The Killing Tide – Dani Pettrey – Coastal Guardians #1 – Bethany House – Published 6 August 2019




When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer’s boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

When investigative reporter–and Finn’s boss’s sister–Gabby Rowley arrives, her unrelenting questions complicate an already volatile situation. Now that she’s back, the tug on Finn’s heart is strong, but with the risks she’s taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can’t ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?

My thoughts

The Killing Tide follows in the way of Dani Pettrey’s previous titles with a strong mystery story, plenty of action and high-stakes suspense, and charming, faith-filled romance.

When investigative journalist, Gabby Rowley’s life is threatened by the drug lord she helped send to prison, her protective big brother, Noah, insists she return home with him to Wilmington, North Carolina, where he and his Coast Guard Investigative Service team can keep an eye on her. But when bodies begin to pile up, including one of their own, Gabby is drawn to the investigation, even if it means working alongside old flame and the man she left behind, Finn Walker.

The Killing Tide plunges readers straight into the story and lives of the many characters. It took me a little while to work my head around the plot and backstory. It felt like perhaps I had missed a prequel, like I should know these people and the people they know. Instead, the characters’ backstories are mostly filled in throughout the novel, while some are just alluded to, with more details perhaps to be revealed in the second book in the series. The writing jumps around a lot in The Killing Tide. The pace is very quick and the action, deaths, twists and investigation clues just keep coming. Some sections are only a half a page long, before they jump to another thread of the story, another character’s perspective, and then switch again. Once I got my head around who was who and how they fit together, The Killing Tide was an easy story to enjoy.

Aside from Finn and Gabby, there are a lot of other main characters, some of which share in the chapter perspectives. Finn and Noah, Gabby’s brother, are teammates, and their fellow CGIS unit are a tight-knit group. As Dani Pettrey often does, this book is situated around a strong family-like work team.

I really enjoyed the multiple threads of the investigation. Just when you think all the clues have been laid out, another death is revealed or another layer to the organisation was discovered. The end bad guy was a surprise and I liked how that was a plausible and clever reveal. All the main characters are strong men and women, equally capable of saving themselves and others – and they need to do so multiple times over.

The Killing Tide is a fun and exciting first book in a new series. Book two in the Coastal Gaurdians series is set to follow Rissi – another member of the CGIS team and the past that returns to haunt her.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Adult fiction

Genre: Christian – Suspense.

Themes: Coast Guard, Investigations, murder, crime, family, romance, investigative journalism, drugs.

Published: 6 August 2019 by Bethany House Publishers.

Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 352 pages.

ISBN: 9780764233432

Find it on Goodreads