“But she knew in her heart this case was going to be anything but straightforward. God seemed to think her way stronger than she was.” -pg81
This quote perfectly sums up the tumultuous position of the characters in Dani Pettrey’s latest release, Cold Shot. It’s the first book in a new series, “Chesapeake Valor”, and it’s a promising start to a dynamic of characters I’m eager read about. Read on for more about the book and my happy review.
Side note: how is this my first book by Dani? I’ve been hearing of the skill and quality of her stories for a while now. I *really need* to go back and catch up on her Alaskan Courage series. That’s all.
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.
Romantic suspense at its best!
Here’s my take on the great points of this story:
- Page-turning suspense. Plenty of action — just when you think the characters will have a “normal” scene, something unexpected happens to throw them (and you) into an adrenaline rush. The mystery of the villain was well-shrouded and encompassed in a bit of a twist.
- Characters are already grounded in their faith in God. The story showed personal growth and emotion of the characters without a major life-changing spiritual experience, though there was a definite theme of trust and hope through the novel. The everyday life and walk with God depicted here lent to its realistic feel.
- Ensemble cast –kind of. There were complicated histories and relationships between Griffin and his friends who become unlikely colleagues. This is the perfect setup for the series. Not all is revealed from the first few chapters, either, which kept the dynamic of the cast interesting.
- Romantic chemistry. It’s already there from page 1! Griff & Fin know each other already, so a work-turned-serious relationship feels like a natural step. Though it’s more like protective Griff reacting to a crime threat that just happens to involve the attractive and independent Fin. But it’s fun to see them fight their mutual attraction along the way!
- The way Griffin and Finley compliment each other. I was impressed by the way their personalities seem “written” for each other, though in some ways they are complete opposites. 🙂 Griff is a compassionate gentleman. Fin is a capable encourager. Both of them dealt with guilt, regrets, and were disturbed by other peoples’ actions. They were each able to support each other in different ways to move toward forgiveness and letting go of fears.
Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for the review copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.