Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Review: "Submerged"

Submerged (Alaskan Courage)
I knew I was running a risk when I requested a copy of "Submerged" by Dani Pettrey, a new author on the Christian fiction scene. But the synopsis of the book captured my interest...

A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers. 

One single clue.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget. She's returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart...but doesn't seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago. And he's not the same guy she left behind. 

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.

Mystery. Suspense. Adventure. Rugged nature. A little bit of romance. All wound together with faith. So I decided to try it. And I couldn't put it down. Battling a severe ear infection this weekend, I struggled to get comfortable enough to sleep, so I decided to read to get my mind off the pain as my meds started working. And I was hooked within the first few chapters. 

Bailey has started a new life through the power of God's redemption, but no one in her hometown knows that, and she doesn't want to stir back up the pain of her past. When her aunt suddenly passes away, she has to return, but plans on it being for as short of a time as possible. Once back, other events start happening, and Bailey is drawn into finding out what is really going on behind the crime and rising body count in a normally calm tourist town. One of the other main characters, Cole, had been a quality guy she'd known in high school before she had gone off the deep end into the partying life, and now they both aren't sure how to rebuild a friendship. But they start working together, and of course in the midst of solving the mysteries surrounding the events in town, they start talking more. Their conversations were pretty realistic and honest, and I was encouraged by the forgiveness, hope, and health that came about through their developing relationship... Especially the Christian faith aspect of the book was refreshing to read because it wasn't the often-used pat church answers you find in some Christian fiction, it was woven throughout in a non-preachy way, while also being real and not just the "insert name of God here so this can be a Christian book" type either.

I just loved this book. Writing a review without giving away too much of the story line is hard. This book was quality, had different elements than a lot of other Christian fiction books, intriguing historical twists about Russian-Alaskan history, and was just plain good. So if you see it at your library, have Amazon gift cards, or live local to me :-), take a chance and read it, and let me know what you think! This is a book I don't think you will regret! My only disappointment is that the second book isn't coming out until February 2013!!!

* I received a copy of this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest review. This review is completely my own, and all the opinions expressed in it are mine and not Bethany House!

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