Still Life: A Book Series for CSI Fans

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Still Life by Dani Pettrey A book review on Marissa Writes

Every year when new TV shows are being announced, and old favorites are getting renewed, I am shocked to see just how many crime dramas make the cut. I personally do not get drawn into a show that is focused on a dead body, or trying to solve some long forgotten mystery, or the process of catching some maniac criminal.  And yet, the audience is clearly there.

Are you part of this audience?

Even with all that, I am drawn to these books by Dani Pettrey. She has created a cast of characters who are vastly different, yet their lives are connected through history and a shared past. So when life throws crazy events their way, they decide to work together and fix the problems they can fix.

Last year I was honored to share the first book of the Chesapeake Valor with you all, check it out if you're curious. And today I'm going to review book number two...



Still Life by Dani Pettrey A book review on Marissa Writes


Still Life

Dani Pettrey




Story Overview 


Once Avery realized she was attracted to her boss, Parker, she discreetly found a way to quit her job. Her past was too muddled and dirty to allow it to spread over to Parker's life. Before she knows it she is trying to walk the line of keeping her life on track while still connected to friends from her previous life... if they are actually friends.  When her best friend is suddenly missing from a modeling break, she fears the worst. And of course, Parker is pulled into the case. 

The large cast of Cold Shot all appears in this story, but the journey of Avery and Parker are the focus. After we met them shortly in the first book, it is more than refreshing to see where their lives are now heading. 

Parker's attachment to Jenna continues to haunt him. He is faced again and again with the need to decide between his past and his future. When a crazed killer threatens a possible future for him, he knows he has to decide and act quickly.

Personal Likes

My biggest like is Pettrey's pacing in these stories. While the cast is quite large, she does a good job of focusing the story on just part of the cast, while letting the reader know a bit about the entire group. While it can be hard to get a grasp on the characters when you first enter this world, the writing is clear enough to allow you jump and get acquainted quickly.  Then the pace of the whole mystery will sweep you up completely.

I also am glad that Pettrey doesn't fall into the hook of quick romance... her characters have pasts, histories, and falling in love is not a split second decision. They know life is hard, rough, and unfair, and are not willing to just jump in head first. The relationships are slow, more realistic in their formations which allow for more back story and character development.



Still Life by Dani Pettrey A book review on Marissa Writes


Personal Dislikes

I really wish there would have been a bit more from Griffin and Finley because they were the characters I was most familiar with from the previous book. But clearly, that isn't the goal of the series. This is going to allow each book to be able to stand on its own. Which is nice. And yet, I just wanted more...

And while I enjoyed this book, it is not my go-to genre. I am still interested in Pettrey's story, but I am not head over heels either. As I mentioned in the last review, I do not follow these shows on TV, so I do not know how original the plot line was, but it certainly was quite the ride.




Reading List Rating

four heart rating on reading list

I'm going to give this a four heart rating because it was as enjoyable for me as the first book of the series.  I could see many fans of the genre getting swept into this completely. 






My Suggested Audience

I highly suggest this book to anyone who enjoys a contemporary murder mystery. I think fans of crime dramas/murder cases would be enthralled. And of course, fans of Hallmark Mysteries will be happy as there is just enough romance to keep the drama of the crime in check.

A heads up for this book, there could be triggers for violence aimed at women, as the suspect targets a particular type of woman and then murders them in a horrible manner. I cannot give specifics without spoiling the story, but just know there are graphic scenes of a murder's plans and Pettrey does an eerie job of bringing a sociopath to life in this criminal. 






Wondering Questions to Consider

One plus to murder stories is how the question of mortality comes to mind for the reader. The characters also struggle over this concept of life and death... and how they should live their lives. A small detail that Pettrey nails is how a person can let go of one chapter of their life as the past moves further away from the present and the chance of a future. So many people hold on to the past, the good and the bad, and never get to live again as a result. That is no life at all. And this book looks at how important it is to let go of the past, both the good and the bad when it is keeping us from moving forward.







I would love to hear about your favorite murder mysteries. Books, TV shows, Movies... what kind of murder mystery grabs your attention? Do you have an all-time favorite?  

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List






**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here - it doesn't cost you anything extra, and it would simply make my day!!  In fact, just click through and do your shopping, even if you decide not to get this particular book. TIA




***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, BethanyHouse, and from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





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