Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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

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I received this book for free from Minotaur Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley ArmstrongWatcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Rockton #4
Published by Minotaur Books on February 5th, 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery
Source: Minotaur Books
Buy on Amazon

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's latest thriller, the town of Rockton—and her fans—are in for another hair-raising adventure.

The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town's only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson and falling in love in less than the year that she's lived there. Yet even she didn't think it would be possible for an outsider to find and cause trouble in the town she's come to call home.

When a US Marshal shows up in town demanding the release of one of the residents, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Dalton, are skeptical. And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It's up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet. 

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 fan of the Rockton novels, I am here to tell you Watcher in the Woods is just as good if not better than its preceding novels.

We start right where we left out, with Kenny having been shot and Casey having to do the last thing she wants to — call her sister for help. AND WE FINALLY GET TO MEET CASEY’s infamous sister, April (and another new character who I won’t say much about.) Honestly, I cannot believe Armstrong can introduce new characters in book-fucking-four and I somehow end up loving them as much as the main characters by the end of the book. Of course, my review cannot all be about how much I love April and Sebastian so alas, I must move on.

Watcher in the Woods, imo, marks a turning point in this series because so many new secrets about the town come out and it all feels like its building to a bigger confrontation. The council continues to be sketchy as fuck but this time, our crew is faced with an outside intruder, a US Marshall.  With the very future of their safe haven at line, our detectives must get to work figuring out what is going on. Casey and Eric continue to be extremely competent as usual and their relationship is just as amazing as ever. So we can trust they got everyone’s back. Yes, that’s a pretty vague summary of the plot but you know, this is a mystery, I don’t want to give away all the twists!!!

Before wrapping up, I do want to mention that Armstrong uses the word ‘tribal’ to describe the hostiles. Which is especially irksome given that hostiles are constantly regarded as subhuman throughout the books? To elaborate, the hostiles are regarded as animalistic creatures who no longer know how to be human. “They are also ritualistic — painting and scarring themselves and setting out totems to mark territory” (location 466/5405 in the earc.)  There is some backtracking right after this is stated “But in no way should they be confused with tribal societies” (location 466/5405 in the earc.) But perhaps the word tribal shouldn’t have been used at all. Please keep in mind, I have not cross-checked this quote in the finished version so she could have chosen to use a different term.

ANYWAY, Watcher in the Woods proves to be another strong addition to the series and I cannot wait to see where Armstrong will take us from here. Clearly we’re in for a ride.

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Rashika has been tired since 2013. There are very few things that spark joy for her besides a nice cup of tea, warm, baked goods, good books and good TV shows. She is here to pile onto your giant TBRs and to-watch lists. Offer her a cookie and she might be nice to you.
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