City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
At some point, Kelley Armstrong is going to create a series or a trilogy and I am going to hate it. Or maybe not. It does seem highly unlikely at this point, because she is sincerely one of my go-to authors. If I know she is going to have a new book out, I am usually all over it. Her writing is smart and her characters are never stereotypical. They are full of surprises, just as real people are. Maybe that’s because she studied psychology and understands and observes human motivation and behavior just a tad more than a lot of authors.
In City of the Lost she has world built something new. She has created a town where people go to escape something extremely bad in their lives: an abusive relationship, the possibility that a killer is after them, or something similar. Essentially people who need or want to start over. It’s a town of people who could be in witness protection.
Casey Duncan, a police cadet at the time, killed a man, who just happened to have mob affiliations. She has fled her former life and started a new one, but it seems as though the mob has found her. Her best friend, Diana, was in an abusive relationship, but her ex-husband continues to find her and it seems like she can’t escape him. She has heard of this town, Rockton, in the middle of nowhere northwest Canada, where people can live without others finding them. She convinces Casey that this is a place they should try. They could start over.
This novel was gripping, weaving interesting natural history with a crime story and characters who you cared about. As the mystery in Rockton unfolds, you are never sure if the killer is one of Rockton’s own or one of the cannibalistic hostiles who live outside the city perimeters.
I was more than midway through and had picked who I thought the killer was only to have a plot twist seemingly change my, and Casey Duncan’s, mind. (I was right, though, even without this ingenious plot twist. Just had to say that although it’s neither here nor there and no reflection on Armstrong’s writing. I just guess really well (haha).)
If you haven’t read a Kelley Armstrong novel, I highly suggest you do. If you’ve kept away because she typically writes supernatural novels, you can try her Nadia Stafford trilogy (I sincerely HATED that this was a trilogy. I could have read about Nadia Stafford forever) or try this one which looks very much like it will lead to a fabulously engrossing series, if this first novel is anything to go on.
rating: (5 out of 5 butterflies)
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