Saturday, February 6, 2016

Reviewer's bookshelf: Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Book Summary (Goodreads): 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.

My thoughts...Cold Shot is the first book in Dani Pettrey's newest Chesapeake Valor series.  Her previous series, Alaskan Courage, was filled with suspense, action, and some romance.  This new series is very similar in that it has all of those things along with an exciting new setting, story line with twists and turns and just the right amount of romantic tension.

From the first pages of Cold Shot I was drawn in.  A murder mystery, all of the characters that are introduced have a connection, and come together to try to solve what happened to the victim of a terrible crime.  I loved all the layers of relationships that play a part in this story.  Griffin and his group of friends have a past, yet despite their struggles, are able to come together and work on this case.  Only a few aspects of their past are revealed, opening to the door for future plot lines in the series.  Griffin and Finley have a relatively new connection.  As coworkers at the Gettysburg battle site, they have interacted over the course of several months, but Pettrey does a great job of developing their relationship through the novel as they work together to solve the mystery.  

While the main plot line is resolved, I was still left wondering about the other mysteries that are presented through the course of the story. This novel has a great level of suspense, with heart pounding moments without it being too "dark".  I couldn't stop reading it!  I was engaged from beginning to end.

I have found that with Pettrey's books there are A LOT of characters.  At times, especially at the beginning, I was having a hard time keeping track of who each person was, how they were connected, etc.  Eventually I was able to keep up with everyone, but just be aware ; ).

Overall, I would highly recommend this book as it was action-packed with likable characters, great suspense, romantic tension, and a strong Christian theme of forgiveness.  It was also an entertaining read for me because some of the story takes place in Baltimore, which my family visited two summers ago.  It was fun to be able to visualize where the characters were.  Loved it!

**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I gave.**