Review: Cold Shot (Chesapeake Valor #1) by Dani Pettrey

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

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I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Cold Shot will be available February 2, 2016.

I enjoyed Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series so when I saw she was starting a new series I definitely wanted to check it out. I’m very happy to report that I liked the start of this Chesapeake Valor series even more!

I have to say that one of the reasons I liked it so much is that it reminded me a little bit of the tv show Bones, which I loved during it’s early years. Griffin is a former sniper (like Booth) and Finley is a forensic anthropologist (like Temperence, aka “Bones”). When Griffin comes across remains in Gettysburg he calls upon Finley’s expertise when he suspects the body has been more recently killed than he expected. To assist in the investigation they bring in Griffin’s childhood friends Declan, an FBI agent, and Parker, a crime scene investigator (though Parker is no longer really a friend), Parker’s assistant Avery, and later their other old friend, Kate.

I liked the characters in the story a lot. Though the story mostly focused on Griffin and Finley, we get several different perspectives and they were all pretty distinct. I liked learning some of the backstory between Griffin, Parker, Declan, and Kate and look forward to getting even more in the coming books.

I also liked the romance in the book. I thought Griffin and Finley were well matched and they complemented each other well. They both had to overcome some of their own demons before they were ready for a relationship, and they both played a role in each other’s life to help them come to terms with the past and with God. I also liked the developing relationship between Parker and Avery. The one thing I didn’t like about the romance was that there was just a little too much of the “He/She’s so beautiful/kind/strong/special, but I’m not ready/don’t deserve him/her” inner-monologues going on for my taste. That’s not to say the romance wasn’t sweet, because it was, it’s just a problem I have with a lot of romances.

I thought the suspense was done pretty well, as there were several life-endangering situations and the plot moved along fairly quickly. The main mystery was just ok for me, though. There was a twist that kind of came out of left field and while it did work, it slightly annoyed me. It always makes me feel like I’ve wasted time trying to figure things out when the answer doesn’t even become a possibility until late in the game.

I really liked the way that Pettrey wove in issues of faith with the story. There’s an overall message of forgiveness and trusting in God’s presence that was very well done. Prayers and discussions on the subject were organic with the characters and it never felt like you were being “preached” to, so I think that even those who aren’t Christians would still enjoy the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed Cold Shot. I really liked the well-developed characters, the thoughtful way their faith played into the story, and the suspense. While I enjoyed Pettrey’s previous series, I think her writing has greatly improved with each new book and I think this one is her best yet. I look forward to spending more time with these characters when the series continues.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

4 stars

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4 thoughts on “Review: Cold Shot (Chesapeake Valor #1) by Dani Pettrey

  1. Pingback: February 2016 Recap | Stephanie's Book Reviews

  2. Pingback: Cold Shot // by Dani Pettrey | The Aroma of Books

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