[700]: A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

Armstrong’s talent in writing smart thrillers on full display.

A Darkness Absolute
by Kelley Armstrong

We’re thrust back into the remote Northern Territories with Casey Duncan on the hunt for another killer. An unforeseen storm that throws them off track led them to a girl who has been missing for more than a year. Trapped in a hole no more than the size of a small person, the emaciated girl is rescued from her harrowing isolation. Days and months of endless physical, sexual, and mental abuse left her on the brink of madness.

Now, the Sheriff’s office has to track down a killer who upon further investigation might be responsible for several deaths of missing women.

Casey Duncan has all but acclimated to the life living in remote Northern Territories. Rockton and its people have grown on her – especially one person in particular. But if peace and quiet were what she’s after, Rockton apparently is the wrong place. Because once again, the town is facing deadly crimes with very little suspects to consider.  And since this is Rockton –  remote, a touch primeval, and wild – finding the killer will prove to be difficult. They’re not only racing against time, there’s also the brutal changing weather to contend.

Kelly Armstrong does a marvelous job in immersing her readers in her story in such a way that descriptively immortalizes an otherwise fictional town. The town of Rockton and its vicinities are beautiful as they are harsh. Not only do we get to experience all its wildness, but the townspeople themselves add a certain brutality that makes it seemed more sinister. Characterization has always been Armstrong’s forte. She writes the most credible kick-ass women.  Surprisingly enough, the men play a pivotal role in further empowering her heroines. It’s hard to explain. I guess the best way to describe it is like a marriage between a couple and each unit has the ability to qualify each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

She keeps the pacing of the story at an even keel. Giving her readers time to adjust and savor their own observations. Short chapters also help as she effectively pulls the readers into the nuances of the plot. Armstrong was very stingy with suspects. Since the town’s population is small, I felt like I already know everyone so you can pretty much tick off one townie at a time.  But in the end, and after the pieces of the puzzle have been connected, she made a very convincing case for the killer’s motives, psyche, and eventually, his identity.

A Darkness Absolute is a fantastic sequel. It hits the ground running right from the first page and doesn’t let up until the very end. There’s never a dull moment and you’ll feel like you can’t flip the page fast enough. This is the perfect book to cozy up to on cold winter nights with your reading socks and a nice cup of tea on hand.

  • Greg Hill

    I liked this one more than the first one, maybe because all the setup was done and she could jump right into the story. and it was creepy too! I thought every time Casey went outside or near the darn woods she was going to run into that guy- and it was pretty much that way! Like most thrillers it was fun to imagine whodunit, but you’re right about stingy suspects- this one was more fun than most trying to figure out the antagonist.

  • oh this is an author I have had my eye on for quite some time now. I really like that she balances out the pacing of the story.

    • She’s one of my fave! She rarely disappoints. And bonus, she’s Canadian. 😀

  • I still need to try this series. I love Kelley Armstrong and it has been a while since I’ve read something from her. Glad to see book two is strong. I have the first book on audio.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • I think you’ll love this one, Melanie. It’s just your type of read. 🙂

  • I am really liking this series. The town is so unusal and the characters are interesting. Her pacing is perfect. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!

    • Right? And I love the sinister ambience as well. There’s something about the remoteness of it that plays a role in the overall essence of the novel.

  • Eee, I’m curious about this 😀 I don’t usually read adult.. but I want this one, I think. I have read and loved a few books by this author before 🙂 And this plot sounds exciting. Thank you for sharing about it Joy 😀 Yay for enjoying it a lot. <3

    • I know. This is probably not the kind of thing you’d enjoy but maybe someday? 😀

  • I have a love/hate relationship with thrillers because so often the female characters are too stereotypical or simply fodder for serial killers. This book looks like it breaks the mould though so maybe I should give it a try.

    • Oh, Kelley does her heroines well. I hope you’ll try one of her books someday because she makes them so believable.

  • It’s been too long since I’ve read a Kelley Armstrong book. Her thrillers are always so suspenseful and intense!

    • Yep. And this one is pretty much a signature Kelley Armstrong book. So if you’ve enjoyed her books in the past, this one certainly will not disappoint. 😀

  • I’m really curious about this series and would love to try!

  • Gonna get my reading socks on

    • Ha. I should put mine on as well. Nothing else to do but read this weekend. 😀

  • I have to read something by her this year!

  • shootingstarsmag

    I just read a review for the first book. I’m glad you enjoyed the sequel. It sounds great. 🙂


    p.s. I shared a previous review of yours here: http://letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com/2017/02/rainbow-roundup-lgbt-around-web.html

    • Aw. Thanks so much, Lauren! I’ll have to check it out. 😀

  • I’ve only read one of her YA books, which took place on Vancouver Island (where I’ve been!) and I liked the setting a lot. Will try this!

    • Ohhh I love her YAs, too! The Darkest Powers is one of my favourite series of all time. I haven’t finished that one that you’re talking about, though. I really should!

  • Another book to add to my ever growing to be bought list. Great review, Joy. I haven’t read very many Kelley Armstrong books but I have plenty of them in my TBR pile. I should dust some of those off and get them read. She sounds like a strong voice in suspense novels.

    • Whoops. Sorry! Lol. But honestly, I hope you’re at least enjoying any of the books I recommend. 😀

  • Yay, I loved this one too! Personally I thought City of the Lost was a bit stronger, but the character development in this one was on point so I let it slide. 😉 Casey continues to be amazing, and I’m really liking Nicole and Petra too. It’s also nice to see Jacob being fleshed out as a character, because I was intrigued by him in book 1. Plus who doesn’t love a cute puppy in their books, right? 🙂

    • Oh, I forgot to mention Jacob! Yes. I’m glad Jacob is getting a lot more play. I so want him to move into town because his living condition worries me a little. Lol.

  • I’m currently listening to this and loving it! Very disturbing and I can’t wait to find out who did it! Glad to see you enjoyed it too, Joy! 🙂

    • I listened to the audiobook as well. I enjoyed the narration! I hope you’ll enjoy the rest, Rachel!

  • kindlemom1

    Yay! So happy you loved this as much as the first, I really did as well and I’m excited to have this series from her, I can only see how it will get better and better.

    • I feel like she’ll rarely disappoint me at this point, to be honest. But I’m so happy you enjoyed it as well. 😀

  • I’ve only read one book by her and it was a YA and it was fantastic. I read a review for this one last week and it made me want to get the series. Armstrong sounds like she’s really talented at giving attention to every aspects of a story. Adding this to my TBR! 🙂

    • Her YAs are so good! I hope you’ll try these books one day, Nick!

  • It sounds like this was a brilliant continuation to the series! I also really liked how you described the male and female characters working together in a way that just fits. I think that’s the ideal way to represent both genders and how it should actually be in real life too.

    • It was – most def. She does suspense/thriller well and the sprinkling of romance also helps!

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I haven’t read anything by Armstrong in so long so I have to pick up this series! I love a well-written mystery and this sounds perfect. Wonderful review, Joy–I need to add this to my TBR ASAP!

    • I think you’ll enjoy these, Keertana. I hope you’ll try them. 😀