Chesapeake Valor #3
I received this book from Bethany House, which does not impact my review.
Back in the spring, I received Still Life from BH and reviewed it; before I read that one I went ahead and read the first book, Cold Shot. I would definitely recommend reading these books as a series, as I think they would be a bit confusing as standalones. They focus on the same group of friends, and their relationships build and evolve throughout the series. I actually went back and reread Still Life before jumping into Blind Spot, just to get myself back up to speed.
Overall, I like these books and am comfortable with the 3.5/5 rating I have given them all, including this one. They are decent mysteries with an engaging group of characters, but really lack a solid focus within the story.
Throughout the second book, I found myself irritated as the main mystery was actually quite intriguing – but Pettrey kept veering off into this entirely unrelated mystery with these people who were smuggling terrorists. In Blind Spot, the terrorist plot becomes the main one, but this time she kept flipping to yet another completely unrelated mystery about this guy who gets murdered. The secondary mystery in both cases comes across as filler/padding/a way to keep other characters busy and involved, and the primary mystery suffers because of it. Switching to the secondary plot throws off the pacing of the primary, and consistently feels like we are just killing time. I really, really wish that Pettrey would just focus on the primary mystery, because in both books this could have been filled out and made a lot more intense.
In this book, there was also this weird situation where a guy gets murdered while a bunch of the characters on a retreat. There is a possibility that instead of murder, it’s actually suicide and the dead guy killed other people before killing himself. Yet despite the fact that all the main characters of the book knew this dead guy really well, and despite the fact that he may be a murderer, they are all allowed to process the crime scene?? This felt completely unrealistic (since they would have a strong motive for contaminating the crime scene to make sure the dead guy doesn’t get blamed for murder), and it’s weird details like that that throw off the overall groove of the story.
Even though I’ve been griping about it, I really did enjoy reading this book. I like all of the characters and have enjoyed watching them come together. Throughout the first two books, we find out bits and pieces about another good friend of theirs who disappeared several years earlier. This whole plot comes back into play in Blind Spot, and left me really intrigued to find out how things are going to wrap up in the end.
I’m looking forward to reading the fourth book when it appears, and still intend to eventually check out some of Pettrey’s other books as well.