Genre: Mystery


Monday, March 04, 2019

Review: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

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Review: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
City of the Lost
Kelley Armstrong
Series: Rockton, #1
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publication date: January 14th 2016
by Minotaur Books

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Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

I’ve always been a fan of Kelley Armstrong ever since her Women of the Underworld series. While this one isn’t paranormal, it still has an air of fantasy in it when we’re taken into this secluded town where people go to escape their tragic or criminal past. 

This town is hidden from the world, and as you can guess comes with a side of mystery and even horror. Casey is brought there to try and find out why their people are disappearing and coming up murdered. The whole seclusion aspect makes this story so compelling and eerie. It’s sort of like a post-apocalyptic world where you have limited supplies and every skill is put to good use, and wandering off a bit too far from the edge means you’re likely to be eaten alive. 

The world is fantastically written, and so are the characters. Our mc is strong willed, stubborn, and sassy. She’s so easy to root for! I did find the side characters were hard to keep track of as there were many of them and they’re sometimes referred to by last name, other times by their first name. So it took me a while to differentiate between a few of them. But they’re all great characters with fun personalities that added a lot of humor and tension to the book. There was also romance thrown into the mix and I found it was in perfect balance to the plot and mystery of the book! 

Being brought into this ominous, yet charming town of Rockton was both exciting and shockingly horrific. I loved to get to know the many characters in Rockton and I’m happy that it isn’t over. I’ve already started on book 2!

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 02/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I have been reading Kelley Armstrong’s books for over half a decade now so it’s safe to say I am a fan. From her YA to her adult, she never fails to deliver a series of characters I find myself immediately invested in and plots I am eager to watch unfold. Watcher in the Woods is the fourth book in a series and usually, by the fourth book of a series, my interest starts to wane but a fourth book in the hands of Kelley Armstrong??? Watcher in the Woods proves that it can be a very powerful thing.

If you haven’t read this series and are a fan of well-written mystery novels that don’t involve annoying dude detectives, you should probably get on it. If you’re already a…

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry

Posted by on 12/14/2018 • 1 Comment

Ugh I don’t even know how to word as I write this review. I’ve written and deleted the first sentence about a 100 times. BUT. I guess. Here is the thing, I read an April Henry novel years ago, liked it, and read a BUNCH by her this year. Just looking at the books in the chronological order they were published, it seems that the books have gotten progressively worse? Which is to say, that her later books have lost that kick a lot of her earlier books had.

If you’ve been a fan for a while and coming to this book because you have come to expect some thrill and some mystery from April Henry, you should stay. If you want anything more than that, like character development and…

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by on 11/19/2018 • 5 Comments

Not to be extremely dramatic or anything but I’d kill to read the sequel to Little White Lies (and to The Long Game but that’s a whole other story.) This is probably an odd sentence to start a review with but honestly, that’s just how J Lynn Barnes’s books make me FEEL. Barnes has a knack for writing addicting novels that you cannot stop reading even if they are over 400 pages long. Little White Lies is not only addicting but it reads like a puzzle, clues dispersed everywhere that you need to connect to form the bigger picture.

Sawyer Taft’s life changes when her grandmother shows up on her doorstep and offers her a deal she is unable to resist. Soon she is drawn into the world of…

Giveaway: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Giveaway: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Posted by on 07/16/2018 • 10 Comments

Hi guys! We are huge fans of Paula Stokes over here so we’re really honored and excited to be bringing you a giveaway for Paula’s latest book! It’s a return to mystery and it sounds amazing! Turning over to Paula now!

Paula: Hi peeps 🙂 A big thank you to Rashika and Giselle for having me on Xpresso Reads to talk about my forthcoming mystery, HIDDEN PIECES, releasing on Aug 28. Of course there is a giveaway, but first here’s a little info about the book in case you’re unfamiliar.

Character Profiles

Embry:

Embry Woods is an 18-year-old girl who likes photography and the ocean, but isn’t sure what she’s going to do after she graduates from high school. Her mom is recovering from breast cancer, and even…

OTP Playlist: Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

OTP Playlist: Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

Posted by on 04/27/2018 • 1 Comment

Today, I am bringing to you a playlist that I think encompasses Digby and Zoe’s relationship. This was slightly harder than I thought because well… I started off with a song in mind and like the fool I am, I never wrote it down. This hindered my initial search because all I could think about was WHAT WAS THAT SONG. Anyway. So. The general vibe Zigby & Zoe give me is fun and banter so that’s the general vibe of this playlist as well. Enjoy!

About the Book About the Author

Stephanie Tromly was born in Manila, grew up in Hong Kong, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. She is currently on leave from her PhD program in English literature at the…

Truly Clever: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Truly Clever: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Posted by on 01/17/2018 • 6 Comments

I somehow missed that Maureen Johnson had a new book coming out this month and only found out like a month or two ago. That shows you how I’ve been doing on keeping on top of all the new releases. Spoiler alert, its not good.  I actually had not read any Maureen Johnson prior to reading Truly Devious but had heard so many good things about her other books. Plus I am absolute garbage for books that have boarding schools and this one even had a fun murder mystery involved. I am going to be a spoilsport though and start off by focusing on the bad because I really enjoyed the book and would rather end on a more positive note.

Ellingham academy sounds amazing but… I felt like it…

The Infinite Variants of YA: The One Where Caleb Roehrig Chooses b/w an Alpaca and a Pony

The Infinite Variants of YA: The One Where Caleb Roehrig Chooses b/w an Alpaca and a Pony

Posted by on 03/28/2017 • 0 Comments

HELLO and welcome back to this fancy feature that Nick (Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist) and I are collaborating on! This month I have a really fun interview to share with the famously amazing Caleb Roehrig to share with you. He is hilarious and just as much fun to talk to as his book is to read! If you haven’t already read Last Seen Leaving, get on it because its a YA mystery you don’t want to miss. NOW. PLEASE PUT YOUR HANDS UP (or flail around, I don’t have a preference) for Caleb Roehrig!!!

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1. You’ve travelled A LOT. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you want to live and why?

Oh, man. I have definitely done a lot of travel, and I’ve…