In the first of her novels about the McKenna clan, Dani Pettrey introduces us to Cole, the oldest of the McKennas, and most of his four siblings. When a plane goes down just before arriving in the town of Yancey, Alaska, Cole is part of the diving team sent to rescue/recover the plane's occupants, including the aunt of his old flame Bailey, the girl who broke his heart ten years ago. When the "accident" drags Bailey back to Yancey, a place she never wanted to see again in her life, her knowledge of Russian studies and her aunt's Russian shop becomes invaluable for police investigation involving murdered divers. In order to solve the mystery, Cole and Bailey have to work together with the police, but will they be able to reconcile the past before the dangerous present catches up with them?
I tend to prefer historical novels, though a good thriller has its place. What surprised me about Submerged is that though it is a contemporary suspense story, it has a strong thread of Alaskan and Russian history, making for a fascinating read. While much of it is hypothetical "what could have happened," it is based on well known (and perhaps some lesser known) Russian history and its ties with Alaska. I thought it a brilliant component to the story.
Poor choices that Bailey made in her youth continue to haunt her. Though she turned to Jesus and completely turned her life around, she still fights with guilt, a lack of self worth, and a damaging old reputation. Pettrey does a good job reiterating that, yes, there might be long-lasting consequences to one's behavior before turning to Christ, but when Jesus wipes one's sins away, one is a new creation in Christ. By God's standards - the only standards that matter - one is new and clean. It is still hard for Bailey to wrap her head around that truth, but the healing God provides goes a long way!
Pettrey does a great job establishing family dynamics and hinting at where things might lead beyond this particular novel. It is clear each of the siblings has their own personality and role in the family, and it will be fun to see where the series goes. Piper, the youngest McKenna, and family friend deputy Landon Granger are secondary main characters with their own viewpoints (though to a lesser extent than Cole and Bailey), setting up the next book to come.
Mystery and suspense, history and hidden treasure, romance, healing, the great outdoors - this book has something for everyone! 5 out of 5 stars!
The last thing Bailey Craig wanted to do was to return to Yancey Alaska. In fact for the last few years she has tried her best to forget that town and its people ever existed. But when Bailey's Aunt Agnes dies in a tragic plan accident she finds that God has other plans for her. Like teaching her that sometimes things aren't always the way we remember them, such as Cole McKenna and the events that made her leave Yancey in the first place.
Cole McKenna, head of the McKenna clan, spends his days' working in his families dive shop and helping the local police department recover sunken wreckage. When he and his team are called to help with a rescue of a small plane that has crashed into the ocean, he recognizes that one of the victims is Bailey's beloved Aunt Agnes. He realizes that Bailey will be coming back for the funeral and that means that he will have to guard his heart very closely.
I loved this book. For a debut novel, this one is off the charts. The author weaves a brilliant story of suspense, mystery and romance. Her characters are well developed and unforgettable. The love and closeness the McKenna family share reminds me of Dee Henderson's O'Malley series, which is one of my favorites.
The research that the author did on Alaska, the Russian history of the state, scuba diving and all that it entails, is truly impressive. The writing details in the diving scenes were so well done I could actually imagine being there watching the scenes unfold.
If you are a fan of Irene Hannon or Terri Blackstock or if you just want to try something new, you will definitely enjoy this book. I will be frequently recommending this book.
Dani Pettrey has a series in play that's every bit as exciting as watching the Red Sox win the World Series. You will want to add Dani's three, soon to be four, books to your must read list - all are 5-star material.
Submerged marks Bailey Craig's return to Alaska - a place she fled from years before - to bury a beloved aunt who'd been killed in a plane crash. But all is not as it seems and soon Bailey and former love of her live, Cole McKenna, are embroiled in a mystery investigation as the body count rises. Will they solve the mystery or will they, and it, remain submerged?
A Thriller - Romance, Suspense, Good plot & charac
January 25, 2014
A sabotaged flight. Two murdered divers. A single clueâ€”a grainy image of sunken treasure.
Dive Rescue Captain Cole McKenna has never worked a case like this, but who he's working with may prove more dangerous than the assignment. It's been a lifetime since Bailey mangled his heart. Now she's back in town and he needs her expertise to track down the illusive treasure.
Professor of Russian Studies Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again, but when her beloved aunt dies, she has no choice. Her plan of attack is simple: return for Agnes's funeral, get the family business ready for a quick sale, and then put Yancey and all the heartbreaking memories wrapped up in it behind her for good.
Cole walking through her door, asking for her help on a murder investigation, wasn't part of her plan, neither are the feelings he's resurrectingâ€”feelings best left dead.
Bailey agrees to help for the sake of the victims, and travels with Cole across Alaska's rugged terrain and deep beneath its coastal waters. As the case escalates, so do their feelings for one another. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to let go of the past and just when Bailey thinks she can't take it any longer, the case shifts in a new and extremely personal direction, fastening her in for its duration.
Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Cole and Bailey fight to find the treasure and uncover the hidden history at the root of it all. But will they be too late?
Carol R. Gehringer
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
I actually found this book while on my town library's website. I was totally captivated by the cover and ordered it immediately! This book did not disappoint. Great story, great characters, twists and turns that you don't see coming. I have now read all 3 in the series. Great author. Enjoy it!