Review of A Stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong

A Stranger in Town
A Rockton Novel

Kelley Armstrong

February 9, 2021

Minotaur Books

Blurb: Detective Casey Duncan has noticed fewer and fewer residents coming in to the hidden town of Rockton, and no extensions being granted. Her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, presumes it’s the natural flux of things, but Casey’s not so sure. It seems like something bigger is happening in the small town they call home.

When an injured hiker stumbles from the woods, someone who seems to have come to the Yukon for a wilderness vacation but instead is now fighting for her life, it’s all hands on deck. What – or who – attacked this woman, and why?

With the woman unconscious, and no leads, Casey and Eric don’t know where the threat is coming from. Plus, the residents of their deeply secretive town are uneasy with this stranger in their midst. Everyone in Rockton wants this mystery solved – and fast.

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I was half afraid on the last outing with Casey Duncan and the crew from Rockton that Kelley Armstrong might be closing down shop on this excellent series, but A Stranger in Town shows that isn’t true. I hope.

While I may have found the last novel,  Alone in the Wild (see my review here), a bit too talky and introspective for a thriller/mystery novel, A Stranger in Town is not that. From the very first chapter the reader is launched into the action involving people and creatures and what may or may not be actors in a conspiracy.

In other series when a romantic couple comes together as Casey and Sheriff Eric Dalton have done in the Rockton series, there always seems to be a let-down, but that hasn’t happened her. Armstrong has sensibly allowed them their romance and cuddling but hasn’t shoved it down our throats. The two play so well off of each other, filling in the gaps where the other is lacking. I love that Eric lets Casey piece through things in their police work, and she is self-aware enough to see him doing the same while coming to the conclusion that maybe they don’t need to do their piecing together in the privacy of their heads.

A Stranger in Town has lots of twists and turns that I never saw coming but which fit together I could see in retrospect, a demonstration of just how well plotted this novel is. This is a puzzle where all of the pieces fit together ever so neatly. Normally I’d complain about the influx of so many characters, but they are not too many and all are necessary to fulfilling their bit in the puzzle.

Maybe you can tell that I’m writing this after just having finished the novel since I feel so hyped up about it. I loved it!

If you love mystery/thrillers, love the idea of characters being “isolated” in the vast Yukon wilderness, and you haven’t read any of the Rockton novels, you’ve got to remedy that now.

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



5 out of 5 butterflies

Check out all of the Kelley Armstrong Rockton novels here on Amazon.

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