Nighthawking by Russ Thomas

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Nighthawking by Russ Thomas

1471181405.jpg
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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's the second book in the DS Adam Tyler series, set in Sheffield. You don't need to have read the first book, but you will get more out of the story with a bit more knowledge - and it's going to be a series to follow. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: April 2021
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471181405

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Sheffield's Botanical Gardens (on Clarkehouse Road, if you'd like to visit) are an oasis of calm in what's otherwise thought of as an industrial city but this was disrupted when the body of a young woman was discovered. It had obviously been buried in one of the beds but who would have started to dig her up? It had been in the earth for months and could have been undiscovered for years. The police need to establish who stabbed her - and who left the two, very rare, gold aurei on her eyes. DCI Diane Jordan is the Investigating Officer and her foot soldiers are DS Adam Tyler and DC Mina Rabbani. They're joined by DS Guy Daley who's just returned from extended sick leave. Mina thinks he's as obnoxious as ever but suspects that he's not fully recovered from his injuries.

They're CCRU (say 'sea crew'), the cold case review unit and Superintendent Stevens (the Eel - he's slippery) would love to close them down. He's no fan of Adam Tyler: surely the fact that Tyler's gay has absolutely nothing to do with that? Tyler gets some protection from Diane Jordan, who's his godmother but there's a limit to what she can do when Tyler's mind seems to be elsewhere. DI Jim Doggett has told Tyler that he suspects that Tyler's father, Richard, didn't commit suicide but was murdered. Tyler can think of little else and gives every moment he can spare (and a few he shouldn't) to reworking the original investigation. Nina Rabbani is having to upward manage two sergeants whose minds don't seem to be fully on the job.

We also follow a group of metal detectorists - the nighthawks of the title - who go out at night to look for what they can find that might be of value. Usually, it's the odd soft drink can, threepenny bit or toy soldier. Obviously they'd declare anything valuable they found - unless they needed to be a bit flexible about the regulations purely in the interests of doing what they believe is right.

This is the second book in the Adam Tyler series. You don't need to have read the first book although you will get more out of the story with a bit more knowledge - and it's going to be a series to follow. The plots are exceptional: I didn't spot where this one was going and it will be a book to reread fairly soon just so that I can see how Russ Thomas set this one up. The characters help, of course: I loved DC Mina Rabbani. She's so good that she could be the lead character: it's a stroke of genius for her not to be. Even relatively minor characters come off the page and get under your skin.

I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy: I', still thinking about the characters from this book and looking forward to the next one. If you're looking for more crime close to Sheffield we can recommend Stephen Fry's Cooper and Fry books or Roz Watkins' DI Meg Dalton stories. If you'd like more about nighthawking, try The Night Hawks (Dr Ruth Galloway) by Elly Griffiths.

Russ Thomas's DS Adam Tyler series in chronological order

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