Monday, 18 April 2016

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Back Cover:  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 Gray would head to the FBI, and Park Mitchell would study to become a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world - and friendship - 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 again 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.

Review: This book was in my hands for most of the weekend. At one point, one of my relatives at the family reunion turned around and asked dryly, "Must be a good book..." I took that as my cue that I'd better start socializing. Oops...but the answer was, "YES!" It is definitely a good book...

I read one of Dani Pettrey's first books a couple of years ago and I wasn't a fan. To be honest, I haven't read anything of hers since. However, I'm regretting that choice now as I sincerely enjoyed Cold Shot. It was well written, the dialogue wasn't corny or sappy but was in fact very believable, the characters were endearing, and best of all the plot was excellent. It's not that often that a "who-done-it-book" will carry me right to the last couple of chapters still trying to guess who did the crime. This book did that. I was shocked to realize I was almost finished the entire book and I still didn't know who'd committed the crime - double thumbs up to the author.

I did find some of the characters a little idealistic - Griffin is your typical brooding hunk with a dark history and Finley is the dazzling beautiful maiden who is just the thing to get Griffin to open up and get back to normal. The stereotypes of the two main characters are quite forgivable though as despite the fact that I'd felt like I'd seen these characters a few times before, they were interesting in their own ways, gutsy, and carried the plot forward well.

I really liked the dynamics of the three ex-best friends. Griffin, Parker, and Declan are quiet the crew. You can tell that they are still 'brothers' in many ways, but life has dealt harshly with their friendship. As the book goes on some of the layers on their history together is pulled back and some pretty funny, sad, and scary things are revealed. I am curious as to how all of this will connect to Luke - which I think will likely be the next book?

I will definitely read Dani Pettry's next book in this series (Chesapeake Valor), and I really look forward to see what happened to Luke. That part of the mystery was hinted at in this book, but the question of "What happened to him?" looms large.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc." In exchange for my honest opinion.

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