Shattered is the second book in the Alaskan Courage series by Pettrey. I did not read the first book, Submerged, but that really didn’t have any effect on grasping the characters and plot of this story as some background is given along the way.
The plot revolves around the murder of the mysterious Karli Davis, a well known skiier on the circuit. It seemed that she really didn’t allow people to know her very well and we eventually find out why. The last person known to be with Karli was Reef McKenna and he is quickly charged with the crime. Sheriff Slidell, eager for reelection and a fast wrap-up to the case, pushes for a speedy trial, but Deputy Landon Grainger, a friend of the McKenna family, and Reef’s sister, Piper, take it upon themselves (with the rest of the McKennas and friends) to investigate further to find the real criminal.
Beginning in Yancey, Alaska, the sleuthing takes the group into the wilds of Canada, the Pacific Northwest, and California and the reader gets some insight into the ways of the ski and boarding circuit and the elements of nature that can occur in the frigid wilderness. One can understand the rallying of the family behind Reef to prove his innocence, sometimes to the point of facing extreme danger – Piper, especially, seemed unwary at times. I appreciated the twists of the investigation which ended up in a place where I would never have dreamed of at the beginning of the book.
Romance takes a large role in the story as love is slowly revealed between Piper and Landon; however, I found it annoying when this had to creep into almost every movement of the plot. I thought both characters were unbelieveably coy and not forthcoming with each other. The author left us some threads to be followed in subsequent novels, such as Jake and his mysterious background and possible relationship with Kayden and Gage’s lack of faith and a potential relationship in the future with Darcy, the reporter.
For me, this was a quick read, but I could only rate it average. I would have liked to see more depth of character and a little more realism in the plot. ( I really tried to imagine myself digging out of an avalanche, dragging an unconscious man out of a pile of snow that was above his head, fashioning a sling out of a jacket and hauling this unconscious, well built man through a blizzard to an avalanche shelter that happened to be in the vicinity. Really?)
This book was kindly given to me by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.