What if you found out your great-grandfather really was Sherlock Holmes? And that you’re supposed to take up his legacy of sleuthing? For most people, it might sound like a dream come true. For Madeleine “Maddy” Niteclif, it’s only one of a series of surprising revelations that the world she thought she knew will never be the same. Her journey into paranormal investigations makes for one compelling story.
Legacy, by Denise Tompkins, is the first book in The Niteclif Evolutions, and it is definitely the story of Maddy Niteclif’s metamorphosis into a special kind of criminal investigator. Maddy’s story begins at the end of her old life, when she’s ripe for a change.
Maddy doesn’t even know why she is driving around England in the dark, compelled to find Stonehenge. She’s not sure why she felt compelled to splurge her vacation money on a trip to England in the first place. What she does know is that she is weighed down by grief at the loss of both her parents in a car accident just a few short months previously.
This trip is her attempt to shake off her crushing depression. But driving around southern England in the dark, on the “wrong” side of the road, directly after getting off a trans-Atlantic flight, trying to find Stonehenge mostly without a map, is not the way to find anything except exhaustion.
Maddy finds a stone circle. She believes its Stonehenge. Except she is able to walk right up to the standing stones. She’s certain Stonehenge is fenced off, but this just feels right. Inside the circle, under the stars, Maddy asks, wishes, prays for a changed reality. She wishes to be her old self again; strong, quick-witted, adventurous. And for love to find her. As soon as the wish leaves her heart, she feels the stars spin, and a voice comes out of the darkness, whispering in Gaelic, “Let it begin”.
It begins indeed. Maddy makes her way back to London, only to be confronted by two men as soon as she falls asleep. Bahlin and Tarrek invade her dreams. Either or both are more than charming and sexy enough to be her dream man, but two of them?
When Maddy wakes, she discovers that her dream introductions were real! Bahlin Drago invades her room, and her life. Drago for dragon. Bahlin is a shapeshifter, and a member of High Council that governs supernatural creatures.
Confused? So was Maddy. She was having a hard time believing everything that Bahlin had to tell her, both before and after he magically opened the door of her hotel room. However, it was necessary that Maddy believe. Why? Because her family wasn’t just Niteclif, she was THE Niteclif, the office responsible for investigating crimes among supernaturals, and between supernaturals and humans.
That was how great-grandad got to be Holmes. He was the previous Niteclif investigator. Now it’s Maddy’s turn. As soon as she figures out what she’s supposed to do. And how she’s supposed to do it.
Bahlin is more than willing to help her. After all, he played Watson to her great-grandfather’s Holmes.
But there’s this one tiny problem. Maddy is the first female Niteclif to take up the office. And there’s a prophecy about whichever male member of the Council manages to get her into his bed, he’ll become the Head of the High Council.
There’s that old saying, you know the one, “Power corrupts”. So is Bahlin courting Maddy and being so wonderful because he genuinely wants to help her, or because he wants to be Head of the High Council?
And then there was that other dream man. Tarrek is a fae prince and also on the High Council. What game is he playing?
It’s not just Maddy’s life on the line, it’s her heart.
Escape Rating B+: Maddy’s late evening drive through the English countryside made for a slightly strange start, but once she hit that hotel bed and started dreaming, the story had a breakneck pace with lots of compelling twists and turns. Reading how an author starts with a prophecy and then has the characters subvert it instead of going meekly to their fate is angsty but makes for great reading.
I did figure out who one of the bad guys was long before the end, but not the other one, nor did I get quite how far around the bend things were. I always give “points” for fooling me. I got caught up in the romance and missed some of the clues about the evildoers. Excellently done!