Title: Cronin’s Key
Author: N.R. Walker
Pages/Word Count: 265 Pages
At a Glance: This is a series destined to make even the most wary paranormal readers stand up and cheer.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: NYPD Detective Alec MacAidan has always been good with weird. After all, his life has been a string of the unexplainable. But when an injured man gives him cryptic clues, then turns to dust in front of him, Alec’s view on weird is changed forever.
Cronin, a vampire Elder, has spent the last thousand years waiting for Alec. He’d been told his fated one would be a man wielding a shield, but he didn’t expect him to be human, and he certainly didn’t expect that shield to be a police badge.
Both men, strong-willed and stubborn, are still learning how to cope with the push and pull of being fated, when fate throws them another curveball.
Rumors have spread quickly of turmoil in Egypt. Covens are fleeing with news of a vampire who has a talent like no other, hell-bent on unleashing the wrath of Death.
Alec and Cronin are thrown into a world of weird Alec cannot imagine. What he learned in school of ancient pharaohs and Egyptian gods was far from the truth. Instead, he finds out firsthand that history isn’t always what it seem
Review: Alec was a New York City cop with a photographic memory and a penchant for catching any crime scene that was just this side of strange. In fact, all his life, Alec had seen and experienced things that would make most men question their sanity. There were numerous times in his past where near miraculous things happened to him, accidents that should have been destined to, at the very least, hurt him, and others with the potential to kill him, always seemed to be averted at the last moment. In each instance, Alec was miraculously saved. Over time, Alec became the focus of ridicule from the rest of the force for the things he swore he saw, fantastical things that should have no place in the sane world.
So, it was not untypical, when pursuing a suspect, that Alec could witness a bizarre event—that of his perp disintegrating into dust before his eyes. However, It would be what the man uttered right before his death that would change Alec’s life forever and introduce him to Cronin and his friends—vampires who needed Alec to save them and their race.
It seems there is a war brewing that threatens to destroy the “good” vampires and leave the entire world at risk of annihilation. A rogue vamp with the power to regenerate the dead is unleashing some of the ancients who have been buried under the pyramids in Egypt. She must be stopped, but only the “key” can bring her down. Possible Spoiler (hover to reveal)
Rest assured when I tell you that this watered down synopsis in no way can describe the witty dialogue, fast paced action and overall incredibly riveting story that is Cronin’s Key. Unpacking a world where vampires roam freely, it is immediately obvious this story is not your run of the mill paranormal that has been dutifully produced from the same, tired trope many seem to spring from these days. Instead, the world that N.R. Walker creates is peopled with clever and humorous characters who have no compunction about killing to survive, but who also do so with discretion and a desire to remove the less savory among us.
Cronin and his companions are the good guys, so to speak. Carefully avoiding the risk of being discovered, they are now faced with an impending battle that could literally wipe out their race in record time. They are desperate to find this “key” which, in the past, has always been some tool or artifact that would help them defeat the evil vampire forces that would threaten their way of life and unleash a hell on earth scenario for the human race. Cronin has also been somewhat of a loner, yet to meet the one who he has been fated to bond with and spend eternity alongside. Then he meets Alec and his whole world turns upside down.
The way in which author N.R. Walker intelligently handles this need for an insta-love effect in the story was nothing short of brilliant. Alec is written as a sharp, determined man whose last thought would be to fall instantly in love. And yet, the immediate bond between he and Cronin is a physical and emotional reality; but Alec questions it and his emotions constantly, all the while falling more deeply for the taciturn vamp. The growing relationship, coupled with sweet banter and humorous interchanges, make for a delicious adventure that is peppered with wit and smoldering attraction.
All in all, the first book in this new series, by an author who has firmly placed herself on my auto buy list, is just delightful! I highly recommend Cronin’s Key. This is a series destined to make even the most wary paranormal readers stand up and cheer.
You can buy Cronin’s Key here: