[610]: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong


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 | 



  • I like reading Kelley Armstrong’s books… but I hadn’t heard of this one! I do love the sound of Casey! She’s my kind of girl!

  • Omg I laughed so hard at that dick comment. That was hilarious! I’m not a reader of the crime/thriller genre but you have me intrigued! I’ll try to give this a go if I feel like reading something a bit more suspenseful. (And I did not know Margaret Atwood was Canadian… I’m terrible).

    • Hahah! Yep, Ms. Atwood is a Canadian treasure. 😀

  • I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m really excited to try it. She has had so many books come out lately, I can’t seem to keep up with her lately. It looks like I really need to get to this one very soon. I loved your review.

    • Oh yes. She churns them out like pancakes! This woman is amazing. 😀

  • Oh my Joy, Hard dicks growing on you? I’m pretty sure they have a cream for that.

    I love Kelley Armstrong too. There’s something incredibly engaging and relatable about her writing and have adored her YA series. I haven’t tried any of her adult releases though so this one looks like a great read to start with and I love me a strong protagonist too. Bloody hell Joy, no one can make me spend as much money on books as you do. Incredible review! <3

    • Hahhaha! Too funny. 😀 Her novels are so easy to read regardless of topics or heft. That’s why I love her books!

  • I’ve read a few of her books, all YA, and loved it all. She writes good mysteries and has great imagery and imagination when it comes to action sequences. I should check this out at some point

    • I enjoyed this one! I hope you’ll give it a whirl.

  • Melissa (Books and Things)

    ROFL! Love the pun. I love her writing and need to get into more of it. I agree, she does write a good mystery. She also always has me hate a character I will love later when I get to know them. No other author does that to me consistently like she does.

    • Oh you’ll probably feel the same way about Casey Duncan. She’s hard to like at first because she’s got this huge chip on her shoulders. But I assure you, you’ll love her in the end. 😀

  • Great to hear that she was a strong character-

  • Wonderful review! I love a good mystery/thriller so this one is right up my alley. Glad you enjoyed it. I need to read Kelley Armstrong too 🙂

    • Perfect! I hope you’ll enjoy her books. I really enjoy her Darkest Powers series, so give that one a whirl, Shane.

  • I will definitely pick this this up! I’ve been getting into thrillers and crime novels more and more of late.

    • It’s weird because this book was giving me a PNR vibe at first, but as you go along, it turns out to be something else.

  • She has so many dang books, but I haven’t read a single one. 🙁 I really, really need to. I know this.

  • Melliane

    I usually really liker her books so I confess that I was curious about this one and I’m glad to see you had a good time with it because now I want to read it!

  • I really need to get around to reading this author (I think I may have read her YA series?). I laughed so hard at this: He was a dick. But this dick grew on me. Hard. (Sorry. I can’t resist)

  • kindlemom1

    I saw this on Netgalley I think it was and was super curious about it. I already love Armstrong so I really want to give this a try. So glad it didn’t disappoint.

  • Jazmen

    Haha, your review! Too funny. I haven’t read anything by her yet but it’s on my agenda. Sounds like a great one. Nice review!

  • RO

    As you know, I’m a sucker for a good mystery/crime thriller, and while I still haven’t had the opportunity to check out her work, I would totally pick this one up for mey this one up for my shelf. Awesome review!

    • Thanks, Ro! I hope you’ll have a chance to read at least one of her books. 😀

  • Ohhh I should read read more by her

  • shootingstarsmag

    I need to try out some of Kelley’s works. I believe my sister has read a couple. Thanks for your thoughts on this one- I do like mysteries!


  • This book sounds so interesting to me. It’s a mix of a lot of things from the sound of it – some romance, some pretty interesting if not too unique (but then in some ways they still are?) characters and also a situation where they need to disappear with a mystery. Sounds like quite a bit but it seems like it shapes up to make a pretty great novel 🙂

    • it was such an engrossing mystery! I hope you’ll give it a chance. 😀

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I love a good Kelley Armstrong novel so I’m glad to see this didn’t disappoint! I haven’t heard of it at all so thanks for throwing it on my radar, Joy–I’ll need to find it ASAP!

    • You’re welcome! I hope you’ll enjoy. 😀

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    Oh I love the sound of Casey Joy! She reminds me of Gin Blanco from the Elemental Assassin series – can kick ass any day of the week but is really vulnerable emotionally. Love that about her, so I think I’m going to love it about Casey too. It’s been a while since I’ve read a good crime story, so sign me up!

    • Ohh I don’t think I’ve met Gin Blanco yet. Must give her a look-see. 😀

  • Hahaha! I laughed too hard at that dick comment. You, my friend, are hilarious! 🙂
    I haven’t read anything by this author but at some point I REALLY want to because her books sound amazing. And I’ve been craving good mystery books lately, so this sounds right up my alley especially if the main character is a strong gal. You make a very strong case for this book, Joy! I don’t think I can resist! 🙂
    Beautiful review!

  • This author’s name looks really familiar and I’m totally baffled as to why (Goodreads did not help me there). I do love a good mystery, and this one sounds quite interesting indeed! 🙂

    • She’s written so much books! I hope you’ll give her a try someday.

  • Yay 😀 Awesome review Joy. <3 So thrilled you enjoyed this one. Sounds so interesting. I do wish to read more mystery books. Just, I need them to be YA, lol 😀 So this one isn't for me. But ahh, you do make it sound pretty amazing 😀 So glad you liked it. <3

    • Me, too! But it’s Kelley Armstrong, so it’s to be expected. Haha!

  • This sounds right up my alley, Joy. I’ve read Kelly Armstrong’s YA and loved it, and you know me, I gobble up mystery/thriller/suspense type of stories. 🙂

    • You might enjoy this one, too, Rachel. You’ll especially enjoy the sheriff. *winks*