To Kill a Nightingale is the sequel to Matt Hardman’s debut novel, Interdiction. It will be available from Double Dagger Books in June 2023.
Was there a specific inspiration for this book?
There was. About two months before I began outlining this story, I came across a Russian fairytale about “Nightingale the Robber”. According to legend, the Nightingale was a clever and greedy half-human, half-bird creature. Whenever it wanted something, the Nightingale would whistle and lay waste to everyone and everything around. I spent a couple of weeks thinking about that idea, especially within the context of current events. With modern day Russia waging war to gain access to Eastern Europe’s energy resources, it seemed fitting to try to craft a story that would be a modern version of the Nightingale legend. Since I wanted to continue the story of Brian Thompson, the USS James E Williams, and President Daniel Evans, the Black Sea oil and gas industry became a natural backdrop for this book.
Your first book, Interdiction, had a style and format similar to those of Joseph and Shaara. Does To Kill a Nightingale share that style?
No. To Kill a Nightingale has a wholly different style. Where books like Interdiction, Gods and Generals, and To Kill the Potemkin had chapters which were almost solely dedicated to events from a specific character’s point of view, To Kill a Nightingale is arranged and told in a style that is more classic Tom Clancy than anything else. Specifically, this book’s style and format were inspired by The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising (two of my favorite Clancy books). When I set out to write this story, I wanted a whole new feel to the series. While Interdiction felt like a modern tale, I wanted this book to read like a Cold War throwback. The setting and backdrop helped with that. There is just something about submarines and surface ships duking it out in December in the Black Sea that gives you the right ingredients for this kind of a story.