Thursday, February 2, 2017

ARC Review: A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

A Darkness Absolute
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Casey Duncan Novels (Book 2)
Publication: Minotaur Books (February 7, 2017)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: This is the second Casey Duncan thriller. Casey thought the town of Rockton in the Yukon Territory was a place where people who needed to get away from threatening situations could disappear and be safe. In the first book, she learned that wasn't quite true but thought the danger had been found and eliminated.

This story begins with Casey and detective Will Anders out of town searching for runaway Shawn Sutherland. When a blizzard comes out of nowhere, Casey and Will take cover in a cave. When they hear cries for help they discover Nicole, who went missing from Rockton fifteen months earlier, trapped in a hole. She was malnourished, had atrophied muscles and damaged vision. She couldn't really describe her captor since he'd always kept her in the dark, disguised his voice, and covered his head with a balaclava. They rescued her and brought her back to town. They wanted to send her south to civilization but she refused to go because she would be even less safe there.

Casey discovered two more bodies while searching for clues about Nicole's captor. She and Sheriff Eric Dalton have a town full of suspects. It seems everyone has secrets and their own agendas. The board that runs the town is more interested in a new resident's ability to pay than whether or not they are dangerous criminals. They have also turned their on-site rep against Eric by leading her to distrust him.

Besides the town residents, there are settlers and hostiles who have left Rockton and gone native or even feral. For an isolated area, there are plenty of suspects to sort through before Eric and Casey can find the killer.

This was an exciting and fast-paced thriller. I like how Casey and Eric's relationship is progressing as two people who have little experience with love and trust learn to depend on each other. I can't wait to read more books in this series because both the characters and setting are fascinating.

Favorite Quote:
I'm lost. In so many ways. Lost and defeated.

The north has won. The forest has won. I thought I could do this. Thought I could adapt, learn not to fight nature but work with it. That was Dalton's one overarching lesson. The forest isn't the enemy. It's not trying to kill you. It just doesn't particularly care if you live or die. 
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from a publicist from St. Martins Press/Minotaur Books. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I really need to finally get to the first one in the series! Glad book two lived up to the expectations of book one.

  2. Hi Kathy,

    This one does sound very good, but as I don't know anything about either the author or the series, do you think it works okay as a stand alone story, or should I read the series from the beginning?

    Nice review by the way, loved the quote you chose :)


  3. I am really looking forward to this book.


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