Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Review - City of the Lost

Title:   City of the Lost
Author:  Kelley Armstrong
Series:  Rockton #1
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:   Minotaur Books
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  471
Date of Publication:  January 14, 2016
My Rating:  5 Stars

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives. 


Casey Duncan is a homicide detective. Due to the actions of her friend Diana, who is on the run from an abusive ex-husband, she lands in the town of Rockton. Rockton is a unique place for unique people. Casey's circumstances is that one day, while in college, she killed a man and was never caught. At some point, Diana's husband found her, and then, coincidentally Casey was attacked. They both disappear to Rockton. The town allows for people on the run who need to shed their old lives - for whatever reason. They will be living off the grid in the wilds of Canada, with no cell phones, Internet, mail computers, and really, very little of everything else. They cannot even get in or out of the town without the town council's approval. 

As Casey is a detective, the town actually needs her. It certainly didn't come free, as there is a fee to be there and even a time limit as to how long one can stay. The timing of her arrival is actually fortuitous, as the town's first real murder has happened. So the council accepts her. Casey has more than enough to deal with. For starters, she was never at peace for the murder she committed. Feeling that she could be caught is something that rather terrifies her. Now, she has an incredible challenge: she must catch a murderer. More than that, she discovers that all of the townspeople have dark secrets and she may not always know who has done what.

One of the first and most impressive people that Casey meets is the town's sheriff, Eric Dalton. As tough as things are, it is rather good that Casey will be working with him, because some of the town's members are less than friendly. Quite naturally, there was not an innocent one among them, and that includes Eric - although it might take some time for Casey to learn his secrets. It doesn't take long - well, over the course of more than one story in the Rockton series, before Casey and Eric become an item.  

If you want a book that you just might have to shut real life off for several hours, or across the course of a few days, then City of the Lost certainly is the book for you. When reading this book, it was impossible not to be sympathetic of Casey, Eric and perhaps others. At the same time, there will no doubt be a lot of suspicion and doubt raised in your mind when it comes to some of the others.

If you have been following my reviews you no doubt will have noticed that I binge-read series. Once I discover one, I literally fly to my online library, grab every book and, when possible, read the entire series up until the book I am scheduled to review. In this case, the book was Watcher in the Woods, book four in this series, just released. In just a matter of a few days, I read the entire series back-to-back. 

Kelley Armstrong is amazingly prolific. As usual when requesting books for review, I go by the blurb alone. Little did I realize when accepting the aforementioned title for review that I would fall in love with the entire series and find an author that I will proudly say is among my favorites. Her style of writing is compelling. Having spent the better part of the week "in Rockton", I literally felt like I was there. Whether it was the danger, the relationships, the lies, the truth - all of it - it was truly engaging. write concise reviews for the other three books...

The other books in this series are A Darkness Absolute, This Fallen Prey and Watcher in the Woods. There is another unscheduled, untitled book. I cannot wait for it to be released and will read it at the very first opportunity. 


Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She's the author of the NYT-bestselling "Women of the Otherworld" paranormal suspense series and "Darkest Powers" young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets. 

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