City of the Lost is the first in this new series by Kelley Armstrong. But I didn’t know that at the time and you don’t really need to read these in order. This isn’t a series that hinges on that. Each is stand-alone. But for the relationships going on in the town… I’d like to have read them in order. You get to know a lot about those relationships and history, but knowing where it Began would have been interesting indeed.
So I read A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong.
Casey, the detective in this story, discovers a woman held captive in a cave while hunting down a town resident. The woman has been in this hole for over a year by a man and Casey has to figure out if the perpetrator is from town or one of the people living in the wild outside of town. This isn’t my usual fantasy fiction… it is a mystery/suspense/thriller sort of book.
Why did I pick it up:
I picked it up because there was a deal on it and it looked interesting. I’ve read this author before in her more paranormal work so I thought I’d give it a go.
What is good about the novel:
The setting takes place in a town called Rockton, a secret down for those that can afford its sanctuary, and it means living off the grid. I love the concept of this town because it makes for a lot of suspects. People buy their way into the town after committing crimes or being hunted down and needing to hide. Outside of town are Settlers and Hostiles who could have committed the crime as well. Some know of the town, since they were previous residents, while others are not in the know. Because of its isolation and secrecy, they have little control over essential things like having certain professionals available. So they have no doctor in town, at the moment. And they very much are old school in investigations due to the lack of technology. The relationships in the town are very interesting and add a lot of depth to this work.
The plot itself, with the girl held a prisoner in a hole for a year, gets complicated and interesting. I found the ending to be immensely satisfying. It draws you in slowly. A slow build. I think the setting of this cold, isolated place, makes it that much more compelling. If you had someone do a crime like that in such an isolated place, where you Cannot get outside assistance, have limited resources, and maybe a resident in your small community… makes for a lot of suspense and intrigue.
What is not so good about this novel:
It is more of a mystery so it isn’t something I was in Love with due to the genre. I found it a bit slow paced at the beginning and read a few other books in between there. It picks up the pace and gets your interest for sure. The ending was perfect but it was a bit anticipated. For me, anyway. Like you see the foreshadowing of it and suspect it when it comes close. Nevertheless, a great ending. And I didn’t know who did it, at all, so that kept me going.
I would recommend this book to my mom who loves these types of books. So that is something right there. And I read it to the end, compelled by the storyline to see it out, and this isn’t a genre I read at all. It was great for something different.