ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Nighthawking by Russ Thomas

My review today is of the brilliant Nighthawking by Russ Thomas. This is the follow up to Firewatching and it was great to catch up with the characters again. My thanks to Jess Barratt from Simon & Schuster for the proof copy of the book for review purposes.



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.



After reading and loving Firewatching last year, the debut novel by Russ Thomas and the first outing for DS Adam Tyler of the Cold Case Review Unit, I was so excited to read Nighthawking which is the second in the series. I wasn’t disappointed at all. This book is fantastic.

A body is unearthed in the Botanical Gardens in Sheffield and this takes Adam and his protégée, DC Mina Rabbani, deep into an investigation into why the woman was killed and why she was buried where she was. There’s also a sub-plot surrounding a young man who Adam takes under his wing, and his continuing search for information about his late father, who was also a policeman. I’m being vague because I don’t want to give too much away but safe to say, there’s plenty of action between the covers of this book.

It took me a short while just to get back into the swing of Adam’s life and work (as with all series, a reminder of what went before would be helpful) but I was very quickly back there with this maverick cop who seems to sail very close to the wind most of the time. I’ll be making notes to remind me of what happened in this one (particularly the ending which was a jaw-dropper) as I’m very pleased to note that more Adam Tyler books are on the way.

Russ Thomas is such an engaging crime/police procedural writer. His characterisations are spot on. Tyler is infuriating yet likeable. He gets the job done and that may not always be quite by the book but he still has his morals. It’s nice to see Rabbani shaping up to be a cop with morals who isn’t afraid to speak out and I can see this pair working really well together in future stories.

The Nighthawking plot is fast-paced, very strong and intriguing with a couple of nice twists thrown in. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and with that ending I’m already itching to know what’s going to happen next for Tyler. So exciting!

Never have cold cases sizzled in this way. Nighthawking is a gripping page-turner with a protagonist that will delight any crime fiction fan. I thought it was a brilliant read.



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. Nighthawking is the second book in the DS Adam Tyler series.

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