Cursed by Stephen Leather
Smashwords (ebook) 2011
I downloaded this for free from www.kobo.com.
BLURB FROM THE COVER
An exciting short story, part of the Jack Nightingale series by bestselling author Stephen Leather – thrillers with an occult twist.
Jack Nightingale – lives in the shadows, fights in the dark.
Ex-cop turned private eye Jack Nightingale is used to dealing with tricky situations. He’s faced down the powers of hell a couple of times, too. In this new short story, he’s called in to help a policeman who’s lying at death’s door. The doctors can’t work out what’s wrong. But the dying man’s colleagues swear blind that he was cursed by a gypsy during the Dale Farm clearance. And Nightingale could be his only hope.
Jack Nightingale is the hero of Stephen Leather’s supernatural detective novels. There are five books in the critically acclaimed series: NIGHTFALL, MIDNIGHT, NIGHTMARE, NIGHTSHADE and LASTNIGHT.
Jack Nightingale figured that he had earned a day off. He’d worked pretty much non-stop over the weekend following a husband who’d told his wife he was attending a sales conference in Somerset when he was in fact giving his secretary a good seeing-to in a five-star spa just outside London. He had plenty of video of the pair together, and a copy of the bill, courtesy of a fifty-pound note he’d slipped to a Slovakian receptionist. It was the perfect surveillance job and since he didn’t have much in the diary he decided to spend Monday getting his MGB serviced and collecting his dry-cleaning, with, hopefully, a few hours in the pub watching SkySports.
This was my first time reading Stephen Leather.
I thought Cursed was just okay. I’ve read much, much better stories but I’ve read a lot worse. The main issue I had was I felt like Leather had based Cursed a little too much on the premise of Stephen King’s novel Thinner published under the pseudonym, Richard Bachman. Thinner also deals with gypsy curses and a character whose skin hardens into scales. Cursed was well written and easy to read but not really special. I do like the bled of crime and the supernatural although John Connolly is far superior. I may read a full length novel about Jack Nightingale though because Cursed got me interested in the character. I didn’t hate Cursed or love it. I just felt so-so.