Still Life

Still Life

Work hits too close to home for crime scene photographer Avery Tate when her best friend disappears. The only lead is a chilling photo of her--apparently dead. As Avery, her boss Parker, and his friends dig into the case, she's forced to confront her feelings for Parker when they come face-to-face with a dangerous criminal....

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Title:Still Life
Author:Dani Pettrey
Rating:
ISBN:0764212958
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:352 pages

Still Life Reviews

  • Hannah
    Feb 22, 2017

    What a ride! I couldn't put this one down. But stop: before you pick this one up, be sure you read the first book (Cold Shot) and get familiar with these characters. Many romantic suspense stories are written only in the POV of the two main characters, but this one has snippets from each of the crime-solving friends, which might be confusing for those who aren't already familiar with this fun group of characters.

    Also...yes, the crime is creepy. I've watched plenty of episodes of Criminal Minds,

    What a ride! I couldn't put this one down. But stop: before you pick this one up, be sure you read the first book (Cold Shot) and get familiar with these characters. Many romantic suspense stories are written only in the POV of the two main characters, but this one has snippets from each of the crime-solving friends, which might be confusing for those who aren't already familiar with this fun group of characters.

    Also...yes, the crime is creepy. I've watched plenty of episodes of Criminal Minds, First 48, Dateline, and CSI, so the crime really didn't bother me. However, if you're more of a White Collar, NCIS, Blue Bloods, or Psych fan, this guy might be more of a perp than you prefer to read about. If so, skip the confession in chapter 46. But if you read plenty of Irene Hannon, you're probably fine with it. (Her "Trapped" even got to me.)

    I really enjoyed seeing Parker and Avery grow closer. They showed off plenty of sparks in Cold Shot, and it's nice to see them come to fruition here. Now, it's Declan and Tanner shooting sparks and making me eager for their story in book three! We also have a few more hints about what might possibly have happened to their missing friend, Luke.

    Christianity: very strong, which of course I loved. Avery has a Past, but she has been born again and is learning to get beyond what happened back then. I really liked Parker encouraging her in her faith and her "new creation" status.

  • Dawn
    Feb 06, 2017

    My Thoughts:

    I've loved Dani Pettrey's books since I first discovered her with her debut novel. I know that I will get a book that is a page turner and well written. This one was no exception.

    While this one does stand alone in the series, I highly recommend reading book 1 first as Parker, Avery, and the rest are all introduced in that one. What can I say about this book? It was wonderful. I read it rather quickly, I love the relationship between Parker and his buddies as well as between Parker a

    My Thoughts:

    I've loved Dani Pettrey's books since I first discovered her with her debut novel. I know that I will get a book that is a page turner and well written. This one was no exception.

    While this one does stand alone in the series, I highly recommend reading book 1 first as Parker, Avery, and the rest are all introduced in that one. What can I say about this book? It was wonderful. I read it rather quickly, I love the relationship between Parker and his buddies as well as between Parker and Avery. There were so many times that my heart just broke for what Avery went through in her life. I love how what is one person's problem becomes everyone's because that's how Parker and his friends are.

    I cannot wait until the third book, Declan's story, comes out later this year!

    I received a copy of the book from the author to help promote. I was not required to like the book, only to give my honest opinion.

    Recommended to fans of Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, romantic suspense, Lynette Eason, Irene Hannon

    Rating - 4 stars

  • Amy
    Nov 09, 2016

    2.5 stars! I loved Dani's Alaskan Courage series and enjoyed the first book in this Chesapeake Valor series well enough, but I am honestly conflicted about and more than a little disturbed by this new book.

    On the one hand, it was a well written mystery that kept me up all hours and had me guessing until the very last page. I also enjoyed reconnecting with likable characters from the first book, and am intrigued by the long-term mystery of the missing friend that is unfolding across the entire se

    2.5 stars! I loved Dani's Alaskan Courage series and enjoyed the first book in this Chesapeake Valor series well enough, but I am honestly conflicted about and more than a little disturbed by this new book.

    On the one hand, it was a well written mystery that kept me up all hours and had me guessing until the very last page. I also enjoyed reconnecting with likable characters from the first book, and am intrigued by the long-term mystery of the missing friend that is unfolding across the entire series.

    But on the other hand, wow. This story was dark. DARK. In the most disturbing, disgusting, perverted ways imaginable. Seriously, now having finished it, I feel like I should pray for forgiveness for having ever read it in the first place. And I'm not just talking dark for a Christian novel; this is a full-blown horror story about a man who's basically a necrophiliac. Some genuine faith elements were attempted as the hero and heroine wrestled with being forgiven by Christ for their shady pasts and wondered if the victim ever had a relationship with Him. But far too much of this story dwelt on death, perversion, mutilation, and adoration of said death, perversion and mutilation, none of which really advanced the plot or moved the story forward, that by the time it came to the suspect's lengthy confession scene describing his crimes, I felt physically sick.

    Bottom line, while Pettrey is an author I love and Bethany House is a publisher I've known and trusted for decades, if I could un-read this book, I would. But since I can't, I can only pray to forget this story and its disturbing content as soon as possible. To that end I will be spending the next several nights cuddling with a teddy bear, binge-watching Hayley Mills movies, and meditating on Philippians 4:8.

  • Brittany
    Feb 07, 2017

    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 c

    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.

    You can read this review on my blog at:

  • Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
    Feb 02, 2017

    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 mention

    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)

  • Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
    Jan 24, 2017

    3.5 stars

    This is the second book in the Chesapeake Valor series. I loved the first book, Cold Shot, and I knew I would be coming back for more in this series. Dani Pettrey is one of my favorite authors in the Christian Fiction world.

    I have to say that this book gave me the willies. It was creepy and the whole plot was a little (or a whole lot) twisted and dark. This book felt a bit different than other books Pettrey has written and I can't say that I loved this book as much as previous books I'

    3.5 stars

    This is the second book in the Chesapeake Valor series. I loved the first book, Cold Shot, and I knew I would be coming back for more in this series. Dani Pettrey is one of my favorite authors in the Christian Fiction world.

    I have to say that this book gave me the willies. It was creepy and the whole plot was a little (or a whole lot) twisted and dark. This book felt a bit different than other books Pettrey has written and I can't say that I loved this book as much as previous books I've read, but it definitely had my attention.

    I do love how we have the same main characters in every book. They all work together and separately so we have a chance to know them all bit by bit. There were two different story lines happening here (actually, there were three but one is really in the background) so I'm anticipating the one that didn't reach a resolution will continue on as the main focus in the next book.

    This book has a lot of characters but I never felt like I was lost or couldn't keep track of who was who. It took me a quick minute to remember the previous book and how all these characters were interwoven, but once it started coming back, it was easy to relax into the story. Well, as relaxing as a creepy, twisted story can be.

    I read through this book quickly (but not at night!). I suspected everyone at some point or another of something and I didn't see that ending coming at all. Crazy! I will be coming back for the next book, I just hope the creepy, dark, twisted stuff is taken down a notch.

    Content: Violence, some graphic and disturbing scenes, murder. Innuendo, some references to drug use, sexual activity with no details. No swearing or profanity. Some light Christian elements- characters praying for help.

  • Susan Snodgrass
    Nov 19, 2016

    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 feelin

    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.

  • Toni Shiloh
    Jan 15, 2017

    What. An. Excellent. Read!!

    As much as I loved Cold Shot, Still Life was 10x better. Intrigue was prevalent from the opening line until the very last. My mind is still reeling from a portion near the end.

    I loved how Ms. Pettrey used multiple povs (point-of-view) to give us a glimpse of the group dynamics. In case you haven't read the first book (which you totally should), the group is made of Griffin, Declan, Parker, and the missing Luke...and of course, the ladies. And even though this book feat

    What. An. Excellent. Read!!

    As much as I loved Cold Shot, Still Life was 10x better. Intrigue was prevalent from the opening line until the very last. My mind is still reeling from a portion near the end.

    I loved how Ms. Pettrey used multiple povs (point-of-view) to give us a glimpse of the group dynamics. In case you haven't read the first book (which you totally should), the group is made of Griffin, Declan, Parker, and the missing Luke...and of course, the ladies. And even though this book features Parker and Avery, it was more than their love story.

    *I received an ARC via Netgalley. This review is my own honest opinion.

    **Full review at:

  • Abby Breuklander
    Dec 12, 2016

    This is hands down one of the best books I've ever read!! Love love and love!!

  • Kara
    Dec 04, 2016

    I really liked Avery from Cold shot and was pleased this story was about her journey, had difficulty putting this sequel down also. This book was darker, but mostly because of Avery's past before she came to Christ. However, Pettrey is a pro at writing villainous characters without being too gory. I felt that the plot of the story centered on Avery's friendship with Skylar and Parker's friendship working with the guys.

    Avery goes to an art exhibit to support her friend, Skylar, who is the main su

    I really liked Avery from Cold shot and was pleased this story was about her journey, had difficulty putting this sequel down also. This book was darker, but mostly because of Avery's past before she came to Christ. However, Pettrey is a pro at writing villainous characters without being too gory. I felt that the plot of the story centered on Avery's friendship with Skylar and Parker's friendship working with the guys.

    Avery goes to an art exhibit to support her friend, Skylar, who is the main subject of the night. Unfortunately, the photo is switched out and Skylar has gone missing. Thus Avery is involved in the case of finding her missing friend.

    While working this case, Declan gets a call about another case and we get to see how he and Tanner are getting to like one another.

    I had no trouble following this page turner of a mystery, but the real villain turns out to be a real surprise! Really loved how Avery buys her friend's ring back from the pawn shop and the courage she has at visiting so many people from her past to solve Skylar's case. It was also rewarding that all the characters from the first book are back in this one to work together finding Skylar.

    Despite the dark content of voyeurism, Pettrey writes the content with respect and keeps the focus of the mystery on Avery's friendship with Skylar. You don't have to read Cold Shot to follow Still Life but I recommend it because it explains the friendship of Declan, Griffin, Luke and Parker better. Looking forward to Book 3!

    Thanks to the author for the review copy received. The thoughts and commentary are my own.