Title: The Nocturnal Devil: A Griffin Knight Mystery Thriller
Author: Miguel Angel Hernandez Jr.
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
The Nocturnal Devil begins with a woman named Melanie Chips coping with the unexpected death of her husband. As she settles into her now lonely house, she notices an open window and is surprised by an assailant. She is quickly incapacitated, and when she eyes her tormentor, the menace in his eyes is terrifying. Detective Griffin Knight is still recuperating from his previous case, the wounds still fresh along with a lingering sense of guilt for dead friends. He would be faring far worse if not for the aid and comfort of NYPD physician Samira. Griffin’s downtime is short-lived, as the disappearances of local women have become a cause of concern. Once again, Knight will need to tangle with a cunning criminal in a life-or-death test of wills.
Author Miguel Angel Hernandez Jr. knows how to open a book with particular ferocity. The palpable grief felt by Melanie gives way to dread and ultimately horror as her situation deteriorates. The point of view of the victim in various chapters offers up a harrowing and bleak perspective, as the last image they see is pure evil. Hernandez utilizes the various viewpoints of characters to ably move the thrill-packed narrative along. Each chapter featuring Knight holds with it the promise of a resolution to the murder and mayhem that run roughshod over the previous chapters.
The crackling tension in the story often lay in what is hinted at in the killer’s actions. Hernandez may mention a ghastly act of violence or two committed by the vicious perpetrator, but he never lingers on it. The unspeakable actions are left for the reader to surmise. The victims have personality and are around just long enough to identify with before they are terrorized. The killer is sadistic, worthy of fear but also scorn. Their viewpoint offers a view into the center of madness.
The criminal underworld that Griffin Knight battles with on a daily basis has taken a toll on the Detective, but his new girlfriend has provided him hope to keep going. Samira provides a note of optimism to keep Knight headed in the right direction in life along with his work. The importance of mental health in law enforcement provides a poignant note to the story.
What could use improvement is the under-utilization of Knight in the story, a continued point from previous books in this series. As the protagonist and the investigator, Knight should remain the focal point of the story. The plot line would greatly benefit with more of his presence. The use of an antagonist from a previous story feels a little forced and unfortunately takes away from the kidnapper/killer chase.
The Nocturnal Devil brings the reader back into the gritty world of Griffin Knight with a vengeance. The dynamic mystery-thriller begins on an intense note and never yields. Hernandez continues to write an engaging mystery saga with a smart and streetwise Detective worth rallying behind.
This Editorial Review was written by the Book Review Directory staff. To receive a similarly honest, professional review for one of your own books, click here.