When law enforcement seems less than keen on investigating a recent murder at Gettysburg, an unlikely band of friends take up the reigns to find truth and justice. Park ranger Griffin McCray discovers the body and calls in anthropologist (and love interest) Finley Scott. Griffin's grade school friends, FBI Declan Grey and crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell join in when the FBI tells Declan he's on his own for this investigation. They determine that the victim was killed by a skilled sniper and then a lab assistant is killed when someone attempts to steal the victims body. Then they realize how much danger they are in: at any moment, they could be in the killer's sights.
As a romance story, Cold Shot does a nice job of showing Griffin and Finley's growing attraction for one another. Their trust is apparent both in dangerous situations as well as in sharing their personal lives. Both Finley and Griffin are working through a difficult time in their past and I thought Pettrey did a great job of showing how they related to one another and could really help the other to put trust in God to help find peace.
As a mystery/thriller, I had mixed feelings. I was very wrapped up in the case and it was suspenseful and intriguing. However, in solving the mystery, I felt that the author had a unrealistically complicated answer. It reminded me of watching House MD where the doctors would try to say the patient had two super rare diseases, when instead the real answer was one thing that explained all symptoms. The sniper thing was a little over done too: at the end of chapters, there was often a few paragraphs that were an unknown sniper talking to someone else on the phone about watching the characters. Later when their identities were revealed, they were filled into these "mysterious" paragraphs. I really didn't care to see what the "bad guys" were thinking -- it didn't add anything to the story and was distracting. I didn't need to be constantly reminded that there was a sniper out there watching them.
As a Christian book, there were some Biblical references worked into the story and italicized internal prayers of several characters. I wasn't a huge fan of the way the prayers were used because it often felt repetitive to surrounding text and the different characters' prayers didn't seem to have a different voice at all. I think prayer is highly individual, so it seemed unrealistic that two practical strangers happened to pray in a very similar. However, when Christianity informed a character's decisions or thoughts, that seemed more natural and effective.
After reading Cold Shot (book one of the Chesapeake Valor series) and Silenced (book four of the Alaskan Courage series), I've been consistently interested in the content and mystery of the author's books, but the writing style doesn't seem to be working for me. It's disappointing because I did enjoy Silenced and thought I would really enjoy more if a few things were done differently, but Cold Shot rubbed me the wrong way for different reasons and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit less than Silenced. It's a decent read, but not something I would want to reread, and I don't think I would attempt any others in the series.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Bethany House for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.