Review time! Feels like it's been a while! So, let's start with a description of what's being talked about:
Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again. Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.
Description found on Goodreads.
I will start by saying Kelley Armstrong has been my favorite author for many years now, so this review may be a bit biased. I discovered her Women of the Otherworld series and just fell in love with her writing style. It flows well and there is rarely a dull moment that makes you put it down out of boredom. Since then, she has written many different types of series, and City of the Lost is categorized as just mystery, maybe mystery/thriller (not her usual mystery with a supernatural twist on it). So this was new for me from her.
In the beginning, I was a bit nervous. Casey (our protagonist) starts off by confessing this huge secret that she killed a man and explains how she keeps going to see therapists, sort of...hoping I guess?...that one of them breaks confidentiality and turns her in. As to why they haven't, I have no idea. Wouldn't that be something a therapist would report? Eh, what do I know? Basically, I was thinking Casey was a dumbass at first and if I don't like a protagonist, I can't get through a series. However! With this being from my favorite author, I didn't quit and whew am I glad. Once the story got rolling, I couldn't put it down.
One of my favorite things about this book was that it wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be. I wasn't totally surprised by who the antagonist was, but I hadn't felt 100% like "yeah, they're the bad guy!" There was one instant where Casey suspected a character and I did audibly go, "No, Casey, you're being stupid. Obviously not that one." I was right. (Said suspect totally should have been more upset by the accusation than they were, but that's just my opinion). The other thing I really enjoy (and she does this in almost all of her adult novels) is that the romance is not "love at first sight". Most of the books I have read lately with romance in it tend to just slap you in the face with it right at the beginning and it almost becomes the main focus and you lose the plot after that. In Casey's case, her love interest required some work before it actually happened. Now I will admit that, once it did happen, we lost the plot just a little bit, but it picked back up after a chapter or 2. So I wasn't annoyed by it.
There were still a lot of unanswered questions at the end, but this is an ongoing series so I know those won't be answered until further in the series. And I won't say it was the best book I have ever read; it certainly has its flaws and there are parts in it that I feel are unnecessary, but I did love it and will definitely continue the series. And Kelley Armstrong still holds her spot as #1 in my favorite author's list.
I rate this a 4 out of 5 stars.