Monday, August 6, 2012

Submerged, by Dani Pettrey

Overview (from Goodreads): A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers.
Yancey, Alaska was a quiet town . . . until the truth of what was hidden in the depths off the coast began to appear.
Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a small town. She's returned to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash and is determined not to stay even an hour more than necessary. But then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.
Cole McKenna can handle the deep-sea dives and helping the police recover evidence. He can even handle the fact that a murderer has settled in his town and doesn't appear to be moving on. But dealing with the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge.
She broke his heart, but she is not the same girl who left Yancey. He let her down, but he's not the same guy she left behind. Can they move beyond the hurts of their pasts and find a future together?

Review: This one grabbed from the beginning, from the Prologue to be exact. It starts right in the middle of the action before settling to a slower pace as we discover the main characters and get a sense of who they are. This is a novel with the rare characteristic of having very interesting secondary characters. Of course, these characters will later become main ones in their own right, as the series progresses, but for now, they just keep you wanting to get to know them better.

However, as nicely written as the book and the characters are, it sometimes feels as if you’ve started reading book 2 or 3 of the series, instead of the first. The author brings forth many characters in a short time and assumes you know or remember (from a previous mention) who they are and that gets confusing. It’s very obvious that the author knows really well who her characters are, but does not realize that the reader is just getting to know them now. But this does not take away from the experience as whole; it was just a little confusing at first.

The novel is very interesting; the mystery, engaging. The romance makes you ache for the leads, for who they were 13 years ago, and for who they became. It is, in fact, a Christian novel that does not shy away from the mention of God and His grace through Christ. Because, you see, this is a fiction book with a great teaching on God's love, what it means to be a new creation in Christ, how He sees us, and how we can heal from our past hurts and from the shame we carry even though we have been forgiven. And that makes for a great read: entertaining, wise, fun and profound.

It is very well written; the plot, the characters, and the mystery will keep you wanting to read more, to go faster to get to the resolution. And in the end, I wanted badly to know what's going to happen next between Landon and Piper... This side story (and the others you see slowly forming) is enough to carry my interest on to the next book in the series, Shattered. So, yeah, the author did a great job of piquing my interest with a nice, sort of cliffhanger that did not leave me unsatisfied, but, sure enough, made me want to know what's going to happen next.

4 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange of an honest review.

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