Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Locke and Keye is an attention-grabbing story from the beginning with the description of the lock and key shop and potential employee list. Mr. Locke, the owner, has a list of potential employees, each with odd comments and observations next to their names. He has carefully and purposely chosen which men to be his employees. I was intrigued to find out why and his reasons weren’t apparent until well into the book. Mr. Locke’s odd and strange mannerisms also caught my attention. The story is set in mid 1800’s and I thought it had a very authentic feel from the descriptions of clothing to the dialogue between characters.
As Locke and Keye’s story unfolds we see some familiar characters, the Whitestone’s, from the first book. Their role in Locke and Keye was well integrated into this new story. As for Mr. Locke he is an odd, mysterious and a frightening man. His actions towards his employees feels like he is grooming them for something sinister. Mr. Locke always seems to have an ulterior motive and loves to collect secrets and use them when the time is right. This is one of the many layers I loved about Mr. Locke and his character arc was really well planned out.
Psychological pain and games are a theme continues to run through Locke and Keye, as it did in the first book in the collection. Elizabeth isn’t the only one playing games, now it’s Mr. Locke and a few of the staff are as well. The slow and calculating way things turn from innocent and upstanding to devious and twisted are done with skill. Each character has an arc of their own and I found it fascinating to see how it all played out. Deception, lies, betrayal and death are weaved throughout, along with tension and suspense. I really enjoyed Locke and Keye and it was over before I knew it. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book in this collection.
Length: 231 pages
Release date: September 7, 2017
“Brothers in the art of keeping secrets.” This is the mantra Mr. Locke’s carefully chosen five employees must repeat together every day before starting work.
If you won’t tell them your name for Locke and Keye’s ledger, they’ll find out. They have their ways–and many of them. Yes, these talented locksmiths can make a new lock and key set for you. They can even make a special padlock for a diary you never want to share with anyone. But just remember: when they make the lock, they keep a key–and it’s only a matter of time until they use it.
Day by day, each of these young, single, alone-in-the-world workers is being molded into the family they crave. A family in which each member has his use toward an end he doesn’t even know exists.
How do the brotherhood and the town’s secrets interlock? Only Mr. Locke holds the key.
Christie Stratos, Biography-
Christie Stratos is an award-winning writer who holds a degree in English Literature. She is the author of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and Locke and Keye, the first two books in the Dark Victoriana Collection. Christie has had short stories and poetry published in Ginosko Literary Journal, Andromedae Review, 99Fiction, and various anthologies. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics to indies.