The Hidden Key

Mysterious Book Report No. 401

by John Dwaine McKenna

Now that we’re all holed up at home, huddled around the coffee table without any basketball, baseball, hockey or automobile racing on television to keep us entertained while we wait out the Covid-19 virus pandemic, there is a bright side.  It’s a great time to read.  Reading will expand your mind, ease your worries and soothe your soul, as you escape into literature and stop being hammered into a depression by all the talking heads on the news.

And just in time to do all of that, comes an exciting new thriller that combines murder, international antiquities trafficking, intrigue, mayhem and good guy lawyer.  How much better can it get?

Hidden Key, (Camel Press, PB, $15.95, 250 pages, ISBN 978-1603815802)  by David Grogan is a propulsive, action driven thriller that starts on page one when an Iraq war veteran and US Navy Seabee answers his front door at 10:30 p.m. and is confronted by a pair of thugs intent on robbing him of a clay tablet he brought home as a war souvenir.  It’s the opening gambit in a hunt and chase for an ancient relic with a treasure map etched on it.  Exactly one week later, retired U.S. Navy JAG (Judge Advocate General) officer and practicing Commonwealth of Virginia attorney Steve Stilwell is summoned to London to meet with an Indian billionaire at a skeezy restaurant to discuss terms of employment.  They’re barely seated, when two men with guns burst into the eatery and Stilwell’s new client screams I’ve sold my soul to the Devil, and now I must pay.  Moments later he is dead, leaving the confused American attorney in the hands of a pair of Scotland Yard detectives.  Days later, back in Virginia, while  trying to probate the  late billionaire client’s estate, Steve and his war wounded partner Casey, come into possession of the mysterious purloined clay tablet and set off a thrilling international chase where no one is safe from death or the allure of an ancient treasure . . . and that’s only the first fifty pages of this electrifying novel . . .

The Hidden Key is a smoking-hot thrill ride from beginning to end and will leave all action adventure enthusiasts howling for their next Steve Stilwell yarn!


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