4 stars · fiction · mystery · series

A Nail Through the Heart by Timothy Hallinan

A Nail Through the Heart

Author: Timothy Hallinan

Pages [hardcover]: 336

Favorite Characters: Miaow & Superman


Poke Rafferty was writing offbeat travel guides for the young and terminally bored when Bangkok stole his heart. Now the American expat is assembling a new family with Rose, the former go-go dancer he wants to marry, and Miaow, the tiny, streetwise urchin he wants to adopt. But trouble in the guise of good intentions comes calling just when everything is beginning to work out. Poke agrees to take in Superman, Miaow’s troubled and terrifying friend from the gutter. Then he agrees to help locate a distraught Aussie woman’s missing uncle and accepts a generous payment to find a blackmailing thief. No longer gliding carelessly across the surface of a culture he doesn’t really understand, suddenly Poke is plodding through dark and unfamiliar terrain—and everything and everyone he loves is in terrible danger.


 It took me an awfully long time to read this book, but not because it wasn’t good. I’m bad at reading stuff on my Nook, mostly because I often forget to charge said object. But that didn’t make me lose interest in A Nail Through the Heart. I kept coming back to see how Poke was going to solve this case.

This book had a cast of great characters. I loved all of them. From Miaow and Superman, both young but mature beyong their years, to Rose and Poke, everyone had a distinct personality and I grew to look forward to each character’s next appearance. Even the villians were fantastic in their own way; creepy, maniacal, the stuff of nightmares. Some of the things they were described as having done disgusted me.

That said, there are some themes in here that might offend readers, as I usually review YA titles and I happened to get this adult fiction book. Touchy subjects are dealt with fairly, I think, and not lightly at all. They only enhanced the story and made it more real, and gruesome.

I ended up loving A Nail Through the Heart, though truthfully I started it with many doubts. I’m glad I saw it through, because I became entangled in the story line and entranced by the character’s lives. I’ll be picking up the next book featuring the very same characters. I give this novel 4/5 stars.

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