Title: Shattered (Alaskan Courage Book 2)
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
When her prodigal brother Reef’s return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him.
Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he’s also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon’s career in jeopardy.
When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself–and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada’s rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.
Certain her brother is innocent of killing a snowboarder, despite the town’s belief to the contrary, Piper McKenna hunts for the real murderer. Her search infuriates her older brother’s best friend Landon Grainger, who happens to be a member of the town’s law enforcement. As more clues surface that Piper’s brother may be as innocent as she claims, she and Landon must find a way to work together to unravel the increasingly murky mystery surrounding the murder without becoming victims themselves.
From the very first page, Pettrey draws the readers into the suspense and drama surrounding the murder and the search to find the killer. The suspense carries throughout the book and is intertwined with traditional elements of a romance novel as Landon and Piper try to solve the mystery of their own feelings while looking for a murderer. Watching the characters follow their hearts and stumble along, all the while trying to find or cling to faith in God and each other, gave the story a sense of realism that some novels lack. No one is perfect and life is full of challenges and heartache, something this book shows beautifully.
I haven’t read the first book in this series yet, but the story was easy to follow without prior knowledge of the McKenna family or the events in the previous book. At first the sheer number of characters was a bit overwhelming, but I quickly became acquainted with them and was easily able to keep track of who they were and how they were connected to each other. Many of the McKenna siblings, as well as Landon, seemed to feel the need to always be in charge, which created stumbling blocks when they needed to work together, but I was impressed with the growth shown by all of the characters by the end of the story.
Overall, this is an amazing book that I found difficult to put down. The way the author balanced the suspense and the romance while setting up for the next book in the series impressed me and left me wanting to read more of her work. If you’re a fan of romantic suspense novels, you’ll love this book.