Monday 22 March 2021

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas BLOG TOUR @thevoiceofruss @simonandschusterUK @RandomTTours #Nighthawking #DSAdamTyler #BookReview


Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens – an oasis of peace in a world filled with sorrow, confusion and pain. And then, one morning, a body is found in the Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body’s been there for months. It would have gone undiscovered for years – but someone just sneaked into the Gardens and dug it up.
Who is the victim? Who killed her and hid her body? Who dug her up? And who left a macabre marker on the body?
In his quest to find her murderer, DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable . . . and willing to kill to keep what they find.

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas is published in hardback on 29 April 2021 by Simon and Schuster and is the follow up to his debut novel, Firewatching. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

I read and reviewed Russ Thomas' first novel, Firewatching, in January of last year. Set in Sheffield, one my favourite cities and a place that we visit at least once per month. Little did I know then that the next time I would visit the Steel City would be via the pages of the next book in the series. I can hardly believe that it's over a year since I walked those streets ... what a year!

I do recommend that anyone who hasn't yet read Firewatching should do so before they embark on this latest story. You will most certainly benefit from seeing the author's clever character building that went on before. You could begin with this one, but really, if you don't already own a copy, just pop out and buy them both, you have a treat in store!

Once again DS Adam Tyler is the central character in this story, however, do watch out for newly promoted DC Amina Rabbini who is now on Tyler's team. She may not be officially in charge, but she bears the brunt of most of the work in this story whilst her male superiors deal with their own raging internal battles. 

person who uses a metal detectorusually at night, to look for valuable objects in areas where they do not have permission to search

I really had no idea what a nighthawker was before I started to read, and the inclusion of this practice and the people who carry it out adds a chill to the story that creates real depth.

A nighthawker, looking for something in Sheffield's Botanical Gardens, uncovers an arm. Not stopping to investigate further, he slips away into the night and it is the unfortunate volunteer who opens the gardens the following morning who discovers the grisly sight. A human arm, partly skeletal, reaching out from the soil ..... the arm is attached to a body ... 
This is the beginning of a story that is complex, yet so cleverly created. Whilst Tyler is supposed to be in charge, he takes little interest in the case at first, leaving Rabbini to try to solve the mystery of this body whilst he deals with personal issues that completely overshadow everything else around him. Tyler is a complicated man, not always easy to warm to, or to understand and as the plot slowly unravels, the reader gains more insight into the huge weight that he bears on his shoulders. 
There are so many strands to this novel; the body in the Gardens, the case of a dead boy on a railway track, the reappearance of Tyler's older brother, and the emerging truth around the death of their father. It's a clever author who can balance so many on-going plot lines, but Thomas does this so very well. As a reader, I was invested in every part of this novel, desperate to get to the bottom of each mystery.
Nighthawking is a complex, cleverly woven crime story, interwoven with some dark domestic noir. There are uncomfortable truths exposed and things don't always go the way that the reader may desire, prepare for some shocks before you get to the end of this one! 
A sharp, tension filled plot with a cracking cast of characters. Looking forward to book three already! 

Russ Thomas was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire and now lives in Sheffield. 
After a few 'proper' jobs (among them: pot-washer, optician's receptionist, supermarket warehouse operative, call-centre telephonist, and storage salesman) he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. 
His highly-acclaimed debut novel, Firewatching, is the first in the DS Adam Tyler series and published in February 2020. 
Nighthawking, the second book in the series, will publish in April 2021.
Instagram @thevoiceofruss

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