The Crimson Key
by Wes Dodd
Wes Dodd was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1958, currently residing in Southside Virginia. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. Within the last couple years he has discovered a passion for creating and breathing life into great stories. He has published three novels: The Crimson Key, a mystery, The Secret Guardian, fantasy and Saving Faith, a romantic thriller.
The Crimson Key
Publisher: Outskirt Press
Release Date: July 2012
David Paige, a young detective from Charleston, S.C., is about to embark on an investigation of a lifetime—his own. After an unexpected tragedy shatters his perfect world, he discovers that his mother had been keeping a life-long secret from him, revealing that he is not who he believed he was. With no family member to turn to, David has to rely on his detective skills and a mysterious item left to him from his mother—a crimson-colored key.
The search for the truth takes David to New York City, where he runs head on into lies, deception and murder, all in an attempt to cover up a string of dreadful crimes. Then if this is not enough to deal with, he falls for the daughter of a prominent man, both sharing an undeniable attraction—which complicates his life even further.
It isn’t until a near-death experience, and help from his mother through several frightening nightmares, that the pieces of the puzzle finally begin to come together. The Crimson Key ultimately unveils many secrets, surprising many people including David—opening his eyes and heart as well.
The two were very close as young children but grew farther and farther apart with each passing year. Amber had blossomed rapidly, leaving Alice behind in a life filled with neglect, which led to resentment on her part. Alice felt and heard her sister sobbing for the first time she could remember.
“Why are you crying?” Alice asked tenderly.
“Alice,” Amber replied in a shaky voice, then hesitated a long moment. “You do know that I have always loved you dearly, don’t you?”
“Why of course,” Alice promptly replied, while she thought to herself, “You sure have a funny way of showing it. I only see you about once a year, and it is always at night so no one will recognize you coming here. We never go out together in public. You make me feel as if you are ashamed to be seen with me.” Then Alice asked in a caring way, “What is wrong?”
Amber made a good effort to gather her emotions as she released her hold on Alice. Taking a step back, she wiped the tears from her face. “I am in love with an evil man.”
Alice didn’t feel sorry for her at first, or the least bit shocked by her statement. She thought to herself again, “I’m not surprised. You have always chosen the wrong type men. You always pursued the Bad Boys, or what you would call the Fun Guys.”
Then Alice noticed a bruise on Amber’s left cheek, and her feelings changed instantly. She asked in a serious tone, “What is his name?”
Alice and Amber stood facing, eyes locked in a stare, Alice waiting for an answer that Amber did not want to reveal. A tiny whimper then broke their stare. Alice’s eyes dropped instantly to the basket below that remained mysteriously covered with the blue blanket. The basket moved ever so slightly as another tiny whimper came from within. Alice’s eyes rose quickly, meeting Amber’s, which were again overflowing with tears.
“What have you got?” Alice asked very slowly as she knelt down next to the basket. She gently rolled back the blanket revealing a tiny, tiny baby boy.
“I couldn’t do it,” Amber said in a trembling voice, as tears rolled rapidly down her cheeks.
Alice could hear her sister’s voice but failed to comprehend a single word; the tiny baby boy had stolen her full attention.
“I kept it a secret for as long as I could,” Amber continued. “I knew he didn’t want a child, him being married with a child on the way and due at any time now. At least it was when I left three days ago. It would have made him very angry…and he has a furious temper.”