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Forests of the Night (Johnny One Eye #1)

3.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  49 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Forests of the Night introduces the intrepid John Hawke, an exciting new detective operating in London during the Blitz.

When World War II breaks out in London, young policeman John Hawke enlists in the army. His dreams of fighting for his country, however, are cut short after he loses an eye in rifle training. Invalided out of the army and offered a desk job with the polic
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published 2005)
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Jun 06, 2014 Fictionophile rated it really liked it
His name is Johnny Hawke. Ironic because he lost one eye in a military training accident. That coupled with the blackouts of the WWII London Blitz and his eyesight is less than ‘hawk-like’. However you’ll find that what he lacks in visual ability he makes up for in intuition.

Before the war began Johnny was a policeman. Now, because of his disability the force wants him to do desk work. Still young and yearning for more excitement, this defeats his whole reasoning for being a policeman so he quit
Jeannie Mancini
Feb 24, 2010 Jeannie Mancini rated it really liked it
With Forests of the Night, the first installment of the Johnny Hawke novels, David Stuart Davies deviates from his realm of Sherlock Holmes and introduces a character that author Val McDermid phrased as a "hero with a heart". Johnny Hawke is a compassionate private investigator who is afflicted with the impairment of having only one eye, a casualty of a gun misfiring during his first week after joining the army to serve his country.

This new series takes place in 1940. The place is London during
Candy Wood
Interesting question here: should a private-eye novel set in the 1940s give the impression of having been written in the 1940s? This one mostly does, from the narrator’s frequent lighting of Craven A cigarettes to his and other characters’ consumption of gin. The situation is traditional too, the ex-cop turning private detective after a training accident results in his army discharge, and a missing-person case that turns into more than one murder. Johnny Hawke isn’t as hard-boiled as the traditi ...more
Brenda Hawley
Aug 11, 2012 Brenda Hawley rated it liked it
Because I will read any fiction about England in the 1930s and 40s, this series greatly intrigued me. Here is an English policeman who enlists in the army at the beginning of World War II and almost immediately gets into a firearms accident in training and loses an eye. No longer wanted by the military nor the police, John Hawke becomes a private investigor during wartime. His first case involves a murdered young woman who was plain and shy at her parents' house and a high class prostitute on he ...more
Jun 07, 2008 Trilby rated it it was ok
One of the good things about this book is that it's only 232 pages, and I skimmed over a good percentage of them. People could use this book as a substitute for Lunesta; the bland style will have you snoring in no time.

Like Lawton's "Bluffing Mr. Churchill" this mystery is set in wartime London. Unlike in Lawton's book, all the characters here talk the dialect, little slang, no class differences in diction. There's also very little evocation of the terror of the bombings, the city lai
Dec 24, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been impressed with David Stuart Davies since reading a couple of his horror genre Sherlock Holmes novels. His story lines are tight and his characters are well developed and interesting.

This book is the first in the Johnny Hawke detective series. It is a classic noir / hardboiled novel in the tradition of Sam Spade. Consistent with other Davies works, this one is very well written.

Set in WWII-era London, our hero has set up a private detective agency after being wounded and released from
This is the second mystery book set in the second world war I have read this year and I have not thought much of either of them. This book was too simple int he writing and I really did not like the first person style.
Although maybe I'll read the next one to see what happens to the characters.
Daniel Ace
Sep 18, 2014 Daniel Ace rated it liked it
Loved the atmosphere and the history but the story seemed bland. No sense if this will be a series or not.
Apr 26, 2014 Virginia rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
leaning towards 3.5 stars
Dec 12, 2012 GlenK rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This well plotted detective novel is a quick read but I had a problem with it. The setting of London 1940 with the blitz and the blackout is extremely dramatic but these elements are seldom mentioned and then only in passing. The book's lack of a strong feel for time and place rendered it less effective I feel.
Feb 25, 2012 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
If you are looking for a light distraction in the vein of Christie and the cozies, you could do a lot worse. It's very "just the facts" and could use some more descriptions and red herrings. This book is slight, but entertaining and I expect that other books in the series might be better.
Aug 04, 2013 Andrew rated it it was ok
simple story about a mother who kills her daughter to "save" her from being a whore. Typical private eye with a twist that really makes the book suck. And the plot is so simple, as well as the grammar, that I didn't care much for this book.
Nov 27, 2011 Shelley rated it liked it
I thought this was pretty fun. It was a detective story set in London in 1940. Is it going to change my life? No, but it was a quick read, entertaining, and enjoyable.
Jan 05, 2009 Mom rated it liked it
Interesting and entertaining. British mystery which takes place in World War II England. Old fashioned sleuthing, fun mystery gives a neat perspective of wartime England
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David Stuart Davies was born in 1946. He was a teacher of English before becoming a full-time editor, writer, and playwright. Davies has written extensively about Sherlock Holmes, both fiction and non-fiction. He is the editor of Red Herrings, the monthly in-house publication of the Crime Writers' Association.
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Other Books in the Series

Johnny One Eye (6 books)
  • Comes the Dark
  • Without Conscience
  • Requiem For A Dummy
  • The Darkness of Death
  • A Taste for Blood (Johnny One Eye, #6)

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