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City of the Lost: A Thriller (Casey Duncan Novels) Paperback – January 17, 2017
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"[A] locked room mystery on steroids; readers should prepare for an all-nighter to finish it." ―Booklist
"Excellent first in a new thriller series... A highly unusual set-up sets the stage for a distinctive cast of characters and a page-turning plot." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"One of the best new series debuts this year! With its compelling characters and completely original set up, Omens delivers a powerful combination of suspenseful thrills and supernatural chills. I can't wait to read more!"-Lisa Gardner on Omens
"Through a series of surprises and sleights of hand, [this book] had me conspiring for ways to get back to the gripping story, the colorfully bizarre cast of characters, and the clever, strong, smart heroine at its center."-Lisa Unger on Omens
"Fast-paced and mysterious."-USA Today on Visions
"The town of Rockton’s strong, atmospheric presence will interest readers of Armstrong’s Cainsville series and appeal to new readers, particularly fans of C.J. Box." ―Library Journal
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. She is the author of City of the Lost, the first book in the Casey Duncan mystery series.
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Top Customer Reviews
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
I saw that this book received quite a bit of praise. It is also highly rated. Yet, never would I have anticipated such a GREAT story! The plot was riveting, to say the least. The characters surprised me, and did so on many occasions. I did not see so much of the storyline coming. And as if this alone is not plenty to convince others to read the book, Armstrong even packed in wonderfully yummy trivia. For instance, the arctic ground squirrel, which hybernates from Fall through Spring, allows its body temperature to drop to a miniscule negative three Centigrade!!! And yet, it wakes with no cellular damage, mysteriously able to survive these insane temperature extremes. I'm a junkie for knowledge, always hoping to learn something new. That this book was so expertly executed earned it a 5/5 rating, hands down; the bonus material included therein? Like whipped cream frosting on a yellow,custard-filled cake!!!
So whether this book falls into one of your favorite type of novels, or whether it's something you'd never pick up on a normal day, I urge you: download the sample. That was enough to seduce me into buying and inhaling the entire book. Finished in under 3 days. And it still crosses my mind from time to time. It's just THAT good! It has so much more in it than a crime story! Another one of my favorite features? It allows us a peak into the functioning of a mind very few of us will ever actually meet. A few such minds, actually.
And the protagonist? I think she was composed of the most curious and relatable features shared by us all. This makes it so effortless to relate to her, even though her life story will resemble none (or very nearly so?) of ours, and yet resonate with most of us.
Yet another brilliant stroke by Armstrong. I finally understand why this author has always been so highly recommended! Enjoy!!!