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Shattered

It isn’t everyday that Piper McKenna gets to see her youngest brother Reef. So when he shows up unexpected after several years absence, Piper’s initial reaction is one of joy. Then Reef returns the same night covered in the blood of someone newly murdered. Certain her brother is incapable of violence, Piper is willing to risk everything – including her life – to prove his innocence.

The evidence against Reef is staggering, causing those closest to him to doubt his character. Their doubt only fuels Piper’s determination, and soon she is chasing other leads across North American states and the Canadian border in hopes of uncovering enough information to set Reef free. In the process of playing detective, love begins to rear its head from the most unsuspected of collars, and Piper has to wonder if her quest will end with more questions than answers.

This second novel in Pettrey’s debut Alaskan Courage series is a romantic suspense of the highest caliber. The pacing is fast enough to keep you turning pages, but not so fast as to compromise the quality of character and plot development. Piper’s brother Gage is an atheist with a boyish personality who knows how to joke, but we’re allowed glimpses of the deeper side of him where hurt and bitterness reside. The victim, Karli, even though dead, comes to life as her past is uncovered and pieced together. The reader is given cause to laugh, reflect, and mourn; yet all the while suspicion, tension, and the threat of danger linger at the back of the mind.

The varying degrees of faith in the characters provide a realistic portrayal of the struggles believers and non-believers experience as they wrestle with the concepts of pain and injustice in a world created by a loving God. Shattered becomes a book that entertains, inspires, and stays with you days after the last words have been read. I gave it five out of five stars.