Shattered by Dani Pettrey continues the Alaskan Courage series in book two, and while I loved her first book in the series, Submerged, Shattered made me wonder about the cohesiveness of Landon and Piper.
Reef McKenna, Piper’s distant and flighty brother, is arrested for murdering Karli Davis. Reef has been in trouble with the law before and the evidence is overwhelming. Add to that a sheriff more interested in his re-election than in justice, and it appears that Reef will get convicted. Piper doesn’t want to believe Reef is guilty. Landon, a police officer and long-time friend of the McKennas, remains objective. He doesn’t want to believe it either, but he has a duty to examine all of the evidence. The matter is complicated by an unspoken love simmering just beneath the surface between Piper and Landon.
Unlike Pettrey’s first novel, Submerged, I am less in love with the character of Piper. Piper and Landon hardly seem fit for each other. Piper acts much like a typical head-strong 16-year old than a young woman available for marriage. Landon acts like a mature male of his station and probable age. Piper nearly derails the investigation by barreling forward, disrupting the trust of witnesses, and putting herself in danger. Landon loves Piper but is less than forthcoming on his feelings. Piper loves Landon and assumes many things about him by appearance alone. The opening of the novel puts Landon, a recovering alcoholic, in a bar with a woman less known for her morality. Another love story makes its way into this novel, too.
Meredith Blake is the prosecuting attorney against Reef. She is cold and angry. Gage and her are like gasoline and a lit match when put together. Then, Darcy, a reporter, comes along and Gage immediately likens Darcy to Meredith. Gage is harsh and abrupt only to slowly thaw as Darcy proves her worth to him and the family by helping to find evidence of Karli’s murder. The question of Gage and Darcy’s relationship is left open-ended with a probable novel in the Alaskan Courage series for them (my assumption). I have a feeling we have not heard the last of Meredith either.
Overall, Shattered was given four stars. Piper never completely won my affections and Landon and Piper never felt compatible to me. Yet, the novel was worth more than three stars as Dani Pettrey’s writing is still as good as ever.
*book given by publisher to review.