Nightingale’s Lament by Simon R. Green

 

ParanormalParanormal Mystery

Nightingale's lament Nightingale’s LamentSimon R. Green; Ace Books 2004WorldCatIn the macabre world of Nightside any thing can happen – like a singer’s songs driving people in the audience to suicide.

Rossignol’s father hires John Taylor, a scary private investigator in Nightside, to find out what is happening with his daughter. She left home a few years earlier to be a singer. She found her way down to Nightside, the city under London where it’s always three AM and anyone can do or be whatever they want – for a price. Rossignol sang a few places around Nightside and did well. Then Mr. and Mrs. Cavendish hired her to sing exclusively at their club, Caliban’s Cavern. Since then no one has seen her outside of the club.

Taylor talks his way into Caliban’s Cavern in between shows. Rossignol is sitting in the dressing room, depressed and staring at herself in the mirror. All her songs are now sad songs – a complete change from her songs before she went to Caliban’s Cavern. She doesn’t want to leave – nor does she believe that’s she affecting her audience like that.

When Taylor visits the Cavendishes, they threaten him if he doesn’t leave their property, Rossignol, alone. When John goes to her next concert, a man shoots himself in the head at the performer’s feet. Then the place erupts and a riot ensues. Taylor is lucky to get away before the Cavendishes discover him or the nightclub is destroyed.

If things are bad enough normally in Nightside, things like power outages and suicide-causing divas make it worse. Nightside has every type of person or being. For example, one person who helps John is Dead Boy – who has been 17 for over 30 years. He was killed when he was 17. Now he’s not a zombie, but an animated, sentient corpse. Or there’s Rossignol’s roadie, Ian – or should I say roadies, Ian.

Simon R. Green has a humorously twisted mind. Macabre is the best word I’ve seen to sum up Nightside. It’s spooky, ghostly, magical, dark, weird, frightening, unearthly, sinister, and full of odd humor. Green has invented a world that could be oppressive. But he tells the story in Taylor’s first person voice with the sarcasm, smart aleck, and self deprecating tone that keeps the Nightside books readable and enjoyable. They’re easy, light reading, but dark and funny, not depressing.

Some of the story line is obvious to the reader. Most of it is unexpected and fresh. Twists that can only happen in a world like Nightside can catch you.

Nightingale’s Lament is not for everyone. It helps if you like urban fantasy and have (or can appreciate) a twisted sense of humor.

Notice:  Graphic violence

More books by Simon R. Green

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