Darkwalker: A Nicolas Lenoir Novel by E. L. Tettensor is a novel set in a secondary world resembling the Victorian era with Sherlockian detective novel elements combined with bits of magic. Police inspector Nicholas Lenoir was once a legendary detective known for solving even the most difficult cases when some mysterious act of his brings him to the attention of a spirit known as the Darkwalker. Ten years later, Lenoir is living in a backwater town, bored out of his mind, and plagued with nightmares of his impending death at the hands of the Darkwalker when his young orphan informant, Zach, is kidnapped. Lenoir has discovered that bodies of 9 year old boys had been dug up for use in dark magic, and now live boys are being taken potentially for this same purpose.
Though it’s interesting to see a Sherlock Holmes style detective in a magical world, what makes this novel even more interesting is the Darkwalker character. As the novel progresses, we only get to see bits and pieces of this character and his mysterious background. He is a spirit whose purpose is to avenge wrongs done against the dead. We are left to interpret what that might entail. Additionally, we learn some things about the Darkwalker that leads us to believe that he’s not acting on his own free will. There’s obviously more to his story, but the focus of the novel is on solving the case and recovering Zach. I would love it if in future novels, Tettensor could give us more of a glimpse into the Darkwalker’s world. I want to know how he came to be the Darkwalker, and his struggle against whatever is driving him to carry out his purpose would make for an interesting story on its own.
I also found the culture of the Adali interesting. These are a gypsy-like group of people who are known for practicing magic and for their nomadic ways. Because their culture is so different from the culture of the city-dwellers, the Adali are often discriminated against and treated poorly. Again, we only get a small glimpse into their world, and only to serve the purposes of driving the plot forward. I hope future books delve a bit further into their world as well.
All in all, I would say this is a fantastic debut novel set in a wonderfully realized world that I really want to know more about. I’ll be picking up the next book in this series for sure.
Make sure you visit the author’s website at www.eltettensor.com. It’s one of the most beautiful author websites I think I’ve ever come across.