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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dani Pettrey: Cold Shot

By Kelly Bridgewater

Description (From Amazon):

In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet--until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern--a young social justice lawyer missing since spring--and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents.

From Amazon
My Review:

I really enjoyed Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series and couldn’t wait to read her Chesapeake Valor series. I like my romantic suspense books to have great characters who will repeat in future novels, so I can see how they’re doing, but I like the suspense to be the main focus, not the romance. Pettrey does a good job at creating a story that had me on the chase right alongside the characters who wanted to solve the identity of the dead body.

As I mentioned earlier, characters can make or break a novel for me. If I don’t empathize with the characters pretty quickly in the novel, then I may put the book down. Griffin McCray, a Park Ranger, is a strong hero who wants to help Finley Scott, a forensic anthropologist, solve the case of the dead body found in the shallow grave. Finley and Griffin both have dark moments in their past that they are afraid to share with each other, but eventually they do share. A word of warning, there are moments when all of Griffin’s friends from high school come on the scene, and I get confused. Who is what? What are their jobs? What are their relationships to each other? I would have to go back and read it again, but slower to understand the connection. Way too many characters to keep track of.

The action. This is what I read a story for. I liked to be taken on a journey and see if I can figure out who did the deed before the author reveals it at the ninety percent point in the story. Usually, I’m pretty good at figuring out who did it. In this story, I was confused as the moment played out on who the bad guy was and the motivation behind his actions. Maybe I need to go back and read it again. As for the pace of the story, it does have Griffin, Finley, and the numerous other characters asking questions of people who are connected with the victim. It moved pretty rapidly, and I enjoyed the story. Even the romance was rolled back, just like I enjoy.

Chesapeake Bay is the setting of the story. Pettrey did show me where I was when something was important, but for the most part, this story could have happened on the Gulf Coast or in California. Pettrey didn’t spend a lot of time cementing the reader to the setting. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I still enjoyed the story, but her description ability is not like Julie Klassen’s who really welcomes me into her settings.

Much anticipated, Dani Pettrey’s beginning to her new Chesapeake Valor series Cold Shot is an exciting ride with a hero and a heroine that I can’t wait to see more of. I can’t wait to read Book two when it is available.

I received a complimentary copy of Cold Shot from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 Stars

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