Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Night Train” as Want to Read:
Night Train
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Night Train

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  3,454 Ratings  ·  297 Reviews
Detective Mike Hoolihan has seen it all. A 15-year veteran of the force, she's gone from walking a beat, to robbery, to homicide. But one case--this case--has gotten under her skin. When Jennifer Rockwell, darling of the community and daughter of a respected career cop--now top brass--takes her own life, no one is prepared to believe it. Especially her father, Colonel Tom. ...more
Hardcover, 175 pages
Published January 12th 1998 by Harmony (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Night Train, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Night Train

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 27, 2008 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young woman has been found dead, and the central character, a police detective, has been put in charge of the investigation. It looks like suicide, but why ever would she have killed herself? It's interesting to see Martin Amis's picture of someone who had everything to live for. Her talented and handsome partner loved her; he says bitterly that it's kind of embarrassing to admit how much time they spent in bed together. And she was an astrophysicist, doing cutting-edge work in cosmology.

Sex a
Nov 14, 2012 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglese
No, non è Vernon Sullivan, e non è un libro che susciti scalpore e scandalo come quello che Boris Vian pubblicò sotto pseudonimo.
Non è neppure un divertissement, un viaggio di uno scrittore ‘alto’ in un genere, per così dire, ‘basso’e nelle sue convenzioni.
Non conosco altro di Martin Amis, quindi non posso fare confronti con il resto della sua opera.
Per me, è un buon libro, un buon noir: un noir di spessore, un thriller quasi metafisico. Va oltre il genere, scende più a
I finally finished a Martin Amis book - though it's hardly typical of his work, so perhaps it doesn't really count. In Night Train, he adopts the voice of a tough American female cop, Mike Hoolihan, who's investigating her friend's supposed suicide. It's a pastiche of a particular sort of police procedural, edging into erotic thriller territory - it reminded me a lot of In the Cut by Susanna Moore, published in the same late-90s period. Riddled with deliberate cliches interspersed by passages ...more
Jul 11, 2009 Misha rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel, 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2010 Bex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
44-year-old female detective and recovering alcoholic, "Mike" Hoolihan, takes on the job of investigating the apparent suicide of Jennifer Rockwell, the only daughter of police brass, Colonel Tom. Tom is a powerful father figure for Mike: he saved her life by getting her off the booze. Now he wants her to explain what happened to his daughter. Jennifer had everything anybody wants: beauty, wit, health and a stimulating career. So the discovery in her orderly apartment of her naked body with thre ...more
Nov 22, 2014 Ubiqua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Breve romanzo del 1997, Il treno della notte vede la detective Mike Hoolihan investigare la morte della giovane e splendida amica Jennifer. Fintamente poliziesco e narrato con toni hard boiled, il romanzo è in realtà una riflessione sul suicidio. I morti sono spettri illividiti dall’affanno esistenziale che accompagna i vivi. L’indagine vorrebbe colmare un vuoto impossibile da riempire: l’assenza di senso nell’universo e nella vita sulla terra (non è un caso se a suicidarsi è qui un’astrofisica) ...more
May 01, 2007 Shernoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thoughtful, lazy readers
scenic, memorable, sweetly melancholy.

here's a take courtesy of Amazon:
(2 stars)Not the greatest thing, May 19, 2006
A Kid's Review
Well when i got this book i thought that there was going to be more action in it. But it is just a story about a girl who did suicide (i am not done with it yet). This book also has to many swears in it, no one talks like that, only teens do (that are immature). I can't wait to be done with this book.
May 19, 2007 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A hollow, false, ineptly wrought policier. Though supposedly written in an American's voice, it begins "I am a police." Which to my ear sounds like Amis, not like any American cop I know. A disappointing book from start to finish.
João Carlos

in The Atlantic

“O Comboio da Noite” do escritor britânico Martin Amis (n. 1949) foi editado em 1997 e revela-se uma excelente novela “policial” que se centra na investigação da misteriosa morte de Jennifer Rockwell.
A detective Mike Hoolihan é chamada a investigar o assassinato da sua amiga Jennifer, filha de Tom Rockwell, um chefe destacado do Departamento Criminal da Polícia.
O texto de Martin Amis divide-se em três partes: “Sinais de Fogo”, “Felo de se” e “O ver” numa construção narrativa somb
Dec 13, 2009 Lobstergirl rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: fiction
Amis tries to write about America in this mercifully short police procedural and fails. He seems to be trying to channel Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, and Elmore Leonard. I'll give him credit for two funny snippets.

Detective Mike Hoolihan lives with her enormous boyfriend Tobe. Tobe's "strategy, I suspect, is to stick around and grow on me. And it's working. But so slowly that I don't think I'll live long enough to see if it all panned out."

And, at the funeral of suicide victim Jennifer Rockwell
Oct 10, 2016 Azumi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pues al principio me estaba gustando bastante, sobre todo por la forma tan original y diferente de contar la historia, pero a medida que iba avanzando se me ha ido haciendo a ratos confuso y a ratos no le veía el sentido y el final me ha dejado bastante fría, no me ha acabado de convencer.

Igual me hace falta reflexionar un poco más sobre el libro, porque me ha dejado muchos interrogantes (view spoiler)
Mar 25, 2011 Eliza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3/27/2011: Martin Amis has been on my to-read list for a while, but when I picked up a used paperback of Night Train, an older work, I for some reason had low expectations. Maybe it just seemed like such a slight volume—a light, easy entry into his body of work. But wow, it is an extraordinarily powerful novel, not what I expected. Yes, it is a quick read, both short and engaging. But there is so much packed into it that not only did I have to reread the final 20 pages immediately upon finishing ...more
Tom Gorman
Feb 19, 2013 Tom Gorman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: commented
If you’re thinking about reading Night Train, I would advise you not to bother. Read (or reread) Money or The Information, or any of Amis’s nonfiction, or maybe something by Ian McEwan instead. There isn’t enough here, not enough of anything. At 175 pages, it’s over before it starts. It gestures toward grand philosophical imponderables without really allowing them to impart any gravity or profundity. The police-procedural dimension, too, is entirely sketchy and insufficient. And our protag, Mike ...more
MJ Nicholls
Amis tries a badass American she-cop voice in this thinking man’s police procedural. The voice is acceptable once the story shuffles on apace, spiky and mellifluous in all the right places, more pastiche than proper policewoman. The story is partly snappy thriller, part hmm-ing on suicide. There isn’t much room to let things like character or intrigue grow, and the last third collapses under too much stylised posturing. What, you say, stylised posturing? In a Martin Amis novel? Why, never! I lik ...more
Jun 03, 2016 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He dudado. He dudado entre 3 y 4, pero a veces doy tres al entretenimiento puro y este libro tiene una forma curiosa de contar. Me ha gustado el continente, y cada vez pienso más que me importa un bledo el contenido si está bien contado. Por eso el 4. Porque está lleno de frases para destacar. Aconsejo para finde con ganar de negra. :)
Gediminas Kontrimas
Kiek pamenu, tai pirmas mano perskaitytas detektyvas. Ne buki galvosūkiai, bet saikingas ir elegantiškas psichologizavimas ir socioligizavimas čia svarbiausia. Puikus stilius, tapyba žodžiais ir sakiniais. Žodžiu, penki balai. Gaila, kad tai vienintelis Martin Amis tekstas lietuviškai.
Jan 10, 2017 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not care for this book at all. The writing style was so awkward and choppy that it took away from the story. There were too many tangents, or thoughts spun off the narrative, that the whole thing read like noise to me. It also annoyed me that the protagonist was a woman named Mike--I mean, why? And other characters named Trader, and Hi, and Bex, and Arn Debs, it was all just annoying. If you're still reading, and are interested, the story is about Mike, a cop, sleuthing her way through the ...more
Zorana Mitrović
Sep 07, 2015 Zorana Mitrović rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sebastien Castell
May 15, 2016 Sebastien Castell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's hard not to be blown away by Martin Amis' writing. His prose in Night Train takes the sharp economy of noir stylists and pushes it as far as it will go until, if you read a passage aloud, you discover that it's also poetry. I don't say this to be flowery or even necessarily complimentary--rather, to emphasize that the writing here has a constant, unrelenting intentionality about it that both amazes and, at times, troubles the reader. In taking the style and form of the crime novel to such e ...more
Aug 26, 2012 Ira rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you read a book and you are convinced that the author just had an idea while taking a shower and needed to fulfill an obligation to his or her publisher. Amis apparantly decided, what the heck, he'd do a police procedural/Dashell Hammett style novella with a single, minor theme that life is pointless. Thus, you are left with an implausible scenario of a beautiful, happy, brilliant, loved, young, healthy woman inexplicably killing herself, by even more implausibly shooting herself in th ...more
Apr 28, 2010 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm...I'm not sure what to make of Amis (having only read "Times Arrow" previously). This is his take on American hard-boiled crime fiction, with an American police 'heroine' with a very post-modern outlook. It's a clever book - some of the phrases and terminology make you work hard to enjoy them and satisfy when you do - but also it's a too clever book, too self-aware of itself, and ultimately just a bit smug for my liking. The plot concerns the apparant suicide of the police chief's daughter ...more
Feb 12, 2011 Nathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Though I have come to appreciate the succinct style Amis uses (similar to authors like George Saunders) it seems he spends more time developing it than in giving the reader an interesting story. I recognize of course that plot is often not what a book is all about, but with Night Train it felt like a plot was waiting in the wings looking for the right moment to emerge, but it simply never happened. The characters were, if not stereotypical, then at least "expectable" with the exception of the pr ...more
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
Il treno perduto nella notte

"Avete mai quella sensazione infantile, quando il sole vi batte sulla faccia salata e il gelato si scioglie in bocca, quella sensazione fanciullesca di voler cancellare la felicità terrena, di volerla ridurre a un falso indizio? Non so. Quello riguarda il passato. E a volte penso che Jennifer Rockwell venisse dal futuro"

Mike è una detective che si trova a indagare sul suicidio di una sua amica, non il tipo di suicidio da "l'avrei fatto anch'io" ma piuttosto il tipo "m
Jul 03, 2012 Chak rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime-noir
Night Train is a quick piece of candy and was more of a demonstration of Amis having acquired knowledge of police jargon and procedure, than an actual story. I liked Mike (the main character) and how her backstory was revealed as contrast to the victim's lost life, but that is pretty much textbook hard-boiled detective noir exposition, isn't it? However, Amis' voice corrupts Mike's (a person who uses "fruit" to describe a homosexual probably would never use the word "enclave" or "lavishness," fo ...more
Sam Reaves
When "serious" writers go slumming in genre fiction, you know in advance that they're going to fail to deliver the payoff we expect, because that would make them no better than a mere genre writer. So it's no surprise that this tale of a recovering alcoholic detective investigating the apparent suicide of her boss the top cop's beautiful daughter (and there's even more baggage than that) winds up with the reader going "Huh?" Whatever. It is, I think, a rumination on life, death, the universe, de ...more
Trixie Fontaine
I loved the atmosphere created in this book when I pretended it was set in a parallel-universe America, but even then I did kind of resent a lot of it as false and a trespass on my country (and a portion of the genre that I feel like belongs to US) and my gender. Also, if you're going to be that famous and supposedly talented, why so much stuff that's just plain wrong/stupid? I don't get it. I enjoyed it, but with reservations. I think I need to read some of his other stuff to see if it was just ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Gisela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why did I give Amis another chance? This is my second attempt to grasp his mindset and I feel empty, if that's even possible. Never knew a book could get me frustrated this much. I don't even feel like reviewing this so I'll just stop here, period.
Arghya Dutta
bleak, laconic, blunt, clever and unnerving at times. recommended (but not when you are in a good mood and want to stay like that).
I'm embarrassed to say this is the first time I have actually read a novel by Amis. We have a few copies of his books on our shelves but I have always been a little wary of them, feeling my need to read them was more from a sense of 'literary duty' rather than for pleasure! However, I was set the "Night Train" as homework on a creative writing course and therefore I rose to the challenge - and at only 149 pages, it did not feel like an onerous task!

The opening is very compelling. The voice is di
Troy Parfitt
Jun 11, 2012 Troy Parfitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no way to write a book review of Night Train without spoiling the ending. If you plan on reading this novel, do not read this review.

"I am a police. That may sound like an unusual statement - or an unusual construction. But it's a parlance we have. Among ourselves, we would never say I am a policeman or I am a policewoman or I am a police officer. We would just say I am a police. I am a police. I am a police and my name is Detective Mike Hoolihan. And I am a woman, also."

And so it begin
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Letters from LA
  • The Philip K. Dick Reader
  • The King's English: A Guide to Modern Usage
  • The Rough Guide to Cult Fiction
  • Cocaine Nights
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • Black Bird
  • Myra Breckinridge
  • A Window on the Universe
  • Clown Girl
  • Stonemouth
  • The House of Tomorrow
  • Slaves of New York
  • Literature and Its Writers: A Compact Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama
  • The Total Library: Non-Fiction 1922-1986
  • Porno
  • The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges' Library of Babel
  • One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night
Martin Amis is an English novelist, essayist and short story writer. His works include the novels Money, London Fields and The Information.

The Guardian writes that "all his critics have noted what Kingsley Amis [his father] complained of as a 'terrible compulsive vividness in his style... that constant demonstrating of his command of English'; and it's true that the Amis-ness of Amis will be recog
More about Martin Amis...

Share This Book

“It used to be said, not so long ago, that every suicide gave Satan special pleasure. I don't think that's true—unless it isn't true either that the Devil is a gentleman. If the Devil has no class at all, then okay, I agree: He gets a bang out of suicide. Because suicide is a mess. As a subject for study, suicide is perhaps uniquely incoherent. And the act itself is without shape and without form. The human project implodes, contorts inward—shameful, infantile, writhing, gesturing. It's a mess in there.” 4 likes
“Suicide is the night train, speeding your way to darkness.” 1 likes
More quotes…