Series: Rockton, #1
Published by Minotaur Books on January 14th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
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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 Hot Espressos