Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Rockton #6
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Format: Trade Paperback ARC
No. of Pages: 384
No. of Pages: 384
Date of Publication: February 9, 2021
My Rating: 5 Stars
In #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's next Rockton book, A Stranger in Town, the biggest mystery is the fate of the town itself.
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. Something bigger is happening in the small town they call home.
When an injured hiker stumbles from the woods, the sole survivor of a hostile attack, it’s all hands on deck. Even a member of the elusive Rockton council comes in to help. This council member also comes bearing news: Rockton is being shut down due to the hostile situation.
Casey and Eric must now race to save the town that has allowed residents to have a fresh start, away from the mistakes of their past, while also getting to the bottom of this latest attack.
The hidden town of Rockton in Alaska is unusual in many aspects. It is a refuge of sorts, whether wrongly accused, escaping a dangerous family member, or the like. Rockton is a place where you have to have permission to reside, and there is a time limit as to how long you can remain there. The town's members are people who truly benefit from escape in one way or another. One of the long-time residents, Detective Casey Duncan, has a job and that job of policing has given her more than ample opportunity to solve murders. She often works quite closely with the town's Sheriff, Eric Dalton, who is also her boyfriend, and the two are quite close.
Casey and Eric are beginning to notice some changes in their unusual town. For one thing, they notice they are getting less applicants for new residents. There is also something happening with some of their neighbors and these are encroaching on the restricted way of life that Rockton demands.
While Rockton has been in existence, they have remained wary of the neighbors referred to as the hostiles. Actually, the hostiles are former Rockton residents who have created a different lifestyle, one that incorporates elements that involve things like narcotics that Rockton's board members do not support. One day a hiker stumbles into town, injured by what could only be a hostile attack. Rockton's town council comes together to deal with the hostile situation before anyone else is injured or even killed.
Casey and Eric love their town. They do not want it lost, which is exactly what could happen if they do not get a handle on the hostiles. Meanwhile, whenever possible, Eric and Casey try to assist a group of teenagers that live near Rockton. They are not part of the hostiles, but neither do they live in Rockton any longer. As they happen upon the injured woman while visiting the teens, they try to save her life and keep her safe until they can discover what happened to her. There is a language barrier, and this fact just might be the key do solving other mysteries that have been occurring.
A Stranger in Town is the most complicated book in the series thus far. I would not say that this book would work well as a standalone. The facts of the town itself, as well as some specifics regarding the town's members are just two factors that would warrant following this series from the beginning. I absolutely loved this book as I have loved every previous book in the series. For a series like this to work, you have to be able to get into the mind of the author, Kelley Armstrong, and see how she developed the unique town and its residents, all while developing various plots across each book in the series. I adore this series and truly hope it goes on and on. I cannot wait to see what Casey and Eric, as well as others, come across while striving to maintain the integrity of the town that is known as Rockton.
Many thanks to Minotaur Books and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.