Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Darkwalker by E.L. Tettensor

Author:  E. L. Tettensor
Series:  Nicolas Lenoir 1
Publisher:  Roc, December 3, 2013
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 360 pages
List Price:  $7.99 U.S.
ISBN:  978-0-451-41998-9
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

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…

Doreen’s Thoughts

Darkwalker is a difficult book to categorize – it is not pure fantasy, but rather has the touch of a supernatural Victorian mystery. It is set in a fantastical world similar to that of historical England, with an aristocracy, a middle class, the poor, and an unusual nomadic people known as the Adali. Nicolas Lenoir is a legendary inspector for Kennian, the bustling capital city that provides police support to the surrounding Braeland villages. His subordinate, Sergeant Bran Kody, had requested assignment under Lenoir because of his prior abilities; however, he has become extremely disillusioned with the investigator who now only goes through the motions on cases. Children are being kidnapped from their homes and then found dead, their bodies defiled. Kody attempts to thoroughly investigate the case, but Lenoir is almost cavalier about the whole matter – until his protégé Zach, a poor orphan boy, is abducted.

For the past ten years, Lenoir has been hiding from a spirit, the Darkwalker, who exacts vengeance against those who disturb the dead. While Lenoir hoped he had escaped the spirit by moving to Kennian, it appears that the Darkwalker also is pursuing the same criminals who are abducting and mutilating children. Working separately, Kody and Lenoir are led by a series of clues to contact members of the Adali, who have a type of magic and may be affiliated with the criminals. The question is whether Lenoir can save Zach before the Darkwalker finally finds and destroys him.

E. L. Tettensor has created an intriguing world, with class barriers that separate the “haves” from the “have nots” and the Braelanders from the Adali. The time period is similar to that of Victorian England, with some technology in the cities but a mostly rural countryside. Lenoir’s relationship with Lady Zara, an Adali who has disassociated herself from her race by pretending to be a high society lady, is interesting. There is some question of whether Lady Zara is a high-class prostitute as well as simply a cultured and refined friend to Lenoir. Their relationship does not appear to be sexual, but it still seems to be a rather intimate one. Lenoir associates with her and her friends in an effort to remind himself of how he used to be, before he was first attacked by the Darkwalker.

I like how Tettensor keeps the mystery about Lenoir’s past and why he appears so uncaring until relatively deep into the novel. The reader is able to tell that Lenoir used to be a great investigator, similar to Sherlock Holmes, in his ability to find clues in the mundane; however, there appears to be no real reason for his apathy until the Darkwalker appears. There is complexity in the interactions among the various classes and races, and Tettensor writes descriptively. Without the book summary, I would have had no idea that this was a paranormal mystery until I was nearly halfway through the story. That kept the storytelling fresh.

Darkwalker is the first in a series of books about Nicolas Lenoir, with the second novel, Master of Plagues, due in February 2015. I look forward to returning to Braeland and its intriguing inspector soon.


Master of Plagues
Nicolas Lenior 2
Roc, February 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Unraveling a deadly mystery takes time—and his is running out…

Having barely escaped the clutches of the Darkwalker, Inspector Nicolas Lenoir throws himself into his work with a determination he hasn’t known in years. But his legendary skills are about to be put to the test. A horrific disease is ravaging the city—and all signs point to it having been deliberately unleashed.

With a mass murderer on the loose, a rising body count, and every hound in the city on quarantine duty, the streets of Kennian are descending into mayhem, while Lenoir and his partner, Sergeant Bran Kody, are running out of time to catch a killer and find a cure.

Only one ray of hope exists: the nomadic Adali, famed for their arcane healing skills, claim to have a cure. But dark magic comes at a price, one even the dying may be unwilling to pay. All that’s left to Lenoir is a desperate gamble. And when the ashes settle, the city of Kennian will be changed forever…

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Darkwalker by E.L. Tettensor from The Qwillery.

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59PM US Eastern Time on October 4, 2014. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Right up my alley. Added to my TBR pile. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Ooooh... this is the first I've come across this book and I'm definitely adding it to my wishlist! Thanks for the great review and giveaway!

  3. I have never heard of these stories and they look so very intriguing. I am going to investigate more.

  4. I think Darkwalker sounds like a fantastic book and I'm looking forward to reading it.

  5. Both of these books look & sound amazing.

  6. These sound great. I will be adding them to my "To read" list.

  7. I like stories about cities ravaged by disease. Such beautiful covers too :-)

  8. Looking forward to the second book in the series!