As you might guess by now, I love a good thriller/murder mystery. Submerged, by Dani Pettrey, has all the elements of a good mystery novel: suspicious accident, outsiders in a small town, Russian suspects, a reunion with a lost love to solve a mystery, sexual tension, a race against time and several twists and turns.
The story also layers in lessons on redemption, facing fears, releasing shame, learning to trust and embracing forgiveness.
I really enjoyed the novel. Up until the end. It seemed to me Pettrey just got tired of the story and cut it short. The murder is solved and the two lovers, who'd been dancing around each other the entire book, finally come together in a hurried, almost clumsy way. But what really irked me is an entire side story that began to build from the conflict to climax is just ignored in the resolution. We are left to wonder whatever will happen here between two supporting characters. Perhaps there is a sequel in mind, but the were no clear cliffhangers to leave that possibility a natural next step. Or perhaps an editor was pressing the author to finish. But the end did not have the quality that the rest of the novel did.
I really loved the rest of the book but have to give it one thumbs up and one thumbs down for the anticlimactic ending. I do hope there is a sequel because the characters were well-developed and I'd love to see how they move forward in that tiny, historical Alaska town.
Disclosure of material connection: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in the hope that I would give it my fair review. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."