City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong (Casey Duncan #1) Review

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Publication: January 2nd 2016
Publisher:  Sphere
Pages:  352 pages
Source: Bookmobile
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary, Adult
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤

I was given an ARC of the second book in the Casey Duncan series, A Darkness Absolute, to review from the publisher. Since I hadn’t read the first one, I decided to read it first so that I could fully understand the book I was asked to review.

I am now convinced that Kelley Armstrong can write anything. Paranormal teen romance? She’s got you covered. Fantasy? Been their done that. Contemporary? Hell yeah! And now she can write mystery and thrillers.

City of the Lost follows Detective Casey Duncan who helps her best friend Diana escape her abusive ex by getting her and herself into the hidden town of Rockton, a town hidden in the Yukon for people who need to escape abusive or dangerous situations.The Sheriff of Rockton, Eric Dalton, reluctantly accepts Casey in since he needs a detective but he won’t tell her why. It is later revealed that people have died in mysterious ways, and he needs Casey to help him solve the case.

I absolutely adore Casey. She’s tough, she’s resilient, she’s a survivor, and she’s a fighter. She’s also a woman of colour, and we definitely need more woman of colour protagonists in literature. I loved reading from Casey’s voice and seeing how she analyzed the case, as well as trying to figure out the strange town she is now a part of.

I also loved watching the build-up of romance between Casey and Dalton. It wasn’t the typical “starstruck at first sight” moment, it was a much slower. While Casey and Dalton started off not liking each other, you can feel throughout the novel as Casey’s feelings change for Dalton, but it isn’t outright stated. It’s felt in how the characters address each other, how they interact with each other, and when they finally do acknowledge their feelings it’s satisfying and unsurprising to the reader.

And I love Dalton. I know Dalton he can be annoying and kind of an asshole, but I love him. I love asshole characters, and I have no idea why. Jaxon Hall? Love him. Howl Pendragon? LOVE him. Is this concerning? Yes. I don’t know what it says about me. Do I have a thing for assholes? Am I an asshole? The world may never know, but what we do know is that I love asshole characters, and that is a fact I’ve come to accept.

I was very surprised by who the killer turned out to be, but was overall unsatisfied by it. While it completely took me off guard, the reveal and explanation took place in a span of a couple of pages leaving little time for myself to fully wrap my head around why this person did what they did. I would have liked a more drawn out explanation, something a little slower.

Overall, City of the Lost is a great beginning to what I’m sure will be an amazing mystery/thriller series. I can’t wait to see what other mysteries unfold in Rockton!

As a sidenote, I liked how Diana’s fake last name in Rockton is Barry. I don’t know if it was an intentional nod to Anne of Green Gables to show how Casey and Diana’s friendship was nothing like Anne and Diana’s, but I liked it anyways.

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