Cold Shot: A Book Review - Reading List

Cold Shot: A Book Review

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Cold Shot

Dani Pettrey

What makes a good mystery?  A horrible crime that needs justice?  A few characters who need to fix the world?  Or maybe need to fix themselves?  A book that is full of suspense?  Or maybe just a ton of clues that the reader can string together?

I'll be honest, I do not really know the formula for writing a mystery/thriller.  Even after taking a ton of literary classes and hearing the experts explain what is needed for a book to be a mystery, I still have yet to figure it out.

For me, a mystery is only good if the characters who are trying to find the criminal, or murder, or solve the "whodunnit" questions are interesting.  If the person who is in danger of being the next victim is written well enough that I care to find out.  Because if the characters are interesting enough, I have a hard time putting a mystery down, because I have to see if real justice is found.

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey  a Book Review on Reading List

Story Overview 

Cold Shot introduces Griffin McCray, Declan Gray and Parker Mitchell as well as their friend Luke Gallagher, as the main four friends in Dani Pettrey's new series, Chesapeake Valor.  In this particular story, Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg where Finley Scott is leading an anthropology dig. During which a body is found.

As a former SWAT-team sniper, Griffin allows his job as a park ranger pull him deeper into the case.  Once his friends, Declan and Parker get called in on the cold case, Griffin's history starts to rush back into his present.  Since Finley is directly involved with the discovery of the body, her name gets mixed into the crime, and her life quickly becomes in danger.  Yet, her history and spirit keep her engaged enough to fight off the fear that could quickly relegate her to a corner until the whole thing is solved.

As the mystery slowly starts to be solved, Griffin and Finley work together and realize even if you try to run away from the pain of the past, it is part of you who you are.  They learn to lean on each and face the past in order to make a better future.

Personal Likes

My biggest like in this book has to be the three central male characters - while this is Griffin's story, the other guys are clearly vital to the series.  These men were all strong men and yet they had emotions, fears, and insecurities.  The use of multiple speakers allowed each of these men a chance to reveal their inner struggles and reflection on what they hoped for - it was nice to see instead of men who were weak or on a power trip. As a bonus, the women in the book are equally independent and strong, and yet they were completely respectful of the men in their lives.

Considering this is a Christian book, you should not be surprised that Griffin spends the bulk of his internal dialogue in prayer. A few of the other characters also have clear Christian morals and standards.  While for some this might be too much, I thought it was just enough.  We clearly knew where each of these men get their strength and yet the author isn't banging church into our heads, which I truly can't stand.

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey a Book Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

On the dislike side, I felt like the introduction of the characters took up way too much of the first half of the book. Granted the mystery starts right at the beginning, which might be why the character background took so long.  This book a large group of main characters, since this is going to be Pettrey's new series.  And each character gets a good amount of time to share their current issues and past scars.  Here's hoping the whole series is good because otherwise this book was way longer than it needed to be.

Another minor issue came when I was discussing this book with a friend who watches Bones (and many other cold case crime shows) - she immediately started listing episodes that reminded her of this book.  So for some this might be a good thing for others, it might not.

Reading List Rating

Four Heart Rating on Reading List

I'm giving this one a four heart rating - I really enjoyed it.  I am hoping the rest of the series goes into more detail of the other characters.

My Suggested Audience

I would suggest this book to anyone who is interested in mysteries - even if you are not a big reader, but have an interest in any of the murder mysteries that fill so many channels every day on TV.  This is a clean mystery - yes there is a cold murder case, and the murder is trying to keep safe, which puts the characters in danger, but there really isn't crazy violence.  There are a few love stories that pick up, as this is a book series, but they are very tame, teenagers would be fine reading this book.  Please realize this is a Christian Mystery/Romance... not need to be surprised.  

Wondering Questions to Consider

This book is clearly focused on solving a cold case - yet the bigger intrigue comes from the fact that Griffin's life is completely different than what he had expected all because of one night that went completely wrong.  How many people do you know completely changed their life because of one night, one mistake?  Is there one moment in time when you couldn't handle what happened so you just walked away?  Does it still consume your thoughts?  Are you happy with the decisions you've made for your life?   Yep, all of those questions are issues that these characters struggle with, and so do so many readers.

How many people do you know completely changed their life because of one night, one mistake? #ColdShot  @Reading_List1

Are you a mystery fan?  Or rather, a Mystery/Romance fan?  Would you rather have a mystery where you are focused on figuring out whodunnit, or caring about the characters and their safety?

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

Marissa @ Reading List

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