NOCTURNAL by Scott Sigler

Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: April 3rd, 2012

Nocturnal is the fourth novel by Scott Sigler. While the first two are directly connected, all four take place in the same sort of alternate America…a lot like ours but by the third book, there is no Detroit anymore. I had to give something up for context, I apologize. I danced with Sigler’s books, meaning I saw them at the library a bunch of times before I tried the first and now I own all of them. This guy is the fucking shit. Nocturnal is the best of the genre I’ve read in a long time.

People are being murdered in San Francisco. They are literally being torn apart limb from limb. Police are saying everything from it’s a serial killer to an army of serial killers or even that it could be wild animals. Two detectives, one a pudgy Asian-American, the other, a red haired American known as The Terminator because of on-the-job shootings and an ice cold demeanor, know there is more to what’s going on. Their superiors are telling them to lay off and evidence is disappearing. The red head, Inspector Bryan Clauser, is having dreams. He is seeing the victims being killed and is feeling the urge to hunt. Exactly what, he isn’t sure. He just knows things are not right inside him. His partner, Inspector Chang, is torn. He wants to protect his partner, yet thinks that Clauser could be finally going over the edge and be the person behind the murders. Both want to get to the bottom of what clearly is a conspiracy with something very scary and unseen by the human eye behind it.

I’m going to end my summary there, because I feel that anything else would be spoilers. As I read the book, I kept having moments where I would say to myself, “What the fuck…” in a good way. Sigler’s pacing is slow and deliberate. He reels you in and out of the story, giving up little pieces at a time. Many times when I read something, part of my mind will jump ahead and try to guess what is going to happen. I couldn’t do it with Nocturnal. I was hooked and surprised over and over again from page one. This is one of the most original pieces of genre fiction I have read in a long time. The book clocks in at 500+ pages but it goes quickly. Almost too fast if you ask me. Sigler is like Stephen King with a huge dose of testosterone and adrenaline. His level of detail sets a standard in my eyes. Again, I apologize for not summarizing it more but if you decide to read the book, I’d like you to have the same kind of experience that I did. I knew it would be a sci-fi/horror/ action story and I was right. Everything else was unpredictable and I loved that. I could list a few movies and say if you mashed those titles together, you would have Nocturnal. I’m not making that move. Do the work, it’s worth it, and find out for yourself. Sigler rocks hard. I cannot wait to see what he does next.

Dave Wahlman