Still Life / by Dani Pettrey. (Chesapeake Valor, 2) 3.23.2017

Bethany House ISBN 9780764212956

Adult Rating: 4

Award-winning author Dani Pettrey continues her romantic suspense series set in coastal Maryland, about childhood friends with careers in law enforcement.

In Still Life, crime scene photographer Avery Tate reunites with crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell on a case involving the switching of a photograph at a gallery opening. The model in the photograph is Avery’s friend, who is posing as if she is dead–and what’s worse, she is missing! Avery and Parker dig into the case, following leads that are potentially deadly. Domestic terrorism, psychotic killers, and bizarre artists play into this story.

Pettrey’s series features strong personalities with problems readers can relate to. Avery left Parker’s employ six months ago to sort out her feelings about him. Avery has a past she keeps hidden. She is afraid that when Parker finds out the truth he won’t be interested in her. Parker is attracted to her but still cares for his first love, who was killed a number of years ago.

The faith element is evident: Parker reminds Avery that she is a “new creation in Christ” regardless of her past, and they pray for a friend injured in the line of duty. Their relationship is clean, appropriate for even high school readers.

The plot is intriguing, with enough twists to keep the reader engaged until the end. Watch for loose ends that will probably show up in later books. The violence is a little dark, but appropriate to the story. Suspense, romance, and action add up to a thrilling read!

Recommended for public libraries. Fans of DiAnn Mills and Irene Hannon will especially enjoy this series. Book 3, Blind Spot, is due in October 2017.

Carol R. Gehringer,

Earlier Series Titles Reviewed by CLJCold Shot (Mar/Apr/May/Jun 2016).