Author: Kelley Armstrong
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
Review: It’s been awhile since I picked up an Armstrong novels and I regret not picking one up sooner. This author is actually deemed as one of my favorite authors, but technically I’ve only read her YA novels. I enjoy both of her YA trilogy, but never gotten around to reading her adult paranormal books, because that’s really not my genre. As time went by she kinda got lost from my radar and totally missed this mystery series of hers. I’m really glad I participate in the Read-EH-thon, hosted by Books and Lala, because I was able to come across this book and all its greatness. I’m a great fan of this whole novel, the setting, the characters and the mystery.
Armstrong writes her characters very well. Even though she includes a lot of minor characters, she’s able to go in depth with their background in an effortless way and let the story flow seamlessly. I actually enjoyed the characters in this book a lot more than on her YA novels. I feel that she went deeper into their stories, which gave them more individual personalities. I especially love the main character in this book because she’s half Filipina and half Chinese, which makes her right up my alley. I haven’t read much books with this blend of race and for me it was quite exciting. I did have a problem with the relationships. Although she does create an environment that is realistic in small community, I wish that she toned down a bit on the promiscuity of the people, I found that to be a little bit questionable. I also wished that she change up a bit on the romantic dynamics of the novels. I think its too reminiscent of her other novels and it got a bit predictable. Personally, I enjoyed it, but a little bit of a shocker would have been interesting too.
I was also very impressed with the mystery in the novel. I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers/mystery novels and I’m really surprised that I enjoyed this a lot more than some of the popular ones out there. Although we do have a protagonist with excess baggage, she doesn’t really let that define her and overcame her obstacles. I mean running away helped, but at least she’s not a drunk and an unreliable narrator, who we find in so many adult thriller/mystery novels. I was also shocked that this book was a lot more gory than her usual books, but then again, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve only read her YA novels. Still, I didn’t really mind, it added to the roughness of the setting and whole roughing it in the bush. I’m not saying violence is right, but her inclusion of it is fitting to the whole scenario.
I wasn’t a fan of the ending. I really did wish that the person who needed to leave, left, but then I understood the decision of Armstrong to keep her. I’m interested on what lies ahead for the characters in this book and I can’t wait to read the next one. Hopefully, there would be more character development or even new characters to introduce, because I love reading the past of the characters involved in this series. Although in most cases they’re a bit violent, its still pretty interesting to see what Armstorng has come up with next.