Sphere | January 2016 | 480 pgs
City of the Lost is Kelley Armstrong's first book of her Casey Duncan series and I was excited to read it as it features a tough, flawed female detective and a setting of the isolated Yukon wilderness.
The story opens with an intriguing scene of Casey visiting her new therapist. Twelve years ago, Casey had killed a man. While an incident had left Casey both emotionally and physically scarred, she knew that man didn't deserve death despite what he had done. She then moved on and became a homicide detective and she knew someday the crime she had committed will catch up on her. On the other end, Diana, who is Casey's best friend, faces a problem involving her ex-husband who is stalking and abusing her. Diana knew there is a town where they would be safe; Rockton has only about 200+ population and it is meant for people who want to shed their old lives, just like them. They managed to get into Rockton after going through some procedures.
While Diana has a valid reason of escaping from her ex-husband, Casey gained her entrance into Rockton as the new detective in town. Sheriff Eric Dalton is wary of Casey as a newbie but Rockton needs her expertise considering they have their very first murder case. Rockton may deem as a sanctuary for those who want to escape their old life, but are all the residents they claimed as who they are? Or was the horrific murder done by the hostiles; those who lost something when they left Rockton had began to lose their humanity and revert to something animalistic?
City of the Lost is a great first book of a new series with an interesting cast of characters and the atmospheric Rockton made this book stand out from the rest. The plot and the suspense captivated me, but it was the characters who held my interest throughout the story. Casey Duncan is a woman who has a flawed past and one who doesn't shy away from the imperfections in life or in people. Her willingness to get involved with an ex-con who had come clean in the initial stage of the story tells a lot about her personality and her way of viewing things in general, never mind if they have a future or not. Her interactions with Sheriff Eric Dalton came off as a slow start and with doubts so it was interesting to see their attitudes towards each other changed as the story progresses. All in all this was an intriguing story and I look forward to reading her next installment, A Darkness Absolute.
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