Fatal Code – Natalie Walters

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters
Also by this author: Lights Out
Series: The SNAP Agency #2
Published by Revell on May 1, 2022
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance, Suspense
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four-half-stars

In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those five scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession--and a target on her back.
SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she's his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.
As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. When Elinor learns he has been spying on her, she's crushed. But with danger closing in on all sides, she'll have to trust him to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands.
Natalie Walters sucks you into the global race for space domination in this perfectly paced second installment of her SNAP Agency romantic suspense series.

Natalie Walters does it again with Fatal Code, the second novel of her “SNAP Agency” series. I always love her books, because they have a unique sense of humor that I’ve rarely found in other works of fiction. That comedic factor, combined with her nearly faultless (but believable) plotlines, will always bring me back to her. Fatal Code by Natalie Walters is one of my favorite books of the year, and I read it in two sittings. I did not want to put it down, and I have no doubt other readers will feel similarly.

Since joining Life is Story, romantic suspense has been my specialty genre. I’ve always enjoyed it, but I didn’t read it as much prior to joining the LiS team.  This has introduced me to a number of authors including Susan May Warren, DiAnn Mills, Lynette Eason, and Elizabeth Goddard. I would be the first to admit, I am a hard reader to please, and I hesitate to give anyone the moniker of “favorite author.” But Walters has earned that title, and then some. Fatal Code only solidified that further. I loved the multilayered, complex plot, the characters, and the storytelling. Some authors have too much dialogue; others grow distracted by descriptions. Fatal Code possesses the perfect balance.

I am not an intelligence professional—not by any means. But I have studied it, so I perhaps know a bit more about the subject than the average person. Walters did not try to plug her characters into the FBI, CIA, or some other three-letter agency. Instead, she created her own, which I loved. I wasn’t sidetracked by looking for errors. Instead, I embraced the believable story Walters portrayed. Kekoa and Elinor tugged at my heart—especially Elinor’s science jokes and t-shirts. What a fun little quirk!

The only reason this book is not getting five stars: The excessive use of “Brah”/“Brother.” As Kekoa is Hawaiian, I understand this may be part of his culture, but…I got really tired of seeing it in the majority of his dialogue. It grated on me. Like one of those annoying times when your eye twitches, and you don’t know why and can’t make it stop. This doesn’t mean Kekoa’s not a great character—he is. I loved getting to know him better, as he might’ve been my favorite character from Light’s Out. He made me laugh in that book, and it continues in Fatal Code.

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters is a wonderful example of the romantic suspense genre. Dramatic and multifaceted, yet also humorous and gratifying. I loved every second I spent with Kekoa, Elinor, and the rest of the SNAP Agency crew, and I can’t wait for the third novel. There has to be one…I need Garcia and Lyla to get together, please!

four-half-stars