Vault of Secrets by Hawk MacKinney Wondering Sage Publications
reviewed by Wendy Thomas
"This was way too tidy, but if he and Craige were wrong and this turned out to be a drug turf war, he could easily be facing a rising body count. Being SEALs, neither he nor Craige were shocked by the mayhem people did to one another. He pushed by-the-book aside, reached for the radio phone and dialed Craige."
Vault of Secrets is a fast-paced, quick-witted tale of murder and deception that will keep you guessing until the end. If the beginning of a story is supposed to have a hook, this story has one of the most exciting in-your-face openings in quite some time.
During the annual board of director's banquet, a CEO dies of what looks like an apparent heart attack. The death and subsequent investigation lead to murders and ultimately a bank conspiracy. Craige Ingram, a part-time private investigator who is also a retired Navy SEAL is called in on the case by his high school buddy and fellow SEAL, Graysen Mac Gerald, who now works the homicide division for the police department. Together, they try to solve the crime.
Craige, a cross between Chuck Norris and James Bond, works his way through a deceptive world of high finance. MacKinney does a great job of defining and maintaining Craige's character who comes from a deeply southern background and was raised by his Grandmother. A frazzled sweet gum twig in the corner of her mouth, she'd call again. ... Day's not waitin'... chores to git done.
Besides being southern (How's my favorite Georgia peach?), Craige also has surprising world knowledge and is not afraid to voice his definite opinions. "Cabernet Sauvignon, special selection," Craige said, "Cabernet grapes make some fine wine, but for my money, Sauvignons belong in salad dressing. Never one of my favorites."
It is touches like these—one character hums his favorite Disney song while parking his car—that make Hawk credible, believable, and one you feel compelled to know.
The dialog is quick and snappy adding to the story which is fast paced with lots of action. The plethora of detective details, information on SEALs, as well as, an insight to the banking world makes Vault of Secrets an enjoyable read. Look forward to more from this author.