Nicolas Lenoir #1
By E.L. Tettensor
Author’s Website: http://www.eltettensor.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Daniele
He used to be the best detective on the job. Until he became the hunted…
Once a legendary police inspector, Nicolas Lenoir is now a disillusioned and broken man who spends his days going through the motions and his evenings drinking away the nightmares of his past. Ten years ago, Lenoir barely escaped the grasp of the Darkwalker, a vengeful spirit who demands a terrible toll on those who have offended the dead. But the Darkwalker does not give up on his prey so easily, and Lenoir has always known his debt would come due one day.
When Lenoir is assigned to a disturbing new case, he treats the job with his usual apathy—until his best informant, a street savvy orphan, is kidnapped. Desperate to find his young friend before the worst befalls him, Lenoir will do anything catch the monster responsible for the crimes, even if it means walking willingly into the arms of his own doom…(Goodreads)
Darkwalker introduces readers to police Inspector Nicolas Lenoir, once a greatly respected detective but now a depressed and apathetic man. He is haunted by poor choices and a near death experience some years prior. He has been on the run from the avenging angel (or demon) Darkwalker for ten years attempting to stay out of the shadows giving him a false sense of safety. Lenoir is called out with his sergeant to investigate the grave robbery of a nine year old boy. He insists there is nothing to investigate until he learns that another grave has been robbed and a boy has been reported missing. He still does not take the case seriously until his orphan informant Zach, also age nine, is kidnapped, and he comes across a corpse with markings like his own, markings made by the Darkwalker. When he comes face to face with the supernatural being, he bargains to extend his own life just long enough to save Zach. Lenoir and the Darkwalker, who was known as Vincent when alive, make an unusual pair searching for Zach and solving the mystery surrounding the disappearances. Facing his own mortality seems to be the saving of Lenoir.
This urban fantasy is set in Kennian, a place that closely resembles Victorian England. Honestly, I would have rather it been set in London with a paranormal slant. I found Kennian so close to London that it was a distraction. Darkwalker is a dark story with dark themes of violence against children and vengeance, and Lenoir is an antihero. He is a bit unlikable in the beginning, but as he finds renewed purpose he really comes into his own, and the reader catches glimpses of the great man he probably once was.
Tettensor does an admirable job of creating people who are only slightly different from our world and are complex and well developed. I did, however, at times feel like I could have benefitted from knowing more of Lenoir’s back story. I can hope that the author will include more in future writings. All of the characters are flawed in their own ways which made them all the more interesting to get to know. I was never completely sure of anyone’s true motivations. My favorite part was seeing the tiniest glimmer of humanity resurface in the Darkwalker. Zach was my favorite character, a plucky street-wise kid with just enough childhood innocence to keep him optimistic despite his circumstances in a harsh world. I really rooted for him to be saved.
Darkwalker is paranormal police procedural and thriller, but at its core it is a story of righting wrongs and overcoming your past. I enjoyed this romp through an alternate universe and look forward to reading the next book in the series. I recommend this to fans of Victorian England-like settings and urban fantasy.