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Still Life (Chesapeake Valor Series #2)

Still Life (Chesapeake Valor Series #2)

4.8 21
by Dani Pettrey

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Romantic Suspense's Rising Star Continues to Win Fans

Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright—and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became


Romantic Suspense's Rising Star Continues to Win Fans

Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright—and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead—and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. Worse, her friend can't be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the second installment of her Chesapeake Valor series, Pettrey picks events up six months after the end of Cold Shot with Avery Tate returning to the Baltimore art scene at the request of her friend, Skylar Pierce. She is no longer Parker Mitchell’s crime scene photographer, since she realized her deep feelings for him weren’t reciprocated, but when a disturbing photo is found in the place of the original at a gallery opening where Skylar was supposed to showcase her art, Avery calls in Parker. Unable to ignore her plea for help, Parker is divided between his affection for Avery and the love that he still feels for Jenna McCray. Skylar’s case takes them both down the twisting path of the past and present, pulling in the rest of the investigative team from Cold Shot, with each member using a different area of expertise to help uncover the truth about Skylar and the switched photograph. Pettrey has a knack for keeping the reader one step behind the unfolding mystery, and the romance between Parker and Avery is a nice relief from the mounting danger that the case reveals. Their history, and their constant reminders of faith and God’s love, makes the romance that much sweeter and heartwarming. Agent: Janet Kobobel Grant, Books & Such. (Feb.)

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Chesapeake Valor Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Dani Pettrey is the bestselling author of the Alaskan Courage series and winner of the 2014 Daphne du Maurier award for Inspirational Novel, the 2014 Christian Retailing's Best Award for Suspense, and the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel. She and her husband reside in the D.C. Metro area. She can be found online at www.danipettrey.com.

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Still Life 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
inkwellreviews 9 days ago
Review from inkwellreviews.com (Christian book review site) After reading Cold Shot, I was ecstatic to read Still Life. Dani Pettrey is my favorite author, which means I hold her to very high expectations. I can now gladly tell you that I absolutely loved this book! If you love suspense and adventure, then this is another book that you can read and re-read. This book is about the whole gang, but it focuses on Parker and Avery. Avery’s friend goes missing and she asks Parker to help her find her. This story is not your typical suspense, which I love. It has just the right amount of suspense and romance without overdoing it. I only have one, small and insignificant, problem with it. Avery and Parker were never a “thing” in Cold Shot. Of course, the book implied that they were going to become one but it never said that they were even close. Then, as you read Still Life, you realize that they are in love with each other and have been for a really long time. It was just really abrupt and sudden. There are a lot of characters in these books and it can get confusing at some points, but once you get to know them, you will be glad that they are included. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope you do too.
MaureenST 21 hours ago
This is the second book in this series that I have read, and yes it is just as good as the first, and once you turn that first page, you won’t be putting it down. Now if you haven’t read the first book, don’t worry, enough information is given that you won’t be lost, but you will be wanting to read Cold Shot! There are a couple of stories going on here, as there would be in real life, but for Avery this one is personal, one of her friends is missing, and she is feeling guilty about it. Avery has found Christ and has turned her life around, and we can only hope she shared with Skylar, as this story revolves around the picture of her in death. Did you ever have the feeling that someone was watching you, Avery better start looking over her shoulder, but why, and who is doing this? We take a jagged trail to find the answers here, but all the while we keep hoping for romance between Avery and Parker, whom I would love to hear him talk! From the first to the last page the book will have you page turning with you heart in your throat, and yes you have to get to the end to get the answers, and now we have to wait for the next book in this series. I received this book through Bethany House Publishing and their Blogging Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
mymissdaisy 2 days ago
Get ready for a fast paced ride. From beginning to the end the read will be on a roller coaster of twists and turns. Just the kind of ride I love in a suspense novel! I am an old fan on Dani Pettrey so when I was offered this book by Bethany House and Baker Publishing. I signed up as fast as I could! The story is intriguing from page one drawing this reader in. The storyline of Avery's search for her missing best friend is the main focus but there is another story that pulls in the characters from book 1. Of course I loved the main characters Avery and Parker. I kind of think you almost have to really like the main characters to enjoy a book. I loved their banter in a stressful situation they kept their cool and worked in a professional manner especially Avery is 'gritty' getting 'the job' done. The romance develops through the story even though they each have struggles from their past that conflict with their hopes of a future together. All ends well though. That's what makes a good romance! But there is a negative. I am truly sorry to say but I wouldn't be writing an honest review if I didn't share my honest thoughts. Mainly there are it seems too many characters to keep up with. There are actually two different stories going on a terrorist and smuggling along with the search for Avery's missing friend. The thing I thought was negative is I couldn't keep the characters straight. All the characters were introduced in book one. I wish I had the opportunity to read it first. I would have enjoyed Still Life much more and could liked/enjoyed all the characters more. I recommend reading book 1 Cold Shot first which introduces all the characters in Still Life along with one missing character Luke. Book 1 is on my 'wish list'. I was left expecting book 3 to pull all the loose ends together. I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House.
Sara2117 3 days ago
As soon as I picked ‘Still Life,’ up I couldn’t put it down. The twists and turns kept me guessing for hours, my fingers desperate to pull at the threads dangling in front of me until they had all unraveled like a worn quilt and the killer was unmasked. The heart-pounding thrill of the book mixed with the tender romance between Parker and Avery was balanced so perfectly that I never get bored for a second. These are the books I look for, the ones that continually stump me until the very end. (What fun is it if you see it coming?) And while reading this book got to put on my Detective hat and use my magnifying glass to examine the clues which is something I never say no to. What I love about Dani’s characters is that they’re so complex and fleshed out, not devoid of emotion and robot like. They hurt, love and change, and it’s amazing to follow along on the journey. I couldn’t recommend her or her books more. You’ll just have to find out for yourself.
GrandaddyA 7 days ago
The suspense is spell-binding, the excitement is tangible, romance is in the air, the action is tense, and the faith of the major characters is challenging. What more can you ask for in a Christian romance suspense novel? I have read reviews, and possibly have written some, in which the reviewer says she couldn’t put the book down. This story falls into that category but the more truthful statement for me is that I had to simply find a place and stop in order to take care of other essential things in life like eating and sleeping. I don’t read fast enough to read a book of several hundred pages in one sitting. I would have read this one like that if I was capable. I think the idea is to end chapters or sections in such a way that the reader wants to get back to the book as soon as possible. Dani Pettrey does not disappoint. As the second in her Chesapeake Valor series, she continues the fast action and exciting dialog we found in the first book, as well as in her previous Alaskan Courage series. I feel like I am right there with the characters as she lays the story out in great detail. The details are not always rosy as in her description of the photo of Avery Tate’s friend, but they cause the suspense to mount and the reader is drawn deeper into the story of the search for her friend. The interaction of the various members of the Charm City Investigations team reveals colleagues who are ideally suited for the work they do and for working with each other. Their camaraderie reveals a working relationship that almost anyone would love to find. The story left me wanting more. Waiting for the next book in the series will be difficult.
girlsmama 8 days ago
Still Life, Dani Pettrey’s second offering in The Chesapeake Valor series brings us to a pretty dark place in the life of Avery Tate, a crime-scene photographer, in terms of the things this character is facing in this story. Avery’s long time childhood friend Skylar had invited her to one of Skylar’s first real breaks, a modeling shoot in a big wig photographer’s special art showing with the theme being “Black Dahlia” where all of the featured models appear to be dead. Her friend Skylar’s shot is most compelling and rather chilling. The problem is that Skylar does not show up for the opening and Skylar’s photograph on display was not the photograph taken by the photographer showing his work that night. As Avery becomes more and more concerned for the safety of her friend, since she is nowhere to be found, she calls in Parker Mitchell, a crime scene analyst who is very good at what he does and whom she had formerly worked for. She chose to leave his employ as she felt her feelings for him deepen, not sure if he was capable of having feelings for her ,as he had lost his first true love in a murder situation in which he always held guilt at not being able to protect her. As Parker comes in to help Avery out with the investigation, both he and Avery, with God’s help, bring walls down in their relationship and let the other see who they really are. My thoughts on this book are that once again it’s another Dani Pettrey book that I really liked, I really enjoy how the author develops her characters. They are complex and coming from places of brokenness. Both Avery and Parker have their issues that they are working through- Avery coming to terms with her “girl from the wrong side of the tracks” upbringing- to Parker, laying down the guilt of his former love and opening up his heart to a new one. I know this is terrible to say but I also really enjoyed how she created her “villain”, I really don’t want to give too much away, but there was some pretty off-putting thought processes going on with this character. It lent some very realness to him- really creepy- but good, and done well! She also left us with some sort of haunting loose ends that make me wonder if we will encounter him again in the future. And as always with Pettrey’s writing, we get a few twists and turns thrown in there for good measure and it keeps you on your toes in terms of learning who the “bad guy” really is. I look forward to every Dani Pettrey book and so will be looking forward to the release of Blind Spot in the fall, which will be telling Tanner and Declan’s story- can’t wait! *4.5 stars I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Blooming-with-Books 11 days ago
Suspense will keep you reading through the night! Still Life Chesapeake Valor #2 By Dani Pettrey Someone is out there. Watching her. WAITING. Avery Tate has left behind her work with Parker Mitchell - she can't compete with his memories of Jenna McCary. But when her best friend doesn't show at the art exhibit where she's a featured model, Avery knows something is wrong. But when the police refuse to take her concerns seriously based on Skylar's past Avery turns to the one person she knows will help her - Parker. But the evidence that they uncover leads to more questions than answers. And it appears that Skylar's past may have finally caught up to her - a past that Avery feels responsible for. Can they pull the clues together in time to save Skylar or is the exhibit photo a hint that they are too late? As the team works the case, Special Agent Declan Grey has another case come up that could have far reaching implications. A person with known terrorist ties has managed to slip into the country and unless they act fast he could disappear leaving destruction in his wake. And when an unexpected link to the past is found connecting to this case the chances of mere coincidence slight. But what could the long unexplained disappearance of Luke have to do with smuggled refugees, a dead federal agent, and a terrorist? Still Life could be even more suspenseful than the first book in the Chesapeake Valor series Cold Shot. The list of suspects is long and the reasons behind possible motivation plausible. Get ready for a case that might be impossible to prove unless the killer made a mistake. If you've read the first book in the series you have to read this one and reading the books in order is a necessity. And this book will be one that will keep you reading - it is most definitely a "one more chapter and then I'll put it down book" and the put down comes when the last page is turned.
BrittanyMc 16 days ago
Wow! What a chillingly suspenseful novel! Still Life is book two in the Chesapeake Valor series and it was great to return to the characters that were introduced in book one, Cold Shot. I do believe that readers could read Still Life as a stand alone novel if desired and follow along just fine, however, I highly recommend reading Cold Shot, as it was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, too. I loved the dynamic between Avery and Parker. They had great chemistry together on the pages. Both of these characters had interesting back stories. Parker’s revolved around the tragic and violent loss of his first love, while Avery worried that her troubled past would come to light and send Parker running from her. There was great emotional depth in these two characters. The author allowed glimpses into the villain’s thoughts thoughout the book and that added to the creepy factor – in a good way! It really emphasized the darkness that he carried in him. The crime that this team was trying to solve was such a strange and unique scenario. It made for a very memorable novel full of twists and turns that kept me anxiously turning the pages! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
KatrinaEpperson 18 days ago
This is the second installment in the Chesapeake Valor series from Dani Pettrey. She brings us a thrilling suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat. The Chesapeake Valor series centers around 4 young boys who grew up together and formed a bond that they thought would last a lifetime. Each had a dream of what the future held for them until one went missing. Dani Pettrey weaves words together that show how deep childhood bonds can run and how they will influence our lives as adults. This is Parker's story. Yes, Parker is definitely a character that's easy to love. He also has a past that he can't forget. The only problem is, how do you move on from a tragedy that has defined you? I loved this story!! The setting is the Chesapeake Shore and this story centers around Parker and Avery. As the story opens Avery is finding things more complicated than she ever imagined and turns to Parker for his help. This gripping thriller flows effortlessly with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the end. These characters while strong and well developed are also very complex. Parker on the surface seems like a dream, but he's hiding a past that he can neither forget nor forgive himself for. He's known as a guy who just can't commit, but few know the true story. Avery Tate is a beautiful, young woman who has literally beat the odd and is a girl with a checkered past. She grew up in a less than desirable neighborhood and ran away from home at a young age. At the age of 19 she was introduced to Christ and it changed her life completely. Unfortunately the past has a way of sneaking up and smacking you in the face and for Avery this is very true. The author has a unique talent for penning a story that literally comes to life. This story has elements of forgiveness, romantic tension, mystery, suspense, faith and love. Each element will pull the reader in deeper into the story. This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a good suspense, but I will warn you that once you pick it up you won't want to put it down. ** I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
iStudyScripture 18 days ago
Still Life is Dani Pettrey's edgiest novel to date. Inspired by The Black Dahlia, The story opens at a macabre art show in which a photographer has attempted to capture the beauty of death. Shock ripples through the gallery on opening night when it’s discovered that one of the pieces has been replaced with a fake. When Skylar, who appears to have modeled for both the original and forgery fails to appear, her friend Avery becomes concerned—something about the second portrait is eerily unsettling. Thus the stage is set for crime thriller that is rather unusual for it's genre. The most notable deviation from the Christian fiction formula for romantic suspense is the dark subject matter. I would go as far as to say Still Life leans towards a psychological thriller. There's an undeniable attraction between Parker and Avery, but I felt the primary suspect's morbid fascination with death almost upstaged their romance. Furthermore, Avery and Skylar’s checkered pasts exemplify the difference between a life redeemed by Christ and one lived in the flesh. Aside from Parker and Avery; Declan, Finley, Kate, Tanner, and Griffin (who is now a homicide detective) also reunite to collaborate on this case. With Pettrey’s knack for bringing new readers up to speed, Still Life could stand on its own. However, in order to have a more complete understanding of the secondary storyline which involves Luke, refugees, and a terrorist plot, I advise beginning with Cold Shot. In summary, Still Life is an edgy, suspense/romance sure to satisfy those who crave diversity in Christian fiction. The darker tones of the novel do not diminish the author’s overarching message surrounding Avery’s character. That is, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). I look forward to the continuation of the Chesapeake Valor series. Many thanks Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.
Butterflyblogger 18 days ago
Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright--and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart. Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead--and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. Worse, her friend can't be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat. This is the second book in the Chesapeake Valor Series. It's not necessary to read the first book in the series. But it was would be beneficial. There are a lot of characters to keep straight and without reading the first book it could get confusing. I read the first book and it took me a little bit to get up to speed on the characters. Overall it was a very good book. I am anxious to read the next book in the series. I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.
Anonymous 19 days ago
As my mother steps deeper into the room, each and every single one of the men returns to their job, daring only a few sparse looks my direction. Even then, they were all very brief.<p>"Trystan Elyzabeth," my mom murmurs, "oh, Trystan Elyzabeth..."<p>The boy from earlier- Myles, I believe it was- glances in my direction for a little bit longer than the five seconds everyone else permitted themselves. His gaze, steady and hard, manages to be apologetic, and his lips move in a silent apology before he returns to talking with someone else.<p>Under different circumstances, had things been 'normal' compared to this, I might've found it in my heart to forgive him. But he was one of them. He was one of the men who had gagged me, bound me, turned me in to...<p>Who?<p>Who wanted me?<p>Why?<p>Before these questions can bubble back into mind full force, Mom motions for one of the strange men to ungag me.<p>While numb, a sudden burst of freedom comes to me, and I move my mouth up and down slowly, trying to awaken my senses slowly but surely.<p>"Where am I? What's going on? Who are these men and what do they want with me?"<p>I could kind of assume at least a little bit of it, but I didn't want to believe it. At least until she said it herself.<p>She smirks and presses down on the table until it's like I'm standing on my own two feet while still being bound to this cold, hard, flat surface. I can now see half of the room in full, perfect clarity.<p>It's a pretty simple room with wooden floors, walls, and ceiling, a wooden door... no windows to illuminate everything, but the room is still pretty bright.<p>"Welcome to the headquarters of Time Flies," one of the men starts on Mom's signal, "where we observe time, what it is and how it works, what lived in it before and what lives in it now, and, when the right information is available, what will live in it in later years."<p>Myles gestures to a large bookshelf just to the right of the doorway, all the shelves filled with tomes upon tomes of books and papers.<p>"These are our records," Myles begins, "we have gone through all birth certificates, all the books, any sort of source that can tell us of the human race throughout the years and recorded them here in these books."<p>"But, Trystan," Mom interjects, "we have all been noticing a theme running through some of the people, and we want more information that, perhaps, you could provide?"<p>I go dead still, a bad feeling writhing in the pits of my gut.<p>Mom takes that time to expertly pry two pieces of rope apart, far enough for my Mark to be perfectly visible to everyone. I was suddenly aware that I had forgotten to wear gloves to cover it up.<p>You would think it was my mother who made me wear gloves to cover the Mark, but it was actually my dad who did. He always had long sleeves on, I realized, and never forced Marta or Mom to wear goves...<p>He was trying to protect me, I realize in a moment of clarity. He was the only one who knew of the Mark.<p>And now they all knew because of my stupidity.<p>"Tell me, Trystan," my mother's voice is a low, menacing hiss, "tell me what you know about this Mark."<p>"Never," I breathe back, mostly because even if I did know more about it, I wouldn't tell her.<p>"Boys, let's go," she said, then to me, she hissed, "you have one hour to change your mind until you meet the same fate as your father."<p>As they marched out of the room, she untied a rope that let down a noose.<p>Attached to that noose was my dad.
Anonymous 19 days ago
Can't wait for the next one!!
dhiggins4 19 days ago
Still Life is a captivating and suspenseful read. I was hooked from the first page. This was a book I couldn’t put down. I couldn’t wait to find out “who done it”. This is the second book in the Chesapeake Series. I have read all of Dani Pettrey’s books. I love all of them, but I have to say, this one is my favorite so far. Dani writes in a way that captivates you and keeps you wanting to continue reading until the end of the book! This book starts with Avery going to an art show to see her best friend, Skylar. When she gets there, she sees pictures of Skylar, but she isn’t there. The story follows Avery and her friend, Parker, trying to find Skylar. The whole gang from Cold Shot (the first book in the Chesapeake Series) get involved and help Avery and Parker in the hunt for Skylar. There are twists and turns in trying to solve this mystery. I definitely recommend this book to everyone! I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
train_lady 20 days ago
Another solid hit for Dani Pettrey. This second in the Chesapeake Valor series didn't start with as much action as the first (Cold Shot), but it steadily built the suspense as clues were discovered. There were actually two plots in this book. The main one which centered around the missing friend of Avery, and the other involving a smuggled terrorist. I thought I had the main case solved early on, and was just waiting for Pettrey to confirm my guess. But, Pettrey is a master at keeping secrets to the end. You will be surprised, and delighted with this book. Oh, Pettrey is also terrific at character development, and it was a joy to see that happen with the several people involved in solving these mysteries. The "team" was introduced in "Cold Shot" and I'd recommend reading that book first just to enjoy their company more as you read this one.
Heidi_Reads 20 days ago
Let me start off by saying that Still Life can be read on its own, but I highly recommend reading the first book in the series, Cold Shot, to get a greater understanding of the cast of characters. That's where we first meet Avery and Parker with their palpable chemistry despite traumatic pasts preventing them from acting on their feelings. I also want to point out that I really appreciated that the author didn't rehash or summarize the entire plot from Cold Shot in Still Life, only brief mentions of how the characters had connected, so even if you read the books out of order the story hasn't been spoiled. I think this would also intrigue a reader who hasn't read the first book and make them want to experience Griffin and Finley's story. (It actually made me want to go back and read it again!) I enjoyed the camaraderie between the members of the group of friends that worked together to solve the many angles of the case. It definitely balanced out the anxiety I felt from the suspense and creepiness of the crime. I noticed much less tension in their relationships than the first book when they were initially reunited. Now they are supportive with each other both socially and professionally. The details of the step-by-step investigation never felt mundane, but exciting as each revealed a deeper aspect in the plot. Some occasional glimpses into the mind of the villain also ramped up the anticipation as the story moved swiftly forward. A separate FBI case is explored simultaneously by Declan and Tanner which really got the pace hopping and provided an introduction to their fledgling relationship. There are several twists in the case and Parker and Avery are practically inseparable as they partner up for their tasks in uncovering the mystery. It gives them plenty of opportunity to experience reawakened feelings and angst over what is keeping them apart. Fortunately their shared faith plays a major role in helping them overcome mental obstacles that were holding them back. There is a strong theme of redemption through Christ and forgiveness of self in their conversations that exhibited the respect they held for each other and their beliefs. Their romance takes a backseat to the intensity of the suspense plot, but they have their fair share of special moments ;) I loved the setting of Baltimore, and the descriptions the author subtly included of the urban environment, the landscape, and even the influence of the weather conditions gave me a strong sense of the location and just how different it is from what I'm used to. I was drawn to the details of photography and art in the story, but it was also disturbing to see how they were used to represent the subject matter of death in a grotesque manner. Still Life is a book that kept me glued to the pages and I'm so excited to discover what's in store for Declan and Tanner in the next book, Blind Spot! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
JustCommonly 23 days ago
Still Life by Dani Pettrey is chilling suspense to the core. It's not gruesome, but definitely suspenseful! I'll get it right out. I had goosebumps on several scenes, and they're the good kind where you're so "immerse in a story" kind. Not only for the story of the mystery of the photo or the missing friend, but also for the different characters in Still Life. Parker and Avery are the couple to follow. When the heart aches and separation doesn't seem to heal it, it's surprising how we can relate to the emotions of the characters so well. I was drawn into their background and their connection from the get go. From Avery's personal strength and courage to leave the life she had once to who she is today, we see grace in play. How do you move beyond that life? When we learn more about what's keeping Parker and Avery from being more than colleagues, we realize the past is not yet the past. "Your past is...in your past...it's what made you who you are." (82) A story with developed characters and of strong characters, not only for our featured couple, but also Declan and Tanner who's chemistry is sizzling in this story! Can't wait to read more in the next one! We have characters that jumps out of the page, and then when we're wondering about an aspect of the case on hand, several twists presents another case. The suspense of the author's writing intrigues this group of friends and colleagues that tries to solve not one but case on hand, while figuring out their hearts in the process. "Because I don't make sense without you..." (145) Trust me when I say there's no stopping for air or a snack break when you pick up Still Life. You'll want to finish the story, find out what happens between Parker and Avery, currently as well as in the past, and find out the mystery behind all the cases. Then you stop and look up when will Book 3 come out. Don't miss this one! Finally, let me say that I've read an ARC of this book, which is basically a proof copy. I'm not suppose to quote any passages in this book. There were a few more passages I wanted to share, but that would probably not be the best idea. So if there are errors in the words or the pages, please forgive me. Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Jaquelyn 24 days ago
This book was nearly impossible to put down. Still Life is the second book in the Chesapeake Valor series. I did read the first book and couldn't wait for this one to come out. That being said you can totally enjoy this book as a stand alone as well. The series follows a group of friends that all specialize in various areas relating to solving crime. I love seeing the relationships between the friends, and how they support each other. From page one I was hooked. Pettrey kept me on the edge of my seat and I had fun trying to figure out who was behind the mystery. This book follows Avery and Parker as they try to find her missing friend, and figure out what she was up to before her disappearance. The last thing Avery wanted to do was show her face in the art scene after what happened the last time she did. But when her best friend lands the gig of a lifetime she knows she has to support her. The question is where is she? When Avery begins to think something is amiss she turns to the one man she knows she can trust. Parker is great at what he does, and Avery knows he will take her seriously. Seeing him is good, and having him by her side is amazing. If only there wasn't stuff standing in the way of them being together. Can the team solve the mystery before others get hurt? Or will they all pay the biggest price possible, their lives? I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspense with a little romance mixed in. The characters drew me in, and I found myself wishing I knew people like them. Nothing felt rushed, and the romance was believable and unique. I can't wait to see what Pettrey comes up with next. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own completely.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 24 days ago
From Dani Pettrey's very first book, I knew this was an author I wanted to follow and my opinion has only been reinforced with each new book she writes. This is the second in her 'Chesapeake Valor' series and it's just tremendous. Avery Tate has been blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot when she answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. Crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her and it was a turning point in her life. Six months ago, however, her strong feelings for Parker caused her to leave his employ to sort our her heart. Now, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend a gallery opening of a photography exhibit and to support her best friend, who has modeled for the show. But...the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her as if dead...and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. And now, her friend is missing. She immediately calls Parker for help. She, Parker and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery and find themselves face to face with a relentless and deadly threat. There is more than one crime going on in this story, a fact which makes this ride even more thrilling. We meet other members of the team that we saw in the last book, which I just loved. I also am trying to guess which member will be the focus of the next book! Dani Pettrey knows what she's doing. Her characters are very well developed, the entire cast of them, and the reader feels a huge part of the story. She has even created secondary characters that, sometimes, the reader just can't stand. She's good at what she does, let me tell you. Pettrey deftly weaves layer up on layer of suspense, careening down the path rapidly to a conclusion that is both satisfying and thrilling, with a culprit you never would guess. Her spiritual message is powerful as well. The reader can glean deep truths from her books. I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute and now I look forward to what Dani Pettrey has for her readers next. * I was given a preview copy of this book. My review is honest and my opinions my own.
Nutz2read 3 months ago
I was so excited to read this book after loving Cold Shot, the first book in Dani Pettrey’s Chesapeake Valor series. I adore diving into a new series and meeting new characters, but there’s just something about the second book in a series, where you’ve already met the characters and kind of know them and now you have the chance for them to become dear friends. And these characters definitely do that in this book! I was so stoked to dive into Parker and Avery’s story and found I didn’t want to come up for air after opening the first page. The story takes off and left me hanging on and occasionally scrambling to catch up and remember what all was happening. I loved the dual mystery going on, and how Ms. Pettrey managed to bring all of the loose ends together in a way that left me simultaneously sighing at the ending and wanting to know when Declan’s book would be releasing. One of my very favorite things about Ms. Pettrey’s writing is how she creates this community of characters in her series and has them stepping in and out of each story. This book was primarily Parker and Avery’s, but it was also a little bit Declan’s and a little bit Kate’s, with Finley and Griffith stepping in to help and letting us keep track of where they’re story is going. Everyone is back from the first book, along with Tanner, who brings an intriguing expectation for the next book, and the mystery of the fourth friend that is carrying over. As aforementioned, I immensely enjoyed the mysteries and the twists and turns, therein. I appreciated the detail the author put into the story for both cases, explaining some of the procedures to clue in the curious, without bogging down the story with information. I was left guessing “whodunit” throughout the book and I was so close! I loved reading a book that left me thinking, and rethinking, and trying to guess motive, and wondering if I was right, and then that surprise ending just blew my plotting out of the water! Despite how thoroughly Ms. Pettrey tied up all of the loose ends with the mystery, I did think a couple of the personal issues with Avery and Parker were glossed over a bit, in order to keep the story flowing. I would’ve actually been okay with the suspense taking a break for a few pages in order to bring a bit more resolution to their relationship. Though with the way the author keeps the characters consistent and continuing to play leading roles in each book, I’m hopeful more of it will carry over into the next book. And I’m really hoping Declan’s book will be next (hint,hint)! Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed romantic suspense with a mystery that will keep you guessing! My thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House for my advanced copy of this book! I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
MrsTina42MR 3 months ago
Still Life #2 Chesapeake Valor Series***** by Dani Pettrey At one time Avery Tate worked along side crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell as his crime scene photographer, until her heart gets involved resulting in her leaving the job—and the man—she loves behind. But when she attends a gallery opening to support her best friend, Skylar Pierce who modeled for the show, only to find the painting missing—as well as Skylar—she calls Parker to help find her. Little does Avery or Parker yet realize the dangerous path they are about to stumble onto. I love the chemistry between Parker and Avery but they let their past heartaches and choices dictate the present. I especially like how Parker reminds Avery that since she has turned her life over to Jesus she has been forgiven of her past—not telling. Now Parker needs to let go of some things in his own past and allow healing. I appreciate the way spiritual elements are woven within the storyline. Parker's law enforcement friends assist in searching clues within their various expertise....the team from Cold Shot (which I nicknamed the Valor-Team) Declan, Griffin, and Parker (Luke is still missing), along with the ladies Kate, Tanner, Finley and Avery. But are they on the right trail or is there another suspect they should pursue? Who can they believe? Suspense and danger builds with more questions than answers (I found myself on the edge of my seat, at times holding my breath) until they locate the suspects secret hideaway. What they find is chilling.….then steps behind her,”Hello Avery”...OH, chills!! At this point I had to put the book down and catch my breath, but I didn't stay away long as I wanted to see what happened. Just when I thought I had figured out who did it a surprise twist was thrown in with an unexpected ending. Wow! I didn't think Dani Pettrey could top Cold Shot but she did with Still Life! What will she do with the next book, Blind Spot? I await with bated breath. ~I received an ARC copy of the book from the author, (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
tiggeruoSO 3 months ago
Such and amazing read Avery has moved on from working for Parker, she knew she could not stay knowing she could never ever be part of Parker's life without being with him. When her best friend goes missing and it seems no one will listen she reaches out to Parker she knows he will help, or at least she hopes he will. Parker know one thing is for certain he has to get Avery back in his life, but he wonders if he is being fair to Jenna's honor. Can he find love again? When she reaches out to help find her friend he knows he needs his friends help to find whats going on. Will they be able to get to the bottom to all of this or will more end up missing or dead? My favorite crime fighting team is BACK!!!! This story is very different from the first book in the first book you have one murder and a few possible killers and a reason why, it this book you have two cases that the team is working together to figure out. One of the stories is a little dark and a little twisted (this being the main story). The second one seems a little cut in dry but it also seems like they are missing something in both cases. Seriously could not get enough of this book, it was on the edge of your seat and I needed to know what happened. I also felt at one point I thought I knew what was going to happen and nope the author through a wrench into it and oh wow. The storyline was so amazingly written and so remarkable I can not wait to read more. You really can not go wrong with series. If you have never read anything by Dani Pettrey she is easily compared to Dee Henderson or Terri Blackstock.