Nov 10, 2016

Review--City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

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 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 domestic violence support 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, 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.

An edgy, gripping crime novel from bestselling writer, Kelley Armstrong, City of the Lost boldly announces a major new player in the crime fiction world.

Kelley Armstrong is an author who continues to amaze me! She has such a widespread of reads from paranormals to thrillers to spy and espionage…she’s just freaking awesome! City of the Lost is the first in her new mystery series starring Casey Duncan. Casey has a dark past, one she’s tried to put behind her and has done remarkably well at. But when her best friend’s life is in danger, and an opportunity comes along to hide and start over, she takes it, at her friend’s behest.

When Casey was eighteen, she killed her boyfriend, it was totally warranted once you get that backstory. And the action has always kind of haunted her. She doesn’t really regret doing it, but she knows that one day repercussions will come calling for her. Her best friend, Diana, has her own problems going on as well. Her ex is in town and is sort of stalking her. It was an abusive relationship and one Casey helped her get out of, so when they are given a chance to escape to a town where you can pretty much hide from your past and start over, they take it.

Except with Casey, she’s got a very limited stay ahead of her while Diana is likely to stay for two years, the general stay for most of the residents. When Casey comes into town, she’s given the role of detective for the sheriff as she was a detective in her “old life”. And she’s come just in the nick of time for there are missing persons and murders happening in this quiet little town hidden in the middle of nowhere.

I really enjoyed this mystery. The mystery elements were pretty spot on! We have missing people, people turning up dead, past murders coming into play and a town full of suspects. Everyone in this town is basically hiding out. A good amount of them are criminals in some sense, others are hiding out for other reasons. The price to live here is high, and the work is grueling and hard. And since everyone here is not likely to be the best of people, trying to uncover a murderer is going to take a lot of work.

I really enjoyed seeing Casey and the sheriff, Eric, interact. Eric comes off as a bit cold. He’s not the friendliest of people, but he’s well respected, and respectful. You can actually see him change a bit when he’s around Casey. Little moments, little gestures. The cold brute who was so standoffish to her when they first met definitely has a different side to himself.

The other characters of the novel were just as good! I enjoyed There’s Will, who is another deputy in town, and he’s got that kind of carefree kind of personality to him. He’s nice and flirty. I was actually a bit worried we’d be walking into a love triangle of sorts. I can’t say we aren’t in one just yet. Casey did leave behind a boyfriend of sorts in her life before this town. And it’s a tough call to say if things are all romantically resolved just yet. It is after all only the first book!

But yes, you will see sprinklings of romance. I loved that it played so little of a role in the story. This is a mystery, not a romance, but if you’ve read Kelley Armstrong’s books before, you know she does romance incredibly well! LOL! So just those little sprinkles we get are enough to tantalize and delight readers.

Another thing that makes this novel so incredible? Cannibals! Yup! We’ve got cannibals in this one! Or so the locals say! While we don’t get a whole lot of details on that front, it is made very clear that the little town of Rockton isn’t completely alone in the woods! And that leads to quite a few secrets!!

The resolving of the mystery was pretty good too! There were quite a few shocks along the way. And I can honestly say that I did not see this murderer coming. Of course as I read this, I was under a bit of stress at work, so being stressed out and trying to read the whole revealing scene moments didn’t pan out all too well. But it’s no big deal really. That’s just me. So me being a bit confused over this character or that one’s involvement in things is my own fault. But regardless, I found the whodunit to be very surprising! I cannot wait to see what other adventures await us in this new series! And yay, I have the next book to read! But after that, we’re backing to waiting 365+ days! Boo!

There’s still a bit of mystery left to this story too. Not the mystery itself, but more like the town, it’s inhabitants, and the mystery council who remains off site. Still so many things left unsaid and I cannot wait to see what direction this series will take! I need more and I need it now!

If you’re a fan of mystery series, you’re going to want to pick this one up asap! Not only is it by Kelley Armstrong, but it’s also an incredibly amazing and GREAT read that I enjoyed every moment of it! Even when I was confused! LOL!


Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars



  1. I just commented on enjoying the secondary characters as much as the main ones in a review today. I'm into character driven novels and I don't always even have to like them. They just need to evoke a response from me. Great review and sounds like a good book.

  2. This sounds quite interesting actually. I loved her Otherworld books but haven't really got into some of the other series she's written. This sounds worth investigating though! Nice review!

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this series! :) It was one of my favorite ones this year.


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