If you’re looking for a good book to curl up with and lull you to sleep, don’t read Jonathan Moore’s The Night Market—it’ll keep you awake all night.
Moore’s latest novel is a noirish, moody mystery shrouded with conspiracies that would make any “X-Files” fan rejoice. The story begins routinely enough with its main protagonist, homicide investigator Ross Carver and his partner, Jenner, being dispatched to the scene of an apparent murder in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood. But things quickly take an unexpected and somewhat gory turn when the rapidly deteriorating body is examined. As Carver and Jenner begin making their initial assessment, they’re suddenly surrounded by federal agents in full hazmat suits and are whisked away from the crime scene.
When Carver awakens three days later in his apartment, he has no knowledge of the past three days’ events, including the bizarre murder scene. Adding to the puzzle, Carver finds his mysteriously reclusive neighbor, Mia, sitting at his bedside reading to him. Mia explains that she saw some strange men carry him into his apartment and leave, and over the next three days she took it upon herself to care for him until he came out of his delirium.
Carver, with Mia’s help, sets off to find out what happened during his blackout. In typical gumshoe fashion, Carver follows one lead to the next and slowly begins piecing together a trail of people, places and events, ultimately leading to the discovery of a staggering conspiracy.
Moore expertly paints a bleak cityscape for our hero, and in this world, no one can be trusted, and dangerous secrets are just waiting to be uncovered. In the vein of stories by Blake Crouch or China Mieville, The Night Market completes what Moore calls a “three-panel painting of San Francisco—a single work, loosely connected.” Reading the other books in Moore’s series—The Poison Artist and The Dark Room—isn’t necessary, but once you’ve read this one, you’ll be compelled to seek them out anyway. Just be prepared to lose some sleep while reading them.