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Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

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"First-time published author Dani Pettrey definitely delivers 'the thrill of adventure, the romance of falling in love and the heroism of saving the day'."

Bailey Craig made a promise to never set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. Her past reputation continues to haunt her. And like most small towns, Yancey has a pretense for gossip and hearsay. To most of the town, Bailey was “. . . that girl, not the girl.”

She reluctantly returns to bury Agnes, her beloved aunt killed in a plane crash. It is also her responsibility to tie up loose ends and sell the Trading Post, Agnes’ business. Bailey wants to leave town as quickly as she arrived.

Yancey’s own Cole McKenna handles deep-sea dives with Last Frontier Adventures and also helps the police recover evidence. Coming face-to-face with Bailey will be difficult to say the least. She broke his heart when they were teenagers.
The death of two out-of-town deep-water divers spurs an intense investigation. Evidence begins to emerge and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable to solve the case. As a result, she can’t leave as soon as she had hoped.

Pettrey's attention to the scenery is excellent. The setting in Alaska was heartwarming as I spent five years of my childhood in Petersburg and Juneau as a missionary kid. The emotional baggage Bailey carries is realistically portrayed within these pages. The closeness and camaraderie of the McKenna family is another aspect of the story I enjoyed immensely.

I was disappointed that Submerged ended with a predictable, stereotypical conclusion. Although it weighs heavy on Bailey’s heart, there is slight overkill in bringing up the same issue regarding her past. This whole issue of reconciling our past through Jesus Christ is indeed relevant.

Pettrey’s collection of carefree, compassionate and cantankerous characters is foundational to the storylines of Submerged. The inclusion of Russian history into the storyline was an integral and intriguing element. It piques the readers’ interest and will hold them in suspense.

First-time published author Dani Pettrey definitely delivers “the thrill of adventure, the romance of falling in love and the heroism of saving the day.” She has gained another fiction fan that’s looking forward to reading Shattered, the second in the Alaskan Courage series.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.