Cold Shot – Dani Pettrey – Chesapeake Valor #1 – Bethany House Publishers – Published 2 February 2016
n 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.
A fantastic start to a new series, Cold Shot is engaging, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense with charming romance.
When ex-SWAT sniper and current park ranger Griffin McCray discovers a grave being robbed in the Gettysburg cemetery he is stunned to discover that the bones belong to a woman who was recently murdered. Along with Finley Scott, the forensic anthropologist working a dig at the cemetery, Griffin calls in his friends to help him discover who the woman is and to find justice for her murder.
When the McKinley series ended I wasn’t sure Dani Pettrey could once again create a series with the same level of suspense and crime-solving action, broad range of characters, sweet romance and a comradery that comes from a tight-knit family, and yet that is exactly what she has created with this new series. Griffin and his group of friends, estranged though some of them may be, bring banter and fun to crime solving. The group creates a crime-fighting gang with serious clout, including an FBI agent, ex-sniper cop, computer genius, forensic anthropologist and a crime scene analyst and his new assistant. Their devotion is to solving crimes, particularly cold cases. It is the perfect set-up for a continuing series, with plenty of room for romantic developments within the group and the continued search for Griffin’s friend Luke who disappeared many years ago, all while solving other cases.
It’s not until halfway through the book that the reader actually uncovers what happened to split up the group of ‘brothers’. Griffin, too, is initially pretty tight lipped about his history and what changed his path both professionally and personally. These secrets add to the intrigue of the book and bring a depth to the story. Sporadic sections from the bad guys leave thing vague but amp up the tension, and there is certainly no shortage of suspects.
The romance between Griffin and Finley sparkles. I loved every minute of their interactions and chemistry. Griffin and Finley have already been working together for a few months when the story starts, but it is the current events of finding a recently-buried body and searching for that person’s identity and killer, all while dodging bullets shot in their direction that brings them together. Griffin struggles to not get distracted by Finley and his growing attraction to her, while Finley battles her growing feelings and fear of trusting a man again after the pain of her past.
This will be a fantastic continuing series, and I can’t wait to read the next book and follow the stories, both personal and professional, of this loveable and honourable group of friends.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Christian suspense.
Themes: Crime, cold cases, justice, suspense, romance, friendship.
Published: 2 February 2016 by Bethany House Publishers.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 336 pages.