Saturday, December 7, 2013

Shattered by Dani Pettrey (book review)

Shattered, by Dani Pettrey is the second book in the Alaskan Courage series.  The genre for this book might be classified as Christian, Romance, Suspense/Murder.  I admit, the suspense novel is not generally my style, nor do I typically start a series out of order.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the author is also a homeschooling mother, so when I was given the opportunity to review the book, I decided to give it a try.

The book is centered around Piper McKenna, sister to an accused murder.  The story doesn't go into much detail about the murder itself, though, it focuses on the aftermath.  While she and her siblings all have a difficult time believing their beloved brother could do such a terrible thing, Piper is the only one who is determined to prove his innocence, at all costs.  Her long-time family friend is also a police officer, and they are often at odds about how to handle the investigation.  He wants things done properly of course, but Piper seems to work from the heart.  She also finds herself mixed up in a web of emotions as she deals with her brother's trials, as well as her own romantic life.  Landon, the police officer, must deal with keeping his emotions in check during the investigation, and also learn about himself and his faith.

I found the imagery of Alaska to be beautiful.  I was headed to the beach while reading this book, but was still intrigued by the descriptive writing!  The story line was interesting, but a few things didn't work for me.  I felt like the idea of a group of young adults traipsing around interviewing and questioning members of gangs and possible murder suspects highly doubtful and dangerous, even with the off-duty police officer going along on occasion.  Also, what about conflict of interest for Landon, as he grew up with the McKenna family?    Being the second book, it did stand on its own, but I could have benefited from reading the first book as far as some of the minor characters were concerned.  Or perhaps they're fleshed out more in a third book, but it's hard to tell if that will happen from the information given, because the book didn't end with a cliffhanger.

All said and done though, the story line was still interesting, and I did finish it so that I could learn about the history of the victim and the identity of the murder.

While there is a Christian theme woven into the book, I don't feel like it is the focus.  Romance and Suspense are more prominent, and while there was nothing overtly inappropriate, I would only recommend it for mature teens and adults.

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