Nightingale's Lament by Simon R. Green

Nightingale’s Lament by Simon R. Green

Series: Nightside #3Genre: fantasy, urban fantasy
Read date: March 2018Available: Amazon,  Barnes & Noble
Rating: 3/5Author’s website:



No one likes a diva – particularly one who lures her fans to an early grave.  In the concealed heart of London known as the Nightside, a place of everlasting darkness, private eye John Taylor has a new case: find elusive young songstress the Nightingale, and get some answers.  The Nightingale has cut herself off from everyone close to her, having fallen under the influence of a merciless husband-and-wife management team. Where once she sang cheerful, upbeat tunes, now her songs are dreary and melancholic – so melancholic, in fact, that those who hear them are driven to suicide.  Detective Taylor is determined to uncover the truth behind this powerful voice, before the whole of the Nightside falls under its deadly spell.  But to do so, he must first hear it himself… 



Last year in one of the groups I belong to on Goodreads, someone recommended Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green to me. It had some flaws (I’ll get to this later) but I loved the humor, the characters, the story, the world the Nightside promised to me. Seeing that there was 12 books in the series, I made a year long buddy read kind of thing out of it. At the time it seemed like a good idea, I thought I can commit to read a book a month. In the past I preferred to binge read a series. Since I discovered Goodreads, and a community there and the whole new world of possibilities opened up to me, I find it hard to keep up with everything. So I wanted to finish at least one series this year, which turned out to be the Nightside. Now that I’m over the third book I’m not that sure if it was such a good idea to begin with.

John Taylor is a private investigator, working mostly in the Nightside, a city existing alongside London, where you can find what you desire, it’s always 3 am, and you can never know what happens to you in the next minute. Also, you have to look out for yourself, otherwhise you can end up dead in the blink of an eye. Especially if you make trouble and get in the way of the big boys. Most people/being has a gift or power. John’s gift is that he can find anything, weather it want’s to be found or not. John also has several frenemies and a rather bad reputation, which makes most of the inhabitants of the Nightside fear him.

Nightingale’s Lament starts with John working on a case, helping out an old friend. As a result, he manages to bring down one of the biggest electricity provider in the Nightside, causing all kinds of trouble – this later in the book comes back to kick him in the ass every once in a while. To be honest, this first chapter – and the story contained in it – was my favorite part, and it would have deserved a whole story. Instead, John is being hired to find out if everything is fine with the up and coming star Rossignol, who lately didn’t seemed to be herself, and there were rumors regarding fans committing suicide. John sets out to look into the bottom of it. As usual, he gets partners, and we get to know some new characters – Julian, the editor of the Night Times, Dead Boy who ends up playing a crucial role, and my favorite in this book, Otto, the hurricane page boy.

The biggest strength of this series is the world building, and that you can really never forsee what’s to come (or most of the time anyway, this time one of the twists were pretty obvious to me). I also like the humor, however, compared to the first book, this book seems to lack it. Sadly. Or it might be I wasn’t in the mood to appreciate it. I don’t know.

And now the rant part of my review. I’ve read 3 books now out of 12, but I can’t see the improvement in the writing (or editing for that matter). On the contrary. This series has the potential to be one of the best, but it fails to deliver, which pisses me off. Green throws around the phrase “in the Nightside” like it’s a fucking confetti. I mean, yeah, by book 3 we know we are in the Nightside, thanks. You don’t have to add itt every second page. The repetitiveness can be boring after a while, and John’s constant whining about not knowing about her mom. I hope we’ll learn something about her soon, or poor John will have mommy issues sooner or later (or he has already, come to think of it). I also can’t understand why the characters have to call each others names in every conversation (altough I have to say, I like the names like Razor Eddie the Punk God or Shotgun Suzie). You know we readers aren’t stupid, we’ve been reading for pages this scene, we know full well, that you are together. Meh. However, I’m starting to realise that this might be a british thing and pretty common in their everyday lives. Strange.

Anyway, I really, really, want to love this series, and I keep carry on hoping it gets better. But if this continues, I might have to reconsider reading the series and stop wasting my money on it (living in Budapest, library is not an option or second hand bookshops for that matter. I have to buy every book I read, which can be a gamble at times). So far Nightingale’s Lament was my least favorite, despite music playing a part in it. The story felt off, I didn’t find it interesting enough, and felt like it was just an excuse to show off different scenes and parts of the Nightside, throwing it all in one book and hoping something will come out of it. And again, one of the twists were too obvious. I find myself getting tired of books where the MC just wanders around, keeps getting injured or something just so we know he is not immortal. Then in the last 10% of the book suddenly everyone pops up, reveals some big secret then every problem gets solved in the blink of an eye. Is it me or this just really gets boring after a while? Also, these books are short, and I get that the story must be wrapped up, but felt a bit rushed to me. I hope the next book will bring back some of the humor of the first book, because that made me snort loudly, and if I have to deal with all the repetitiveness, then at least I’d like to have some fun too.

The next book in the series, Hex and the City will be reviewed later.