Cold Shot, Dani Pettrey

cold shotA Christian friend brought this author to my attention.
After frequently expressing concern about me reading “crime fiction”, he told me about Dani Pettrey’s books: crime fiction by a Christian author.

Cold Shot was my personal introduction to her work, and I don’t think I’ll be following up with any more of it.

She seems to have a strong following (no author would have published more than ten books without a devoted readership) but based on this book I won’t be joining that readership.

On the positive side, the story kept me reading, wanting to find out how it would be resolved. It was also refreshing to have prayer included as an ongoing feature.

Not so positive, was finding the characters and their dialogue unconvincing. To me they didn’t ring true. One case in point concerns the murder of a co-worker of a major character – something that seems to have no emotional impact at all on that major character who discovered the body.

To this non-American reader, there was also the issue of guns. While it was understandable that a murder by shooting was at the centre of the book, there was a disturbing reliance upon guns by (Christian) law-enforcement personnel, with a number of shooting deaths at the hands of those “good guys” before the case is finally resolved.

And also on the issue of guns and gunmen – it is established quite early that the killer being pursued is a sniper. One hurdle to finding him is the fact that snipers are apparently numerous within that community and they need to determine which one of them is guilty of the crime.

I suppose for an American crime story the prominence of guns should be expected – one only needs to have seen a few American police dramas to be aware of that.

5 thoughts on “Cold Shot, Dani Pettrey

  1. Why was your friend concerned about your reading crime fiction? (Especially, I wonder, if he/she wasn’t so concerned about deaths.)

    1. Assumptions about the nature of crime fiction (it seems that objection is now limited to “secular” examples).

      I came across similar objections when someone on a Christian forum found out that I’d read a Stephen King book. Clearly in their mind, anything written by Stephen King is innately evil.

      I have no interest in the majority of King’s work, and I have no interest in the majority of crime fiction but I don’t dismiss ALL of it because of the nature of some of it.

      1. I remember asking you, myself (years ago), about the blog of an online friend of yours — because he (another blogger) said he liked horror. I didn’t know why someone would like horror so much he’d list it as a main interest. I don’t remember for sure, it’s possible that person is someone whose blog I now usually read. That person even writes horror. I really don’t “get it” (and I usually skip it, as he writes other things). But I did recently watch a Steven King series (it was just okay).

        And I watched the Stranger Things seasons.

        One odd anecdote: a movie I like a lot is The Matrix.

        I may have told you this before, but I was surprised to see that was categorized as horror when we rented it from Blockbuster (almost twenty years ago now). I don’t think it’s usually categorized that way now. However, I can see how they decided it.

        In fact, it’s pretty obvious. I used to not be able to stand anything scary. How did that not really scare me? When I was younger, and more naive, people being unrecognizable would’ve been intolerable or unbearable. Still actually would be in most movies. Another movie I wouldn’t have appreciated in the past, but do, is The Girl on The Train.

  2. [I’m not saying I was the one, on a Christian forum, who assumed you were reading something evil. The question I describe was communicated another way and wasn’t an assumption. I think I asked a similar question of someone else online once too, I don’t remember who that was. (Their answer was something about trying to understanding how the world works.) I do understand curiosity and finding out about things, but not obsession. ]

    1. When I was university I started to read quite a lot of horror, and most of my writing at that time leaned towards horror fiction. I think I did that because that kind of short story stood out from the more earnest “literary” things my class mates were writing at the time.

      I also found that my stories of that that type got a much better response from audiences at the poetry and prose readings where I “performed”. (maybe that was as much to do with the wine the audience drank as it did with my stories).

      These days I’m not sure what kind of story or writer would draw me back to the horror genre.

      I recall one book many years ago, one of the scariest I’ve read, that had nothing to do with the commonly perceived traits of a horror story. The book was about a family who had to take into their home an elderly parent suffering a severe kind of dementia. I cant remember what the book was called.

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