Book Review: Submerged

submergedSubmerged is Dani Pettrey’s debut novel–an entertaining tale of romance and suspense. Upon receiving this book in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised to find an endorsement on the front cover by one of my favorite Christian fiction authors–Dee Henderson. She is quoted as saying, “Submerged is romantic suspense that will keep you up at night!”

You know what? She’s right.

I stayed up long past my bedtime engrossed in the story and turning each page with enthusiasm and anticipation.

Submerged is the story of a young woman’s return “home” after more than a decade of running away from her past. In the midst of her personal turmoil, Bailey Craig becomes entwined in a series of events–a plane crash, a murder (or maybe two…), the stolen diary of a Russian princess and the possibility of sunken treasure.

Pettrey’s characters were complex and surprisingly real, although I would have enjoyed seeing more growth in the hero, Cole Mackenna. Main character Bailey Craig was easy to identify with and cheer on as she worked through her struggles and raced against time to solve the mystery. Even more, the cast of supporting roles was far from disappointing as Pettrey managed to realistically develop numerous characters on the periphery without stealing the spotlight from our heroine.

The book’s beginning and climax are both action packed, although a good portion of the middle is more sedate–more sleuthing, research and clue gathering than real action. But in the end, I believe the mix made for an adventurous and entertaining plot while still putting the emphasis on character development and the theme of forgiveness. On top of that, I’m a sucker for a new or unusual setting where I learn a little more about our world, culture and history. I had no idea what a rich Russian history was present in Alaska and I can thank Pettrey for educating me on that front!

I would absolutely recommend Submerged as a great beach read this summer. I look forward to following Pettrey’s writing career and reading the next book in the Alaskan Courage series!

I received a complimentary copy of Submerged from Bethany House Publishers, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.

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