About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)
Four Best Friends.
And Then One Went Missing . . .
In college, Griffin McCray and his three best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore Police Department, Declan Grey would head to the FBI, and Parker Mitchell would study to become a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world–and friendships–crumbled.
Now years later, Griffin has left the police and his friendships behind. Still trying to forget a case that went bad when he was a SWAT team sniper, he’s living a quiet life as a park ranger at Gettysburg. Quiet until skeletal remains are uncovered near Little Round Top–and they aren’t Civil War-era.
Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Grey steps in to take 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 crime, danger, and murder.
Cold Shot introduces readers to a new romantic suspense series from author Dani Pettrey. I was particularly excited to dive in when I learned the series is set in the Chesapeake Bay area – my neck of the woods! Once I started reading, the likeable cast of characters and intriguing mystery drew me in, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat straight on through to the last page. And yes, references to paddleboats at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and beach fries in Ocean City brought back fond memories for me.
This first book in the Chesapeake Valor series focuses primarily on forensic anthropologist Finley and former sniper turned park ranger Griffin. Finley and Griffin both have some significant issues from the past that they need to work through, but they work quite well together once they find themselves working on the same case.
A number of secondary characters – Declan, Parker, Kate, and Avery – work with Griffin and Finley throughout the book, and it’s neat to see the changing dynamics among the group of Griffin’s friends from the past as the story progresses. They each make interesting characters in their own right, and I look forward to getting to know them better over the course of future books in the series. I’m particularly curious about Kate, who was introduced as “Part bloodhound, part ninja.” I’m also looking forward to exploring some of the mysteries from the characters’ collective past that have already been introduced in this book.
There was a good mix of investigation, danger, and romance. The mystery kept me guessing throughout and surprised me in the end. Plot twists and turns, plus some truly frightening moments faced by the characters kept the suspense high, and kept me fully engaged right up to the end.
Faith plays a significant role in the characters’ lives, which is reflected in the story, as characters turn to God in prayer, sometimes right there on the page. Thematically, the story takes a look at forgiveness of oneself and of others, as well as God’s grace.
Overall, an enjoyable fast-paced story, with a cast of characters I look forward to meeting again in future books. Recommended to fans of romantic suspense. In particular, fans of the television show Bones, may enjoy the characters’ expertise and approach to solving this case.
Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.