Kelley Armstrong's 'Rockton' series. The fifth book, Alone in the Wild, releases today - and it's a fabulous read!
For those of you who haven't read this series yet (and you need to!), Rockton is a hidden, off the grid town up in the wilds of the Yukon. The residents? Yeah, they're all running from something or hiding from someone. Nobody asks too many questions. But even this town needs some laws - and someone to enforce them. That's where Detective Casey Duncan comes in - she was a homicide cop 'down south'. She and Sheriff Eric Dalton are partners at work - and at home. The first four books have let us get to know the lead characters, the residents, the dynamics and follow along as Casey and Eric work cases.
In Alone in the Wild, the pair are on a rare weekend off, camping out in the woods when Casey finds a baby - alive, but in the arms of a dead woman.....
What makes this series one of my absolute favourites? I am fascinated with the setting and Armstrong's world building. A town full of secrets offers up so many possibilities for storytelling. And the idea of a hidden town? Who's to say there isn't? Armstrong has slowly eked out the details of the town and what lies beyond it's fences over the course of the last four books. In this entry, most of the action and story takes place outside the town in the wilds of the Yukon. Rockton residents aren't the only ones in the area. There are those who have chosen to leave town and make their home elsewhere in the wilderness. There are the First Settlement residents who live a rougher but recognizable life. But, there are also Hostiles - people who have reverted to an almost animalistic state. And a few who live alone. I've been itching to find out more about these 'outsiders' and Alone in the Wild finally gives us some answers. But there are still questions and more to learn. I'm hooked!
What else? The characters. Casey is a strong female lead - tough, intelligent and determined - but not perfect. Eric is just as well drawn. The two together make a great team. I'm not a big romance reader, but Armstrong does it well. Their relationship is believable, not 'over the top' and enhances the book, rather than being the main focus. The main core of residents are very eclectic (and dangerous) and I enjoy what they bring to the books as well. I must say, I very much like the new addition of Storm the dog - her chuffing and baleful looks speak volumes.
And last, but certainly not least are the mysteries/cases in every book. They're unpredictable, intriguing and impossible to figure out ahead of the ending. Twists and turns along the way kept me guessing. And the action had me on the edge of my seat.
Sorry, one more thing - the writing. Armstrong's work is just so, so...well, so readable! And addictive. I am immediately engrossed in the first few pages of her novels and get quite annoyed when someone interrupts me! See for yourself - here's an excerpt of Alone in the Wild.
This reader can't wait for the sixth book!