A Darkness Absolute // A Brilliant Sequel From An Author Who Always Delivers

22 May 2017

Published: 28th February 2017
Source: Gift
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
My Rating:
The follow-up to #1 NYT bestseller Kelley Armstrong’s acclaimed City of the Lost, Rockton town detective Casey Duncan makes a terrible—and dangerous—discovery in the woods outside of town.

When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.

Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that...before another victim goes missing.

Casey Duncan returns in another heart-racing thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.
You know how I posted some reviews which had been lurking in my drafts for six months the other day? Well, now I’ve got one which I have been intending to write ever since I finished the book. I read City of the Lost last year and loved it. And I told you about how I loved it in my Borrowed Books post and I fully intended to review the sequel too…. and then somehow didn’t. I decided to remedy this because I want to review my favourite books on here and this was a favourite (also, seeing Kaja reading the first book reminded me I still haven’t reviewed this… bad Becky). I will be relying on my memory on this and my Goodreads review but I think I can remember all the salient details.

First of all, I absolutely loved this book. I was a little hesitant going in but once I got into the flow of the book I loved it. There was little doubt about that, though. Kelley Armstrong may be an author I first read last year but she has become a firm favourite of mine and her books always deliver.

It was great to return to the town of Rockton and see how Casey has managed to integrate herself within the community now she has stayed. A lot of things happened in the first book and given that it’s an off the grid town relying upon the mysterious council to provide for their needs nd a place where the community must fill all the holes in labour needs meant it was interesting seeing how they managed to cope after the reveal of the first book. I really liked seeing how Casey was being accepted in town. It was great reading about it all and just seeing this community and how they work, especially as this time they were looking at both the past and the present. I loved glimpses on how the town came about and about what happens when folks leave. All of it just worked for me.

I also loved that Casey and Eric's relationship is as strong as ever despite both of them not having had long-term relationships before. It was interesting seeing them navigate the unknown together. They were initially influenced by others and the expectations that others have for relationships but it was great that when there were moments that in other books would have forced them apart and created conflict they instead spoke about stuff. Like actually used their words. You do not know how often I shout that at a book, it’s insane. I loved that they were both able to speak to one another about things. Their relationship will not be plain sailing but I enjoyed reading about it.

The reason the book didn't get 5 stars from me may be petty but it was simply the mystery of this book wasn't as strong as the first. It felt like Casey's path to find out who was to blame was very convoluted and I noticed that fact. It wasn't enough to bring my enjoyment down but that did niggle at me. I get it was difficult for them to investigate with the weather being against them and trying to not create doubts within a community which lean towards volatility but I feel like it was a not seeing the forest for the trees kind of situation. Basically, they went all round the Wrekin and it was unnecessary.

The mystery may not have been as strong this time around but I continue to want to see more from the Casey Duncan series. I still have many questions about Rockton and the people there and I also wanted to know more about this mysterious council and the hostiles. There is plenty more to explore and I for one cannot wait.

Anyone else let reviews linger in their drafts for far too long? And had anyone else read and loved this series so far? Any similar recs because I feel like Armstrong is in a genre of her own at times and that makes her original but girl needs some good recs now and again.

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