Demon's Night

Demon's Night - Guido Henkel This was a fun little quick read. It reminded me of books from my childhood, like "The Three Investigators" and "Encyclopedia Brown" that follow the formula: situation happens, hero finds out about it, hero investigates, big showdown at the end. The focus of the story is strictly on the mystery, and there really aren't any subtexts or plot complications not directly related to the main plot.

The hero Jason Dark is a wealthy gentleman descended from a long line of ghosthunters who amuses himself in Victorian London by getting involved in paranormal mysteries. In this first book, he doesn't really have a lot of different contacts; this is not a story driven by dialogue but rather a punctuated chase through London.

It's also very short, only 100 ereader screens long. I'm not sure how many pages that is, but it only took about an hour read it. It reads like a comic book without pictures. The detail in the setting is very nicely done, enough detail is provided to excite the senses without bogging down in over explanations. Thanks to the short format, character development isn't a big part of the book, but Jason and his new sideckin Siu Lin are both interesting and have enough humanity to be relatable.

I'm not usually a fan of the Victorian setting, but Guido made this work for me by drawing attention away from the social inequities of the day and creating a lead character who is clearly lightyears more progressive than his contemporaries.

I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of pulp horror and the short story format. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.