The Direction of Murder (David Knight series) by John Nightingale @johnnightingal4 #BookReview #TheDirectionOfMurder


David Knight returns… Crime writer David Knight finds himself a little out of his comfort zone when asked to develop the script for a film of one of his novels. And yet a week in a moated country house with A-list stars is too good to miss, even if the director is notorious for playing with the emotions of his actors, and everyone else. It is only when he discovers that his detective is being portrayed by a method actor, who appears to believe he actually is Tom Travis, that David becomes seriously uneasy. Nor does it help that he has caught the eye of the director’s glamorous, and very rich, wife. But that is only the start. David finds himself at the centre of events that not only involve unusual murder weapons and locked rooms, but sudden death. Can David find a way of keeping fiction and reality apart? PRAISE FOR THE APPEARANCE OF MURDER THE FIRST NOVEL IN THE DAVID KNIGHT SERIES ‘I’ve asked for it to be placed in my Christmas stocking.’ IAN RANKIN ‘The most teasingly pleasurable crime mystery I’ve come across this year.’ JOHN SUTHERLAND The Times, Books of the Year 2015 ‘In this witty and entertaining story…there is a good deal to relish.’ JESSICA MANN Literary Review ‘The best of existential crime.’ GUY FRASER-SAMPSON Author of the Hampstead Murders series ‘Uber-clever crime fiction.’ ASK MEN UK 10 best books of 2015‘It’s a brilliant crime novel full of typically British characters…If you like Tom Sharpe you’ll love this book.’ Goodreads Review


The Direction Of Murder (David Knight series)


This is the second book in the David Knight series, set in the very traditional British murder mystery style. I had been blown away with the first book, The Appearance of Murder, and this hit that spot again! David Knight, an author with a string of successful murder mystery book publications behind him, is offered a substantial amount of money to oversee the making of a film. The money is too good to turn down. Jerry, the technical and fact advisor to David’s books, has also come along, to offer his opinion and meet the cast. The cast of players is all staying in a large country house surrounded by a moat that is only accessible to cross at certain times. The scenes will be filmed at the country house, which will work perfectly for special effects scenes.

I was already trying to guess who would be ‘the unexpected death(s)’ and who would be the killer. There is a real mixed bunch of filmmakers and stars, all obsessed with their importance. The very gruesome method of killing the first victim has been copied from David’s book, but that isn’t the end of this mystery, there is yet another murder that sets the bar even higher. Houdini would have been proud of this killer and the skill used. But will the intrepid duo of book detectives be able to come up with the answers before the real detectives lock them up for murder?

It has been a joy to read this new addition to this series. The characters are engaging both through humour and following them during the investigation of the murders. There are red herrings in the plot, which threw me a bit. but I liked working out the technical side of the story of how? I was surprised about why. I hope to see more of this pair. A brilliant story that I became enthralled by. This is a fabulous series.


John Nightingale is the author of The Sky Blue Parcelthe first in the Jane Charles series and The Appearance of Murder – listed as a book of the year for 2015 in The Times and as one of 10 Best Books of 2015 on AskMen UK.

Before becoming a full-time novelist, he worked as a civil servant in a number of different roles.  He was, among other things, in charge of national alcohol misuse policy (“previous experience not required and may even be a disadvantage”); and an expert on pensions and pensions education, playing a leading role in sorting out the Maxwell pension scandal.

He studied English at Cambridge and lives and writes in London and Suffolk.  In 1990 he married Caroline Slocock, who also worked as a civil servant for many years, including as the first woman Private Secretary in No 10 and as a senior civil servant at the Treasury. They have two daughters.

His civil service career provided the background to The Sky Blue Parcel, where he worked closely with Ministers, for example on the Department of Work and Pensions’ anti-fraud strategy. Jane’s branch in Her Majesty’s Treasury dealing with large scale organized financial crime is an invention but perhaps overdue.

Another source of inspiration for his writing came through no talent of his own but through marriage. He got, for a time, to be the additional man at that banquet at No 10 or that reception at Chequers, where he suddenly found himself in conversation with Dame Vera Lynn, Jimmy Greaves and Clive Lloyd. There was also the opportunity and time to observe events and people which  is precious for any novelist, thriller writer or otherwise. On another occasion he sat next to the very charming wife of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury who told him that she had been in a bookshop earlier in the day and picked up a thriller which had the opening line “The wife of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury…”

A sense of the surreal and the difficulty of determining where precisely reality lies is a key element in John’s thrillers, The Appearance of Murder and The Direction of Murder, both featuring David Knight.

Twitter: @johnnightingal4


The Appearance of Murder 

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