Review: Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey
Hannah's rating: 4 out of 5 bookmarks

Editor's Note: Dead Drift is Book Four in the Chesapeake Valor series. See our review of Book One here.

Main Thoughts

Okay, I've been wanting to read Luke's story since Book One! Of course, it would be the last in the series and make me wait a long time to read it. This entire series has been a potato-chip series for me: devour one, crave the next. It's just so fun to read, with the international spy stuff overarching all four books and the individual mysteries in each one. You most definitely need to read these in order. (Also, I advise having all four handy when you start reading Book One.)


Luke and Kate are just such a fun couple. I don't even know how to articulate why I related to Kate so much because she's nothing like me in a lot of ways, yet I definitely connect with her fierce independence and her deep loyalty to her friends. When Luke blasts back into her life, she's conflicted over whether to kick him to the curb for disappearing without a word, or to rejoice because she's missed him so much over the years. The result is a lot of sizzle in their scenes together, from the first one in Book Three all the way to the last one at the conclusion.

Luke is an international spy with fierce spy skills. Think Mission Impossible or Jason Bourne and you'll get an idea of his life for the past few years. He hasn't had a home to come to or a safe place to rest since he first left his friends behind at the drop of a hat. He craves that more than anything, but first he has to take down this biological terrorist, and now the danger has landed right in his friends' backyard. They need intel to take out this guy, and Luke is the best option, so in this story, he has to join forces with his friends--and everyone's lives are on the line if they can't stop the bad guy in time.

My main gripe is that the story was over in a heartbeat and I want to read more of this great group of friends. I'm just hoping they might make a cameo appearance or two in Pettrey's new series. I can hope for that, right?


I have read all the books in the series and found it very addictive! Each book features a stand-alone mystery as well as an ongoing terror threat that persists through all four books. I have been anticipating Kate's story from the very beginning of the series, and she's just as fun a character to be around as I expected. Griff and Finley from Book One also have a large role to play in the solving of a serial killer mystery that brings them into the focus a lot. There was also a lot of the Kate/Luke story especially in Book Three, so it's going to be a richer reading experience if you know the backstory.

Content Advisory & Recommendation

This is where it didn't quite gain five stars from me. I was disappointed to find a bit too many mentions of muscles and some salivating over them, especially in the first half of the book. I know lots of people like muscular, shirtless guys in their books, but to me, it's page real estate that could be spent telling me more about the characters since I already heard once about the guy's muscled torso and rippling back muscles.

Another scene has two major characters getting tattoos in order to make a contact with a suspect, and that might bother some folks.

Also, there is a creepy serial killer and a group eager to wage biological warfare, so there is a bit of violence that goes along with it.

I have a recurring issue with the plot device of having a single guy over to spend the night with a young single woman he is strongly attracted to in order to "keep her safe". Especially when the two of them talk about their desires and attractions while alone. It used to be considered dishonorable for a man to mention sexual attraction while in the role of protector-only to a single woman; now obviously it's taken for granted that a guy has the right to come out and say whatever he thinks and even to admit that he's having a hard time staying honorable. Kate was very obviously playing with fire in having so much time alone with a guy for whom she'd carried a torch for a decade now.

Do I recommend this book? Yes! With the cautions that there is a good bit of romantic stuff that parents might want their teens to wait a few years to read, depending on the maturity levels of the child.

Hannah Gridley has been a dedicated bookworm since the age of 4. By day she works for a local nonprofit; in her spare time she works in a bookstore, teaches music, plays violin in two local orchestra groups and in her church, and enjoys hiking. Favorite reading genres include Christian, historical fiction, suspense, and vintage/classic novels. When she isn't working, writing, or reading, she spends money adding books to her home library or collecting fountain pens and fancy inks.

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Hannah Gridley

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