Review of Alone in the Wild (Rockton #5)

Alone in the Wild
(Rockton 5)

Kelley Armstrong

February 4, 2020

Minotaur Books

Blurb: Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that’s what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there’s always something to worry about.

While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

A town that doesn’t let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from – and whether she’s better off where she is.

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The fifth in the Rockton series, Alone in the Wild, is probably my least favorite. While it had a very strong mystery element and quite a bit of adventure, I wasn’t as enthused by the meaning of the baby element and all of the self-evaluation and pondering that went with it.

While Kelley Armstrong has always made all of the Rockton books an opportunity to present the world in a microcosm, examine human foibles, prejudices, etc., it’s always felt like a much smaller element than it has in the past three books. In the last two books, a certain talkiness has taken over, and in this last book it just felt as if it weighed the story down.

Needless to say, in my opinion, the stories are the strongest with abundant action, twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. I suppose that was something else. I saw how the pieces fell together unlike in the previous novels.

All of that said, I can more than understand why an author would want to take the opportunity for characters we’ve all grown fond of, to take time for self-examination as well as provide a commentary on the world we live it. But there’s a lot of that happening currently in fiction novels and I’m pretty sure it’s become a situation of preaching to the choir. Many of us in the choir are reading books as an escape from all of the stuff that needs preaching about.

Regardless, Alone in the Wild is still a good read with far better writing and characterization than the vast majority of contemporary novels. And, for those of us who have followed Casey Duncan and Rockton from the start, it’s definitely a must read.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



3 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies

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