Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Review - City Under One Roof

Title:   City Under One Roof
Author Iris Yamashita
Series:   Cara Kennedy #1
Publisher:   Berkley
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   304
Date of Publication:   January 10, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars 

A stranded detective tries to solve a murder in a tiny Alaskan town where everyone lives in a single high-rise building, in this gripping debut by an Academy Award–nominated screenwriter.

When a local teenager discovers a severed hand and foot washed up on the shore of the small town of Point Mettier, Alaska, Cara Kennedy is on the case. A detective from Anchorage, she has her own motives for investigating the possible murder in this isolated place, which can be accessed only by a tunnel.

After a blizzard causes the tunnel to close indefinitely, Cara is stuck among the odd and suspicious residents of the town—all 205 of whom live in the same high-rise building and are as icy as the weather. Cara teams up with Point Mettier police officer Joe Barkowski, but before long the investigation is upended by fearsome gang members from a nearby native village.

Haunted by her past, Cara soon discovers that everyone in this town has something to hide. Will she be able to unravel their secrets before she unravels?"


Cara Kenndy approaches a very small village in Alaska when some body parts are found. The case seems to be unable to be solved quickly so she decides to head home. There is only one way out of the small town, and it is by means of a tunnel. However, there has been an avalanche and Cara is stuck for the foreseeable future.

It is a very unusual village that Cara is stuck in. Although her investigation takes her outside from time to time, every single resident in the small village lives in one all-inclusive building These residents never have to cope with weather or other issues, because their building has everything they need.

This atmospheric read introduces Cara in this new series by Iris Yamashita. She has experienced great trauma in her life and this affects her current actions. Then there is the fact that this mystery happens where the suspects are limited, especially when more than one of them appear to be hiding something.

City Under One Roof was an excellent read and I went right on to reading and loving Village in the Dark. I would like to continue to see Cara handle difficult cases, and love that some of the characters from the first book are in the second one.
Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Born in Missouri, raised in Hawaii and having lived in Guam, California, and Japan, Iris Yamashita was able to experience a diversity of culture while growing up. She studied engineering at U.C. San Diego and U.C. Berkeley and also spent a year at the University of Tokyo studying virtual reality. Her first love, however, has always been fiction writing, which she pursued as a hobby on the side.

Iris submitted her first screenplay to a competition where she was discovered by an agent at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) who offered to represent her. Her big break came when she was recruited to write the script Letters From Iwo Jima for Clint Eastwood. Letters was named “Best Picture” by both the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. It received a Golden Globe award for “Best Foreign Language Film” of 2006 and was nominated for 4 Oscars including “Best Picture” and “Best Original Screenplay.” 

City Under One Roof is her debut mystery novel set in a tiny Alaskan town where all the residents lives in a single high-rise building. Village in the Dark is the follow-up to the Cara Kennedy series and is set to release in February 2024.

Iris continues to developing for both film and streaming media and has been commissioned to write an audio series for BBC Radio. She has also dabbled in writing a musical for a Japanese theme park with Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori. She has taught screenwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles and the American Film Institute.

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