Nighthawking (Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler #2) by Russ Thomas

Publisher’s Decription:

When a nighthawker on the hunt for antiquities instead uncovers the body of a foreign student, Detective Adam Tyler is pulled into a serpentine mystery of dangerous secrets, precious finds, and illegal dealings.

You are a trespasser. You are a thief. You are a Nighthawker.

Under the dark cover of night, a figure climbs over the wall of the Botanical Garden with a bag and a metal detector. It’s a dicey location in the populous city center, but they’re on the hunt–and while most of what they find will be worthless, it takes only one big reward to justify the risk. Only this time, the nighthawker unearths a body. . . .

Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler and his newly promoted protégé, Detective Constable Amina Rabbani, are officially in charge of Cold Case Reviews. But with shrinking budgets and manpower in the department, both are shunted onto the murder investigation–and when the victim is identified as a Chinese national from a wealthy family, in the UK on a student visa, the case takes on new urgency to prevent an international incident. 

As Tyler and Rabbani dig further into the victim’s life, it’s becomes clear there’s more to her studies and relationships than meets the eye, and that the original investigation into her disappearance was shoddy at best. Meanwhile, someone else is watching these events . . . someone who knew the victim, and might hold the key to what happened the night she vanished.

My Take:

I tried to convince readers to pick up Firewatching by Russ Thomas in my review of the first book in this series. That review ends with this paragraph:

A very good debut thriller. A character who I really connected with and an original premise that kept me interested throughout. I am willing to continue with this series because of Tyler. I’d love to watch his development.

Well… what about the sequel? Should you spend the time/ money to continue? Yes! I have four reasons:

  1. Authenticity. There is something so real about Sergeant Adam Tyler. From the pile of cases to the politics of the office, Thomas gets it right. The deeper look into Tyler’s father’s death and the Chinese student’s death… How does one compartmentalize? One doesn’t. He sure tries, but the office spills over into Tyler’s personal life and vice versa.
  2. Representation. Tyler continues to deal with being gay on the force. He’s chosen to go alone, but we’ll see if he needs other’s help… There is also British Muslim Amina Rabbani whose role increases in Nighthawking when she receives a promotion. Great characters!
  3. Storytelling. Thomas shifts the point of view in a way that’s jostling at times. This is imperative to show the constant switching of tactics, urgency, and focus to all the cases and players in this multilayered mystery.
  4. A Super Finish. As the the cast of characters grows and the suspects become more defined, the reveals are true surprises. And you will see that some of the plot will continue to the next book in the series. And look out for that cliffhanger!

Nighthawking has convinced me to add this series to my list of must reads. I will definitely follow up with the Sergeant.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Books and the author for an advanced copy for review.

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