Jan 31, 2017

ARC Review--A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

The follow-up to #1 NYT bestseller Kelley Armstrong’s acclaimed City of the Lost, Rockton town detective Casey Duncan makes a terrible—and dangerous—discovery in the woods outside of town.

When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.

Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that...before another victim goes missing.

Casey Duncan returns in another heart-racing thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for a voluntary and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Kelley Armstrong once again nails it on the head with yet another fast paced and thrilling mystery! The Casey Duncan series is fast becoming a favorite of mine! I love a good thriller mystery! And to have one based in such a small community time and time again, just blows my mind. You’d think you’d run out of “evil” people, but Kelley knows how to expand such a world! A Darkness Absolute is the second novel of this series so far and I certainly hope it’s not the last!

We open the story with Casey and Anders trying to track down one of their residents who decided to run off, getting a little cabin fever of his new surroundings. A snow storm leaves them stranded in a cave overnight and instead of finding their wayward resident, they find one who has been missing for over a year. Nicole was a member of the Rockton community and went missing over a year ago and was presumed dead for the most part, and when they bring her back to Rockton, they face a new problem. Trying to find out who had kidnapped her and left in her a cave for so long and tormenting her again and again.

This one really rocks the emotional strings, I’d say. Dealing with a lot of rape issues concerning Nicole and even bringing them back up for another resident. I think Kelley handles it very well though. It’s definitely a sensitive subject but sometimes those are needed in books. And like I said, Kelley handles it very well!

I felt like this one moved a lot faster than the previous novel. Perhaps because I was now in a familiar world rather than a totally new one. We still see Jacob from time to time, a few other settlers who are living in the woods as well. The characters are definitely taking on that familiar vibe! Even more astonishing is seeing some of them change for the better already! Jen, our notorious drunken loudmouth is actually wanting to be a part of the militia. Leaving Casey and everyone else wondering if she’s serious, and then there’s Diana who also seems to have turned a new leaf. I found this one to be more concerning than Jen. When we last saw her she was ranting at Casey and wanting to leave Rockton, but she’s a lot calmer now. I can’t help but feel wary about that either.

I also liked the direction that Casey and Eric are going in. I like that their romance isn’t a large feature to the story either. It’s just a little side element really. The mystery is definitely the focal point of things. But Casey and Eric continue to get serious with one another. Casey has been there for four months now and Eric makes quite a life changing decision for the two of them. Just wait until you read it!

Once again, I failed to solve the whodunit. I can blame the cold I had for the majority of when I read this, but honestly, I don’t know if I would’ve pinned it down. Oddly enough, that never bothers me either. I like solving mysteries sure, but if I don’t, no big deal! It kind of makes it more fun when that reveal comes along anyway! There’s a greater shock factor involved too!

Not only was I surprised with the whodunit, but another thing happened that totally sent me reeling! I am not sure what it will mean in the long run, but if I wasn’t already, I am officially hooked into this series. But honestly I could say I was hooked once I saw Kelley’s name on the cover of book 1! LOL!

The mysterious council wasn’t really in this one via radio much. I am still very curious about them. I can’t get a bead on who or what they are and what they’re after. Or if they’re after anything at all! When you involve a mysterious, faceless, entity of any kind, it makes me curious! Definitely hope that this group will be expanded upon in future installments!

The mystery-thriller is a sort of new genre for me, but I can definitely say it’s become a fast favorite! I love these intense and scary situations and trying to puzzle together the whodunit alongside Casey. Of course, I feel clueless a lot of the time too, but it’s all the fun of a mystery! You can totally track my love of mysteries and paranormal elements to Scooby Doo! LOL! If you’re looking for an intense and page-turning mystery, look no further than Kelley Armstrong!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


A Darkness Absolute releases February 7, 2017



  1. I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first book, but City of the Lost set a high bar and I kinda knew it would be hard to beat. It was still a solid sequel though!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  2. So happy to see you loved this! I've fallen behind with her books but really need to catch up. Her thrillers are so fantastic!

  3. I love mystery thrillers and I'm so happy this one kept you guessing.

  4. Great review; I love Kelley Armstrong books; her Otherworld series is one of my favorites. :)

  5. Definitely my favourite of the series so far! It had me on edge from start to finish.
    I'm hoping the next installment is coming out soon.


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