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Nighthawking by Russ Thomas: what was lost will always be found

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

A detectorist’s grisly find uncovered in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens. A cold case detective searching for long-awaited answers. An inexperienced DC grappling with politics and possible corruption.

Who’d have thought those involved in the prosaic world of the night-time detectorist, disquietingly named a Nighthawker, would be embroiled in greed, malfeasance, and murder?

In the tense and compelling Nighthawking, DS Adam Tyler investigates the murder of an unidentified young woman, wrestles with the mystery of his father’s suicide, and attempts to fathom the questionable agenda of his slippery superior. In the midst of all this, Tyler strives to keep his personal relationship alive.

Working with Adam Tyler is the assertive, ambitious, but unversed DC Mina Rabbani, navigating the challenging personalities of the police hierarchy and seeking the truth whilst suspecting conspiracy.

Nighthawking cleverly intertwines the nocturnal activities of the treasure hunters with the divergent efforts of the police team investigating the murder, and the complicated personal life of DS Adam Tyler. In doing so, we meet a cast of police personalities and possible suspects cleverly placed and expertly described to arouse our empathy or antagonism and stimulate our whodunnit antennae.

Russ Thomas artfully leads us in satisfying perplexity through the zig-zag progress of the investigation, planting clues and hints through the course of events to the possible identity and motive of the murderer. Each one of the characters, from the odious Daley to the menacing McKenna, is defined and convincing, and from time to time, we are permitted an illuminating glimpse into a character's internal life. Sheffield and its University almost become characters in themselves as we're guided across the city to significant locations.

The suspense builds with a series of diverting twists culminating in a gruesome confrontation and unforeseen resolution.

If you like a tense and chilling murder mystery inhabited by diverse and convincing characters, then Russ Thomas’ Nighthawking is for you.

Happy Reading!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for an AVC copy. This review was originally published on Goodreads.

Nighthawking is the second tantalising thriller in the Adam Tyler series by Russ Thomas, author of Firewatching, both published by Simon & Schuster UK.

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