The author, Dani Pettrey, has woven a multi-layered suspense story set in the Baltimore, Maryland area. Utilizing a cozy group of co-workers who probe until they find the culprits in the horrific criminal cases to which they have been assigned. Pettrey takes the reader into the world that makes up the lives of these men and women of valor.
The friendship, sense of humor, and romantic entanglements show they are human and how they cope with the grimness that is their daily world. Infused with faith that sustains and gives hope, the characters learn to overcome their past and go forth forgiven.
In Still Life the main thread dances around the photographic art show from which a main piece has been swapped out and in its place another piece depicting a posed model who appears to have been dead when the picture was taken. As the team pursues the art theft a darker, twisted crime becomes evident requiring intense probing.
While the team pursues this art crime, others of the team tackle a boating incident involving human trafficking.
Pettrey shows the reader how dark and depraved the human physic can become and yet she handles these issues with discretion. I don't care for reading about some of the elements of criminal depravity addressed in Still Life but the author writes without too much horrific detail.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Beth House to facilitate a review of my opinions. I was not compensated.
If you like to watch Criminal Minds, Bones, NCIS, or even Psych, then you will LOVE Still Life by Dani Pettrey!
First things first, I would recommend that you read Cold Shot, the first book in the series, before reading Still Life. Otherwise the dynamics within the group might confuse you.
The first chapter immediately drew me into the story, but the first third of the novel moved at a slower pace. Then it took off like lightning again! Excellent pacing! A certain fellow was supremely creepy. *shudder* Twists and turns plague you on every page. Also, as some of my fellow bloggers have mentioned, this cover is seriously swoon worthy! I loved Parker (and his accent!) and Avery. I enjoyed seeing them grapple with trusting God in ways they hadn't been.
Between 3 1/2 and 4 Stars. A good, enjoyable read. Still Life is the second book in Dani Pettrey's Chesapeake Valor Series. Book three, Blind Spot, releases in October 2017! I found the set up for this upcoming book to be very well done.
I received a copy of Still Life by Dani Pettrey from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.
I'm thoroughly enjoying this series! I love how the books are closely connected and we get to see the build-up of each couple's relationship. Still Life has such a great blend or romance and danger that made it a difficult book to put down. I really enjoyed the investigative side of the story and how the whole group works together to solve the crime. While this story is more focused around Parker and Avery, Declan, Griffin and the rest of the gang have big roles too.
Plot: Avery Tate shows up at an art exhibit in support of her best friend Skylar, who is the model for a well-known photographer, but Skylar never shows up. When the photographer claims that one of the pictures hanging up isn't one he took and demands it be destroyed, Avery knows she must save the evidence. There's something about the picture that makes Avery concerned for her friend's safety. Crime scene investigator Parker Mitchell is one of the best at what he does. While he enjoys working with Avery,Parker won't let her get too close. As they dig deeper into Skylar's disappearance, Avery's past is unraveled and she fears it will drive Parker farther away.
Characters: Having been introduced to Avery and Parker in the previous story, they've had plenty of time to develop a great chemistry. Avery's overcome a less than perfect past. Parker hasn't completely gotten over losing his first love. They made a great team before, but they'll have to risk their hearts if they're going to work together again.
Content: This is a clean read. I'd consider it appropriate for any readers. Given that there's a murder in the book, it contains a little violence, but nothing graphic.
Recommendation: I'd highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys romantic suspense. It's the second book in the Chesapeake Valor series and I'd recommend reading them in order as there are some threads continued throughout the series.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. This review is my honest opinion.
STILL LIFE: Book Two in the Chesapeake Valor Series
Avery Tate has lost a lot. She has been blacklisted by the world of photography because of a controversial picture she took. And after getting a chance to work with crime scene investigator Parker Mitchel, something she really enjoyed, she had to walk away because of her deep feelings for him. She found she could not compete with his memories of the love he lost.
Now her best friend Skylar is missing. Avery shows up at a showing by famous photographer Gerard Vaugn. Skylar posed for one of the pictures in a macabre exhibit of supposedly post mortem models. But the original photograph of Skylar is missing, and the shot mounted in its place is disturbing in its authenticity.
In trying to discover if her friend is alive or dead, Avery finds herself being helped by the one person she is most afraid to see again Parker. As they search for the truth about Skylar, they will also have to face the reality of their emotions.
Dani Pettrey spins an intricate tale that will surprise you. STILL LIFE combines suspense and intense romance, creating an intriguing story that will keep you turning the pages.
Still Life is the second book in the Chesapeake Valor series. If you haven't read the first book, Cold Shot, I highly recommend you do so. There is a fair bit of the storyline that continues through the series and you'll get a lot more out of this book if you read them in order. I really enjoyed the first book but this one, in my mind, is even better. Of course, I haven't read a Dani Pettrey book yet that I haven't loved. :) There's danger, suspense, action, and romance of course, a healthy dose, but very clean as always. This is one author that doesn't feel the need to skate close to the edge of appropriate and I very much appreciate that. And man, can she tell a story! She weaves all these different people and pieces together so deftly that you feel like you're part of the story.
I don't feel like there's a lot I can say here without giving away parts of the story. I loved Avery and Parker, and I can't wait to read about Declan and Tanner, who were a fairly big part of this story as well.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.