had no writing ability whatsoever, the world he conjures in the Nightside series would be worth the read -- dripping with darkness, eccentricity and utterly twisted fantasy-noir humor. And boy, is it fun.
And fortunately for us all, he has quite a bit of writing ability -- he can conjure up loads of atmosphere in all corners of the Nightside, from the Necropolis to a sweaty, flower-stinky magical bordello. And Green can induce some shivers even in un-scary scenes, such as when John and Dead Boy are attacked by a vast horde of transvestite divas (" Their painted faces were suddenly strange, twisted, shaped by new and deadly emotions. It was like being suddenly surrounded by a pack of wolves").
He also has a knack for descriptions ("the neon signs were flickering on again, like road signs in Hell"), and a quirky sense of humor to remind us that the Nightside is not the kind of place you go for lighthearted fun ("cars left unattended on Nightside streets tend to be suddenly stolen, or eaten, or even evolve into something else entirely while your back's turned").
John Taylor is your average noir anti-hero -- grizzled, cynical, and always with a smart remark at the ready. His big difference from a Raymond Chandler detective is that his mother was apparently some kind of uber-demon. It's a little annoying that he handles everything by saying "I'm John Taylor" and expecting instant quivers, though. But he works well with the pragmatic, ghoulish, booze-swigging Dead Boy, and his sympathy for the tragic Rossignol -- whose drugged stupor is quite creepy -- is immensely touching.
Stardom always has a price, and that price appears to be much, much higher in the Nightside. Simon R. Green's "Nightingale's Lament" is a solid little noir mystery tinged with magic, and more than its fair share of the grotesque.
In Jim Butcher's world, the wizard Harry Dresden relies on amulets and potions and things he prepares beforehand, as his "magic". Without those prior preparations, Harry is just as vulnerable and defenceless as any human. Harry gets beaten up very often, and after 5 books in the series, is just as unlucky a schmuck as when he began. A constant out-of-his-luck detective type. After five books, I get tired of seeing Harry never being rewarded for his deeds, always being the big loser.
In Simon R. Green's world of Nightside, that square mile in the centre of London where monsters and gods live, John Taylor doesn't do wizard/witch amulet/potion type things. Taylor's has a psychic gift, that allows him to find anything. This doesn't sound like much, but the author explains that Taylor can find any object, secret, exit, and death. So even with an immortal, Taylor can use his gift to find how to kill them. Plus, he can do other things with his gift too. In the really scary world of Nightside, Taylor is a legend. His mother wasn't human, his father was. Unfortunately, he doesn't know what/where his mother is. The augaries at his birth said that he would come into his kingdom, that he would somehow rule Nightside. So Taylor has a very strong psychic power, and the mysterious and frightening power of something even more in waiting. He gets beaten up occasionally, but unlike Harry Dresden, he isn't a wimp, he can fight back with his power and after 3 books, his good fortune grows. I like that, when a good guy gets ahead, shows some positive progress in the series.
Plus, the world of Nightside is truly beautiful/frightening. The author uses very strong imagery, very powerful and evocative. The characters in Nightside are amazing. Unlike many other authors, Simon R. Green doesn't just pick up monsters from regular culture and throw them into his world (like vampires, werewolves, witches, etc.), he makes up his own monsters. Like Sara the Sorrow, who long ago gave up her humanity and is now the Unbeliever, not believing anything she sees, so that if she looks at you, the power of total lack of belief lets her unmake anything, anyone. Anyway, these are great books, and especially if you like detective mysteries, psychic powers, very strange inhabitants of a very strange place, the promise of a prophecy and a would-be king and don't mind gore, this is the book for you.
Want to see more reviews on this item?