By Dani Pettrey
Chesapeake Valor, #1
Bethany House, 2016
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.
I love Dani Pettrey’s new series! I’m not a suspense fan by nature, but Dani is one of the few authors in this genre that I will read without hesitation, and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s a combination of strong setting, appealing characters with a close bond, and the way their faith is lived out. And while the bad guys are pretty evil, they’re not creepy. I also enjoy a police procedural type of story that reflects the logical, step-by-step investigative process, and Dani does that extremely well.
Cold Shot takes us far away geographically from her previous Alaskan Courage series, to the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland, and introduces us to a new quartet of friends in various areas of law enforcement and who are as close as brothers . . . at least they were at one time, and therein lies their fascinating story. If there’s one negative, it’s that a lot of characters are introduced in this first book, almost too many for me to keep up with. On the other hand, they will be familiar when I pick up the next book, so that’s good overall.
Dani’s writing style flows easily and she has a gift for making you see and feel the setting – as in the opening sentence describing the Gettysburg National Military Park: “Fog wafted over the silent hilltop, dancing in eerie waves amidst the centuries-old tees, the weathered trunks the sole markers of the lost graves littering the grounds surrounding them." Griffin and Finley are appealing characters, and I especially enjoyed the sweetness of their relationship as it gradually built throughout the story. I’m always longing for more cover pictures of guys, so can I just say how great this one is?!
I loved that Griffin and Finley have a committed faith, reflected in one way by how they frequently turn to prayer. This was a reminder to me that prayer should be as natural as breathing. I also enjoyed Griffin’s spiritual journey as he learned to let go and forgive, a message we all need from time to time.
Cold Shot is a thoroughly enjoyable story and I eagerly await book #2. Highly recommended.
Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the brand new romantic suspense Chesapeake Valor series, as well as the well-loved Alaskan Courage series which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their daughters, son-in-law, and super-adorable grandson.
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Thank you to Amanda at pulsepointdesign.com and Bethany House for providing a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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