Nightingale’s Lament: Just serious enough

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsurban fantasy book reviews Simon R. Green Something From the Nightside 3. Nightingale's LamentNightingale’s Lament by Simon R. Green

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.

~Justin Blazier

urban fantasy book reviews Simon R. Green Something From the Nightside 3. Nightingale's LamentGreen’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.

~Kat Hooper

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JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff September 2009 – September 2012) Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on Tolkien. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. Justin lives in a small home near the river with his wife, their baby daughter, and Norman, a mildly smelly dog. He doesn't have much time for reviewing anymore, but he still shows up here occasionally to let us know how he feels about stuff.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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One comment

  1. Nice. We’ve just bought the first and second of this series and I’ve not read them yet. Great review to keep me reading.

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