Wednesday, January 30, 2019

ARC Review: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Watcher in the Woods
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Casey Duncan Novels (Book 4)
Publication: Minotaur Books (February 5, 2019)

Description: Watcher in the Woods is the next gripping installment of #1 bestselling Kelley Armstrong's riveting Casey Duncan series. 
The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town's only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson, and falling in love in the several months that she's lived there. Yet even she didn't think it would be possible for an outsider to locate the town and cause trouble in the place she's come to call home.

When a US Marshal shows up demanding the release of one of the residents, but won't say who, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, are skeptical. And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only possible suspects are the townspeople and Casey's estranged sister, smuggled into town to help with a medical emergency. It's up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why someone would kill to keep him quiet―before the killer strikes again.

My Thoughts: It was nice to make a new visit to Rockton. This book follows THIS FALLEN PREY closely in time. Casey has suggested bringing her sister April to Rockton to operate on Kenny who has a bullet in his back from the activities of the previous book. April and Casey have never gotten along. She's six years older than Casey and followed her parents' wishes and went into medicine. She is now a surgeon and researcher. Casey has always felt that April sided with her parents in looking down on her. She could never connect with her sister no matter how hard she tried to catch her attention.

After some initial reluctance, April agrees to come to Rockton for a weekend. Since Eric and Casey didn't get the Council's permission, they need to sneak her in and out of town. Unfortunately, this time someone followed them back home. A man named Mark Garcia who introduces himself as a US Marshal says that he has come to take one of the residents back to the US. He won't tell them which resident or even give them any hints. Naturally, this irritates Eric and Casey who are two-thirds of the law for Rockton. They are equally alarmed that he has even found Rockton since it is supposed to be a major secret.

Before they can figure out who Garcia has come for, someone shoots and kills him. Now Casey and Eric need to find a murderer in a town where everyone has secrets and even Eric, who is supposed to be given the truth about the residents, is being kept in the dark. What he has been told is not necessarily true. The Council seems to be deliberately deceiving Eric and selling this sanctuary to the highest bidder without consideration of the danger they might be bringing with them.

As Casey interviews residents and checks alibis, she is also learning more about her sister. She is surprised when one of the residents who was a psychologist before she came to Rockton to run a bar and brothel suggest that April is probably somewhere on the Autism Spectrum. However, that explains a lot about her sister and her relationship with her sister.

Many of the town residents are unique and colorful individuals from barkeeper to the butcher who was a psychiatrist specializing in psychopaths and sociopaths to the constant whiner to the racist bully who almost got a lynch mob together in the previous book. Casey and Eric think that they have sussed out all of the Council spies but they aren't completely sure.

This was a well-plotted mystery in a great setting. I really like Casey and like her relationship with Eric who is also a wonderful character. Fans of the series will devour this one and be eager for more from Rockton.

Favorite Quote:
As a child, she might not have realized why I was being "silly," but at the age of thirty-seven, she could not fail to realize that she lacked a sense of humor. What would it be like, constantly knowing others found something funny and not understanding why? A good sense of humor is one of the traits we look for in others. Someone who doesn't understand jokes is dull, stuffy, boring...
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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