cover image Nighthawking


Russ Thomas. Putnam, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-54205-6

The discovery of a young woman’s body buried in the sprawling Botanical Gardens of Sheffield, England, drives Thomas’s outstanding sequel to 2020’s Firewatching, which introduced Det. Sgt. Adam Tyler. The victim—a Chinese national studying botany at the local university—was found with ancient Roman coins on her eyes, historically valuable artifacts worth a lot of money. Tyler, struggling to get the wreckage of his personal life in order and still obsessed about finding out the truth of his father’s alleged suicide, offers little help as the brunt of the work falls to Tyler’s newly promoted protégé, Det. Constable Mina Rabbani, who realizes quickly that the case involves much more than a simple buried body. Thomas adeptly develops his diverse cast, but the novel’s real power lies in its intricate structure—the mystery surrounding the body is impressively deep, the various levels of tension are relentless, and every chapter ends with a narrative punch to the face. This police procedural is virtually unputdownable. Agent: Sara Manning, Bent Agency. (Feb.)