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 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 domestic violence support 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, 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. An edgy, gripping crime novel from a bestselling urban fantasy writer, City of the Lost boldly announces a major new player in the crime fiction world.
Kindle Edition, 412 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Minotaur Books
Three and a half stars: A book with an interesting and unique setting, quirky characters and a dark, twisty mystery.
Casey is a respected homicide detective with a sinister secret. She murdered a man in cold blood after he betrayed her. Since then, Casey has refused to let people get close to her. She has one friend, Diana, who is running from an abusive ex-husband. When Diana's ex-husband catches up with her once again, Diana decides to take drastic measures. She applies to live in a mysterious town in the middle of Canada that is completely off the grid. Those who are accepted into the town are forced to live without electricity and modern conveniences. No one can get in or out of the town without the council's approval. When Casey and Diana arrive in Rockton, they find that things are even harder than they thought. The town has suffered its first real murder, there are cannibals and hostiles in the woods, and it seems that not everyone in Rockton is who they claim to be. Will Casey survive Rockton?
What I Liked:
- Ms. Armstrong has proven time and time again that she is one heck of a storyteller, and once more, she shines with City of the Lost. This is an exciting tale with a memorable and unique setting, and characters whom you won't forget. I enjoyed immersing into this dark and strange world.
- What makes this book stand out is the setting. Rockton is a town like no other. It is a place completely off the grid. There is no electricity, internet, cell phones or any of the other modern conveniences. The people who reside in the town are approved by a mysterious town council. Not everyone in the town is telling the truth, in fact, there are criminals and murderers hiding out in the town. Outside Rockton, are hostiles and possibly cannibals. Even though the town sounds completely crazy and creepy, it's not. I actually loved immersing into this strange world Read this for the world building.
- Casey and Eric Dalton are the heart and soul of this book. Both of them have "issues" and secrets. Talk about complicated people. Casey is tough as nails, smart and completely up to the task of taking on Rockton and one Eric Dalton. Speaking of Eric Dalton, talk about a fascinating character. Dalton is rough on the exterior, he barks and bites, but underneath, he's brutally honest, puts up with zero bullshit, and he is direct and abrupt. Yet, there is something lovable about him. He takes some time to get to know and warm up to, but by the end, I was sold.
- For all you romance lovers, there is a romance. I liked it. It is a subtle romance that explodes in an instant. This is not an insta love situation by any means. It is abrupt and direct just like the characters. It fit the story perfectly.
- The murder mystery is exciting and suspenseful. There are plenty of red herrings, lots of suspects and motives and big twists and turns. I was completely caught off guard at the big reveal. This is case where almost everyone is a suspect, and it will leave you reeling. If you want a terrific atmospheric murder mystery, this is one to try.
- The ending was fast and furious and a lot of information is thrown at you. However, once the dust settles, almost everything is explained. No cliffhangers or nagging questions.
And The Not So Much:
- Even though almost everything is revealed at the end, I wasn't completely satisfied, especially when the killer was unmasked. I felt like it was suddenly thrown out there, and the reader is left in the dark as to how Casey puts it all together. There are hints, but not enough to please me. I wish that this portion was better fleshed out. It felt like a big information dump right at the end.
- I was not happy with Diana's story line. I wanted more explanation and detail on what she did.
- Even though I liked the world building, I felt like I was missing information. I wanted a better understanding of the mysterious council. Who were the people investing in the town? Why? What kind of kickback were they receiving? I also wanted to understand the people outside of the Rockton. Who were the hostiles? What about the cannibals, are they real or rumors?
City of the Lost is a thrilling, suspenseful and atmospheric murder mystery. I loved the setting, the characters and the mystery. This is a book that slowly sucks you in and keeps you hostage. If you love a complex mystery with plenty of suspects as well as some shocking twists and turns, look no further. This is the perfect book for a winter day. I can't wait to read the next one.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.