A two for one review of Kelley Armstrong Rockton novels! Review appears below the book blurbs.
February 6, 2018
Blurb: In This Fallen Prey, the next installment of New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s thriller series, Casey Duncan is about to face her toughest job as police detective in Rockton yet.
When Casey first arrived at the off-the-grid town, an isolated community built as a haven for people running from their pasts, she had no idea what to expect, with no cell phones, no internet, no mail, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. She certainly didn’t expect to be the homicide detective on two separate cases or to begin a romantic relationship with her boss. But the very last thing she expected was for the council to drop a dangerous criminal into their midst without a plan to keep him imprisoned, and to keep others safe.
Of course Oliver Brady claims he’s being set up. But the longer Brady stays in town, the more things start to go wrong. When evidence comes to light that someone inside Rockton might be working as his accomplice, helping him to escape, Casey races to figure out who exactly Brady is and what crimes he’s truly responsible for committing.
In the next page-turning entry in Kelley Armstrong’s gripping series, life in Rockton is about to get even more dangerous.
February 5, 2019
Blurb: 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 the several months that she’s lived there. Yet even she didn’t think it would be possible for an outsider to locate the town and cause trouble in the place she’s come to call home.
When a US Marshal shows up demanding the release of one of the residents, but won’t say who, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, are skeptical. And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only possible suspects are the townspeople and Casey’s estranged sister, smuggled into town to help with a medical emergency. It’s up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why someone would kill to keep him quiet―before the killer strikes again.
Despite being published a year apart, Kelley Armstrong’s This Fallen Prey and Watcher in the Woods are perfect bookends. This Fallen Prey started out a bit talky and then bam, bam, bam, so much action that if I hadn’t been holding onto the book, I would have been holding onto my chair. As a perfect counterpart, Watcher in the Woods starts out with action and then becomes talky as Detective Casey Duncan solves the crime.
This Fallen Prey continue Armstrong’s tradition with this series of keeping the reader on their toes by never allowing them to become complacent. Surprises abound and the reader soon learns that in a town like Rockton anyone can be a killer becomes everyone has a secret. By introducing a serial killer to the mix, emotions run high showing people for who they are and are not.
We also come to see more of the people who live outside of Rockton, the ones who love the isolation, the villagers, and the hostiles.
In Watcher in the Woods, Casey’s older sister, April, comes to Rockton to help during a medical emergency. Shortly after their plane lands, a US Marshall appears wanting to take one of Rockton’s residents. However, he doesn’t live long enough to tell them who he’s come for. Is it coincidental that he appeared on the heels of April?
Besides being a top notch mystery, Watcher in the Woods also offers a psychological glimpse of Casey past with her parents and sister, and allow her a great insight into to her sister. It also allows us to understand Casey far better.
Besides Casey and Dalton, Armstrong has created an extremely interesting cast of characters with my favorites being Isabelle, the psychiatrist/brothel owner and Matthias, the butcher/psychologist who has researched violent criminals. While most of Rockton’s citizens are intimidated by the butcher, to Casey he shows a different side with dry humor and insight.
If you’re looking for a mature mystery series with a sense of humor and sense of unpredictability, you might want to give the Casey Duncan Rockton series a try.
The rating applies to both books.
4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies
Other books in the series I’ve reviewed: