I am ashamed to admit that I don’t follow too many Canadian authors. I haven’t even read too many of Margaret Atwood’s work. Kelley Armstrong, however, is one that I don’t dare miss. She writes the best thriller in any genre, so when I came across this title, I immediately pounced at the chance to read it.
City of the Lost is the story of Casey Duncan, a detective who found herself on the run because her past came back to haunt her. On top of that, her best friend’s abusive ex found her again and decided to reunite with her the only way he knew how: by beating her to within an inch of her life. Wanting to hide, they found sanctuary in a town where people come to disappear. In the remote wilderness of Yukon Territory, a sense of an otherworldly danger only the likes of Casey can detect. And it doesn’t take long before she’s entrenched in a series of murder investigations where the suspect roams the inside and outside of the boundary of the forest.
I’m often cautious to recommend a good crime story. But if that’s not your thing, and you’ve decided to see what you’ve been missing, Kelley Armstrong’s work is a great place to start. She somehow manages to entice non-readers to come to the dark side with her tightly-woven mysteries and seemingly stereotypical characters. Don’t get me wrong, stereotypical characters are not always a good thing, but since it’ll be a new territory, it’s oddly comforting.
You’ve got a strong female character who presents a tentativeness that you don’t normally see from heroines in the genre. Casey can kick the living daylights of the bad guys any day, but is a little insecure in some ways. She’s a study in dichotomy, oddly enough. But then again, aren’t they all? I’ve never found her to be confident, even though she’s intelligent and quick on her feet. She’s mild-mannered and even-tempered. Just don’t surprise her or she’ll shoot you first and then ask questions after.
Then, there’s the Sheriff. He was a dick. But this dick grew on me. Hard. (Sorry. I can’t resist). Eric Daulton grew up in this secret town so he has a sense of ownership and is always looking for ulterior motives from any newcomers. Casey was on his shit list at first, but she quickly wins him over with her take-no-shit-from-anybody attitude. This novel features a whole slew of shady characters with shady pasts. And since this Rockton is a place where none of that matters, the investigation was a slow process. I think the only thing I can complain about is tediousness and it wasn’t very forthcoming with clues either. But never fear Casey and Eric’s interactions were torturous fun.
Once again, Kelley didn’t disappoint. She captures the very essence of a good mystery novel in a setting unlike anything I’ve ever read before. This is a first in the series so I’m chomping at the bits to read more. The possibilities are endless for this town of Rockton, the good Sheriff and the detective.
GOODREADS SUMMARY | January 2nd, 2016 | Random House Canada |