Monday, February 13, 2017

Review - City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong @MinotaurBooks

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Casey Duncan #1
St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Date Read: February 7,2017
Source: Library

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 a bestselling urban fantasy writer, City of the Lost boldly announces a major new player in the crime fiction world.

My Review

I am shocked by how much I ended up liking this book.  The story grabbed me immediately and I never lost interest.  This was one of those books where just as soon as I thought I knew where the story was going, something would happen and I would realize that I was completely wrong.  This really was the kind of book that can really hard to put down.

This is the first book in the Casey Duncan series and after reading the first two books in the series, I do recommend that this series be read in order.  This book really does set the groundwork for the next book in the series.  This was a book that started in one manner and by the time it was over it was a completely different book.  I loved that this book kept me guessing until the very end.

Casey is a detective.  A detective with a past.  She is very protective of her friend, Diana, who has been the victim of domestic violence.  She has even moved before in order to support her friend.  Diana learns about a town where people like her can go to hide and desperately wants to go.  She wants Casey to come along with her.  They end up going to Rockton, a town off the grid, in the Canadian wilderness.

Rockton is filled with interesting characters.  Casey is put to work right away with Sheriff Dalton who more or less runs the town.  The mystery in this story really took a lot of twists and turns that were completely unexpected.  I had no idea which characters could be trusted from one moment to the next.  I had to keep the pages turning just to find out what would happen.

The writing was wonderful.  I was sucked into the story from the first sentence.  Literally the first sentence.  The pacing of the story was perfectly done.  There were points in the book that were focused on really getting to know the characters while others were actively working on the mystery.  The mystery was complex and believable.  I honestly cannot believe that this is the first book by Kelley Armstrong that I have read because it seems that I am really missing out.

I would highly recommend this book to mystery thriller fans.  Although Kelley Armstrong is known for writing books filled with supernatural elements, this book is a straight up mystery thriller.  And it is a good one.

The Casey Duncan Series

Book #1 - City of the Lost
Book #2 - A Darkness Absolute - Review to be posted later this week
About the Author

KELLEY ARMSTRONG graduated with a degree in psychology and then studied computer programming. Now, she is a full-time writer and parent, and she lives with her husband and three children in rural Ontario, Canada.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. Wow, a perfect star! I really need to get done with my list so I could finally read this series. Can't wait!

  2. I need a good mystery thriller, so thanks. I am reading The Sleepwalker now, but seems a little romancy to me. Happy Monday!!

  3. I've been telling myself that I should pick up a Kelley Armstrong book. Seeing that this is a good mystery thriller with a detective that's worth following and sounds like someone I'd like to see develop and grow (I'll never get tired of detectives with dark pasts).

    czai @ the Blacksheep Reader

  4. Five stars?! But a new series . . . I promised myself NO more :)

  5. I've heard raves about Kelley Armstrong but have never managed to actually read one of her books. This sounds really good and the whole idea of a town that you can't leave without permission makes me jumpy - even if it's supposed to be a safe haven!

  6. Oh wow, it sounds like you truly did find this series to be absolutely amazing! Five stars from the first book is so rare. I am so happy you were able to find a novel which sucked you in from the very start, and that you could never predict what was going to happen!


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