A Darkness Absolute (Casey Duncan, #2)
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.

A Darkness Absolute (Casey Duncan, #2) Details

TitleA Darkness Absolute (Casey Duncan, #2)
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2017
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN1250092175
ISBN-139781250092175
Number of pages416 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Adult, Suspense, Contemporary

A Darkness Absolute (Casey Duncan, #2) Review

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    December 31, 2016
    Reviewed by: Rabid Reads4.5 starsLast year I read CITY OF THE LOST more out of duty than expectation of loving it. Armstrong writes several of my favorite urban fantasy series and has been an auto-buy author for over a decade, but I had limited success with her last mystery series (NADIA STAFFORD), so I was prepared to feel pretty MEH about it . . . In CITY OF THE LOST, we learned about Casey's inner darkness. In A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE, we watch as she begins to come to terms with it. Once again, s Reviewed by: Rabid Reads4.5 starsLast year I read CITY OF THE LOST more out of duty than expectation of loving it. Armstrong writes several of my favorite urban fantasy series and has been an auto-buy author for over a decade, but I had limited success with her last mystery series (NADIA STAFFORD), so I was prepared to feel pretty MEH about it . . . In CITY OF THE LOST, we learned about Casey's inner darkness. In A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE, we watch as she begins to come to terms with it. Once again, she finds herself in a cave with Anders, completely devoid of light, and once again, it makes her introspective: Absolute dark and absolute clarity, reaching into the darkness inside me. But there seems to be nothing dark in Anders. I know better know. It took some time fore me to comes to terms with his past. And then more time to realize that the person I'd befriended wasn't a mask he wore in Rockton. It's all him, the dark and the light. And if Anders can be both darkness and light, perhaps she can as well. But there's more to this follow-up than self-discovery. There's also another creeptastic mystery to solve. *shudders* I'd thought Armstrong had hit the ceiling of creepy with her potentially cannibalistic mountain people, but she destroys her previous record when Casey finds the remains of two women shoved into a crevice of the aforementioned cave . . . In addition to the still living woman . . . A woman who had disappeared from Rockton over a year ago . . . A woman thought to be dead, b/c a woman of her general description had been found WEARING HER CLOTHES after the spring thaw . . . I won't detail the horrors Nicole Chavez endured while held captive in that cave, but there are few reasons a man would do such a thing, so if that type of scenario is unacceptable to you when picking out your next read, you have been warned.That being said, Armstrong doesn't give too much detail either. She doesn't need to, so she doesn't, and I appreciated the deft handling of such a horrific reality.B/c it is horrific. And an almost palpable dread seeps from the pages into the reader when Casey becomes the mystery man's new target. *shudders violently*BUT. (Thankfully) A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE isn't all horror and dread. Eric and Casey provide blessed relief from the mounting tension as they stumble haplessly through the the early dance steps of a new relationship, neither of them having much experience with such things. I compared Eric to Clay Danvers in my review of CITY OF THE LOST, and the comparison remains apt. In his entirely human way, he is as devoted to Casey as Clay is to Elena, and his fumbles are equally adorable.A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE is the second installment of Kelley Armstrong's CASEY DUNCAN series, and it's the best book I've read . . . in ages. I'm not content to say, "this year," b/c it's too early for that to hold much weight, and it's a truly stellar book. Casey's experience may be one I can't personally relate too, but her struggles and doubts resonate in a very personal way, and the horrors of the mystery she must solve are tempered by the growing relationships with the residents of her new home. I cannot recommend this series more highly. Read it, read it NOW.
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  • Diane S ☔
    February 21, 2017
    Yukon territory, a vast frontier, the perfect place to hide a village, a place where people who are in danger in the outside world can escape. This is where Casey and her friend Diana, an abused wife, were allowed to come, their lives in danger, a place where they could be safe. But is anyplace absolutely safe? Run by a committee on the outside, a committee that is supposed to weed out those who are violent or a threat, but do they?Second in this intriguing series, a place out of time, no cell p Yukon territory, a vast frontier, the perfect place to hide a village, a place where people who are in danger in the outside world can escape. This is where Casey and her friend Diana, an abused wife, were allowed to come, their lives in danger, a place where they could be safe. But is anyplace absolutely safe? Run by a committee on the outside, a committee that is supposed to weed out those who are violent or a threat, but do they?Second in this intriguing series, a place out of time, no cell phones, not investigative tools other than those that can be seen, no formal lab, yet crimes must be detected, solved. When a young woman, thought dead, is found held prisoner in a cave, Casey and Eric must investigate, attempt to find the person who is capable of this kind of maliciousness. There are settlements, those whom after the five years allowed, did not want to leave and set off on their own, formed their own settlements. Then there are the hostiles, little more than animals and of course there are the actual animals, jaguars, etc. A dangerous place, why everyone in the town is encouraged to not wander outside of it, unless accompanied. The characters and their back stories, why they are here are slowly being revealed in each consecutive book. Interesting to say the least, but the best part of this series, what Armstrong does masterfully is the pacing, it is fast throughout, not a page where I was bored, wanting to prod the story on, there is literally no down time. Good stuff with this series.ARC from Netgalley.
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  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    December 7, 2016
    I was hooked on this series after reading the first book and was so eager to get my hands on this and start it right away. By the time I had finished the last page, I knew that I had come across a series that was every bit as unique and original and well written as they get.Once again Armstrong has managed to write something that stands out and demands to be taken notice of. With characters that are every bit as dangerous and disarming and they are charming and endearing. There is something so b I was hooked on this series after reading the first book and was so eager to get my hands on this and start it right away. By the time I had finished the last page, I knew that I had come across a series that was every bit as unique and original and well written as they get.Once again Armstrong has managed to write something that stands out and demands to be taken notice of. With characters that are every bit as dangerous and disarming and they are charming and endearing. There is something so backwards yet fascinating about the town they live in. The rules they abide by and of course the people who are chosen to live there.This series, in a word is addicting. I have a hard time putting it down each time I pick it up and was left feeling almost bereft when I was pulled away from it and had to wait hours before I could pick it up again.I am was truly like an addict waiting for their next hit. Itching to open the pages again and immerse myself once again in the crazy town of Rockton and all that happens there.With a romance that light enough to not over shadow the true heart and mystery of the story but present enough to warm your toes and melt your heart, this series really does have a bit of it all. I am so sad I will have a long wait until the next book comes out, I wanted this story, these characters to last forever and will be on pins and needles waiting for the next one.*ARC copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • ♥Rachel♥
    February 17, 2017
    4.5 StarsI love the setting and premise of this series! If you’re a fan of a well-plotted mystery with plenty of suspense, twists and turns, and multi-dimensional characters, (a detective without a self-destructive streak, thankfully!) the Casey Duncan series is for you. Rockton is a refuge city for those on the run. A city off the grid and under the radar, perfect for any trying to escape a whole range of situations: a stalker, abusive partner, or punishment from a crime. Applicants are vetted 4.5 StarsI love the setting and premise of this series! If you’re a fan of a well-plotted mystery with plenty of suspense, twists and turns, and multi-dimensional characters, (a detective without a self-destructive streak, thankfully!) the Casey Duncan series is for you. Rockton is a refuge city for those on the run. A city off the grid and under the radar, perfect for any trying to escape a whole range of situations: a stalker, abusive partner, or punishment from a crime. Applicants are vetted for violence risk, meaning someone who poses a threat to others will not be admitted. Well, that’s the theory, anyhow. In book one, City of the Lost, Casey and Eric found some exceptions that cost the town dearly. Are there more to be uncovered? Casey is very smart and insightful, considering the motivations of everyone she deals with, helping her manage the residents in Rockton, as well as track down a particularly clever killer. I was on edge so many times sensing danger, worrying that something terrible would happen to Casey! Kelley Armstrong did a wonderful job setting the stage for one nail-biting tale! The crime was disturbing, because it’s so very similar to the horrifying things we hear in real life. I love the romance between Eric and Casey! They’re in the new stages, smitten, and at times vulnerable wondering just how much this relationship means to the other. Just when I think Diana (view spoiler)[will somehow redeem herself, she’s back to her self-centered schemes, rationalizing by suggesting her decisions ended up benefiting Casey. I can’t stand this woman. I’m thankful that Casey really does have her number, even if she wishes she were wrong. (hide spoiler)] Jen is just awful. She was in book one and things haven’t changed. That’s how she goes about getting a job?! Just like the first book, the current mystery is solved, albeit in a chilling way, but I’d say the punishment fits the crime! I can’t wait for the next mystery! If you haven’t read the first book, City of the Lost, I’d highly recommend starting with that one first. Therese Plummer, one of my all-time favorite narrators, is fantastic, as usual. She makes any book even better with her performance.This review is also posted at The Readers Den.
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  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
    February 11, 2017
    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.I enjoyed this one a lot. It started with a bang and maintained a high level of excitement throughout the story. This is the second book in the Casey Duncan series and I do recommend reading them in order since the events of the first book do play a role in this installment. This book really kept me guessing right up until the very end. I had a lot of fun reading this story and found that I never wanted to put it down.I love the setting of th This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.I enjoyed this one a lot. It started with a bang and maintained a high level of excitement throughout the story. This is the second book in the Casey Duncan series and I do recommend reading them in order since the events of the first book do play a role in this installment. This book really kept me guessing right up until the very end. I had a lot of fun reading this story and found that I never wanted to put it down.I love the setting of this story because it is so different than the average mystery. Rockton is such an interesting little town. The residents of Rockton are such interesting characters and each one really adds something to the story. I like the fact that everyone has their own story and it is usually different that what you would expect. The little group of misfits that call Rockton home have really come together to form a community and it adds a nice tone to the story.Casey and Will find a woman being held captive in a hole inside a cave as they take shelter during a snowstorm. They are able to save the woman but the identity of her abductor remains a mystery. Saving the woman is just the start of a very involved case that will put Casey and others in danger before everything is over. The characters in this book were great. Casey is very smart and has really committed herself to the town. She is really starting to believe that she belongs and wants to keep everyone safe. Dalton is dealing with his feelings towards Casey in addition to keeping the town's residents secure. Being in a relationship is rather new for Dalton and he is still trying to figure things out. I really like Casey and Dalton as as couple and I do appreciate the fact that their relationship does not overpower the mystery element of the story. I would recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers. This story contains a complex mystery that had me turning pages as fast as I could. There are quite a few twists and turns to keep things really interesting. I can't wait to read more of this exciting series.I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books via NetGalley.Initial ThoughtsI enjoyed this one. I like the cast of misfit characters and the strange little town they call home. The mystery kept me guessing until the end.
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  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 27, 2017
    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/02/05/...Well, I still enjoyed this one, but it was nowhere near as good as the first book.A Darkness Absolute is the follow-up to the brilliant City of the Lost, continuing Kelley Armstrong’s new mystery suspense series starring an ex-homicide detective named Casey Duncan. Months have passed since Casey first came to Rockton, a secret community nestled in the remote wilds of the Yukon. People come to this town to escape their pa 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/02/05/...Well, I still enjoyed this one, but it was nowhere near as good as the first book.A Darkness Absolute is the follow-up to the brilliant City of the Lost, continuing Kelley Armstrong’s new mystery suspense series starring an ex-homicide detective named Casey Duncan. Months have passed since Casey first came to Rockton, a secret community nestled in the remote wilds of the Yukon. People come to this town to escape their past lives, expecting a safe haven, but the reality is much more sinister. As we saw in the previous book, not everyone in Rockton is who they say they are.Now our heroine is on the case again, partnered with her new boyfriend, Rockton’s Sheriff Eric Dalton. Winter has arrived with a vengeance, driving some of the townspeople stir-crazy with cabin fever. One night while Dalton is away on a supply run, one of these listless residents decide to do a runner in the middle of a snow storm, leaving Casey and Deputy Will Anders with no choice but to follow in an attempt at search and rescue. While taking shelter in a nearby cave system, they are shocked when they discover a terrified and malnourished woman trapped in a hole. They are even more horrified when they find out her identity—a former Rockton resident named Nicole, who has been missing for more than a year. This whole time she had been held captive in these caves by an unknown assailant, being subjected to unspeakable acts of abuse.The mystery deepens further when Casey returns to the cave system to look for clues about the perpetrator, but instead finds the remains of two other women. Rockton’s worst fears are confirmed: there’s another killer on the loose. It’s not clear yet whether the one they’re hunting for is a resident or an outsider, but now that Nicole has been rescued, Casey and Dalton must solve the case before the killer can target another victim.City of the Lost was my first book by Kelley Armstrong, and I fell instantly in love—with the story, the characters, the setting…with ALL OF IT. It made me excited for the sequel, hoping for the same kind of magic, but unfortunately it just wasn’t there. Don’t get me wrong, because A Darkness Absolute still ended up being a good read, but compared to the first book, something definitely felt lacking.So, what went wrong? It was likely a bunch of little issues compounded together, but if I had to point my finger at one thing, it was the story’s predictability. I guessed the perp even before the halfway point, and so the rest was watching Casey, Dalton, and Will run around in circles following leads that I knew would go nowhere. Turns out, reading a book like this can feel really tedious. Worse, when looking at the plot from this point of view, the repeated failures only made Casey and her team seem more incompetent. I also thought the mystery lacked imagination, at least when compared to City of the Lost. Sure, Armstrong threw out some red herrings and a few other distractions to try and complicate things, but I was able to sniff them out from a mile away.Obviously, your experience with this book may differ. After all, I probably stumbled upon the answers by pure chance, especially when I’m usually terrible at figuring out who the killer is in all these other whodunits. Taking out the mystery, there’s still a lot to like about this novel, not least of which are the characters and the exquisite atmosphere of the Yukon. A town like Rockton is the perfect setting for a psychological suspense mystery like this, where the isolation only heightens the tensions and the sense of foreboding. Add to that, every resident in town is an unknown factor, since no one likes to share anything about their past. There’s also no fancy forensic equipment or technology in Rockton, so Casey and Dalton have to do their jobs the old-fashioned way. And speaking of them, I continue to enjoy their relationship. The author has dialed back on the romance big time, or at least struck a better balance so that the drama was spread out and not dumped on us all at once like in the first book.A Darkness Absolute is also…well, dark. It can be difficult to read these books. People find themselves in Rockton for many reasons, but a lot of them end up there because they are the survivors of violence or abuse, and disappearing into the northern woods is their only chance of escape. We are exposed to a lot of their stories, many of which are troubling or unhappy. It only gets worse with a deranged killer on the loose, and many of the descriptions of what happened to Nicole and the other women can be downright disturbing and chilling.Bottom line, A Darkness Absolute was a good, if sometimes frustrating, read. I personally found the story way too predictable for the book to be a satisfying mystery, but I still love the series’ world and characters. I’m not about to give up on Casey Duncan, and I look forward to the next installment.
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  • Maureen Carden
    February 9, 2017
    Rockton is a rumor. A maybe place if you are in trouble. If you are in deep trouble but lucky, you find it is more than a rumor. A small town totally off the grid in the harsh environs of the Yukon. A town originally meant for someone fleeing an abusive spouse, a stalker, someone wrongly accused or convicted of a non-violent crime. Later Rockton changes some, with maybe a hit man, murderer, or a sex offender; but always someone who pays very well, inserted into town and past Sheriff Eric Dalton Rockton is a rumor. A maybe place if you are in trouble. If you are in deep trouble but lucky, you find it is more than a rumor. A small town totally off the grid in the harsh environs of the Yukon. A town originally meant for someone fleeing an abusive spouse, a stalker, someone wrongly accused or convicted of a non-violent crime. Later Rockton changes some, with maybe a hit man, murderer, or a sex offender; but always someone who pays very well, inserted into town and past Sheriff Eric Dalton and his small department. But eventually Dalton will find out the true crime behind the false entry crime. Eric is a dictator, answering only to the off-site council. He has to be to keep the residents safe. If you go into the forest you are put on wood chopping detail. If you go stir crazy and run, you are hunted down and returned. It's too dangerous in the forest. There are settlers, mostly former residents or their descendants who live even off the grid and are neither friendly nor welcoming. Then there are the hostiles. Considered to be more animal than human, no one knows what they really are. But most of all the forest itself is dangerous. Not trying to kill you, just not caring about you.While Eric has flown south on a supply run, one of the residents makes a run for it. Det. Casey Duncan and deputy Will Anders decide to go after him. After a blizzard hits, they take shelter in a cave where they make the nightmarish, yet welcome discovery of a young woman who has spent the last year as a prisoner in a hole in the cave. This woman had been termed a runner. After an extensive search and with convincing evidence of her death turning up, the woman had been declared dead.The remains are found of two more women missing from years ago and Rockton is turned upside down with fear. Tentative contacts with wary settlers, harsh weather, and an outside ruling council hinder investigations. No one can face the idea of contact with a hostile. Except for one man who would like one "to study".Once again I was sucked into this lost town. Although I might not want to move to Rockton as I wish to do with Three Pines. Armstrong created a world that is both compelling and unsettling. The characters, including the minor characters are fascinating, each with their own story to hide. The romance between Eric and Casey is sweet, watching two loners navigate the perils of a true relationship. This is a stellar follow up to City of the Lost. It will be a long wait until the third book comes out.
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  • Veronica
    March 13, 2017
    This was a satisfying follow up to last year's City of the Lost, which I reviewed here. It picks up four months after the events in the first book with Rockton Detective Casey Butler and Deputy Will Anders heading out into the Yukon wilderness to track down and bring back one of the town's AWOL citizens. What they end up finding is more than they bargained for. I enjoyed getting back to Rockton and seeing how Casey is settling into her new life there as well as seeing how she's handling her new This was a satisfying follow up to last year's City of the Lost, which I reviewed here. It picks up four months after the events in the first book with Rockton Detective Casey Butler and Deputy Will Anders heading out into the Yukon wilderness to track down and bring back one of the town's AWOL citizens. What they end up finding is more than they bargained for. I enjoyed getting back to Rockton and seeing how Casey is settling into her new life there as well as seeing how she's handling her new relationship with Sheriff Eric Dalton. We get to meet some more of Rockton's citizens, find out some backstory on ones we met in the last book, and discover that some of the old trouble makers are still around as well. The mystery had me changing my mind about my prime suspect/s several times before the end. I was glad to read on the author's website that she is contracted for at least four books in the series because I definitely want to read more.
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  • Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
    February 9, 2017
    This author proves again why she's one of my one-clickers. I love the world created in this series. The setting reminds me somewhat of her Darkness Rising series, but also it's very much its own.I love that there is so much mystery, it keeps things interesting. I love Eric. Although I must admit, a year and many, many books in between, I'd forgotten who Casey's love interest was. So when Will showed up in the first scenes, I groaned thinking that we were going to start from zero again with the r This author proves again why she's one of my one-clickers. I love the world created in this series. The setting reminds me somewhat of her Darkness Rising series, but also it's very much its own.I love that there is so much mystery, it keeps things interesting. I love Eric. Although I must admit, a year and many, many books in between, I'd forgotten who Casey's love interest was. So when Will showed up in the first scenes, I groaned thinking that we were going to start from zero again with the romance. Then, Eric showed up and I remembered and was reminded about the first book and all was well. (how many and in one sentence. thank goodness I'm not being graded on grammar, lol)The problem for me was that I pinned the killer on the first meeting. While KA had me questioning it, I never fully strayed from my suspicions. So when it turned out I was right, I wondered why Casey didn't see it. Yes, KA tried to throw the scent off, but I would have thought Casey would have at least in her head or out loud questioned this person as being a potential, but give her reasons why not. She didn't admit that possibility until after it was a sure thing he was the guy.Also (view spoiler)[What troubled me was when a certain resident was "attacked" and Eric was fingered as a suspect. Why Casey and even Eric never once thought maybe Jacob bothered me. I mean he was in this book mistaken for him. So why didn't they even again in their heads at least rule it out. Yes, we all know Jacob wouldn't do it. But it was an obvious potential question considering his actions in the first book. (hide spoiler)]And for those reasons, I couldn't give the book five stars. But I did thoroughly enjoy it. I can't wait for the next book.
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  • Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
    February 11, 2017
    I liked this better than the first book in the series, and I suspect it's because all of that initial set up stuff was already done, and instead the book jumped straight into the action. WHAT I LIKED:- The relationship between Casey and Eric. They've moved past the initial bang-all-the-time stage and into the sooooooo-let's-talk-about-the-future-of-our-relationship stage, and I loved it. - PUPPY!!! There is a puppy. An adorable puppy that I wanted to squish constantly.- There's less Diana in the I liked this better than the first book in the series, and I suspect it's because all of that initial set up stuff was already done, and instead the book jumped straight into the action. WHAT I LIKED:- The relationship between Casey and Eric. They've moved past the initial bang-all-the-time stage and into the sooooooo-let's-talk-about-the-future-of-our-relationship stage, and I loved it. - PUPPY!!! There is a puppy. An adorable puppy that I wanted to squish constantly.- There's less Diana in the story. She drove me nuts in the first book, so having less of her was incredibly welcome. - More Jacob. It was great to see him interacting with Eric in a not-drugged-by-a-crazy-murderer capacity. - On the whole, the characters are fun and I enjoyed them all. WHAT I WASN'T SO KEEN ON:- I guessed who the villain was pretty early on. There were one or two moments where I was like "Oh. Um. Maybe I'm wrong?", but two pages later, I'd be like "Yeah, I'm totally right" again. - I'm still not convinced this town in the middle of nowhere with a 75% male population is a good place for women who've just escaped abusive relationships. - I wanted to punch Val repeatedly.
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  • Alissa (In Wonderland)✨
    January 6, 2017
    I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!This is a review of an ARC (however the final version of the book has now been released.) You can find my review of A Darkness Absolute here!
  • Jennifer
    March 5, 2017
    A Darkness Absolute is the 2nd book in the Casey Duncan mystery/thriller series. City of The Lost is the first book. Kelley Armstrong is one of my top favorite authors. I loved City of the Lost, so A Darkness Absolute was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. And I was not disappointed.I would definitely recommend that you read City of The Lost first. Yes this book could technically be read as a standalone. There is a self-contained mystery. However, book one was the set-up for this book. Yo A Darkness Absolute is the 2nd book in the Casey Duncan mystery/thriller series. City of The Lost is the first book. Kelley Armstrong is one of my top favorite authors. I loved City of the Lost, so A Darkness Absolute was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. And I was not disappointed.I would definitely recommend that you read City of The Lost first. Yes this book could technically be read as a standalone. There is a self-contained mystery. However, book one was the set-up for this book. You get the back story of a lot of the characters. The premise is explained in detail. Yes, the author does rehash some of the details from book one. But I personally feel that you will be missing out on a lot of the backstory if you read this book without reading the prior one first.The narrator of this book is once again Casey. She is a 31 year old detective.The book is again set in the Yukon in the town of Rockton. Rockton is a secret off the grid town. It is supposed to be a safe haven for people in hiding.I really enjoyed the mystery in A Darkness Absolute. The story is a little bit dark. But I personally didn't find it that dark. This book is full of twists and turns. I really found the plot to be extremely well thought out and not at all easy to predict. I read a lot of books. And I have started to read a lot of thrillers. To me it was not easy to guess what would happen next and I had no idea who the guilty party would be.We get to see a lot of familiar characters in book two. I especially enjoyed Sheriff Eric Dalton. He became Casey's love interest in the last book. And I definitely enjoy how they work together. And their romance is intriguing. Once again we get to see Isabel (owner of a local bar), Will (deputy), Jacob (Eric's brother), Diana, Petra and many others (both new and old characters). It is interesting to see how all of the different people in the area interact. Especially the people from Rockton, the settlers (the people who don't live in Rockton), and the hostiles.The mystery centers on a young Rockton resident named Nicole who had been missing for a while. I really enjoyed this mystery a lot. The story was thrilling and I could not put it down. I had no idea what would happen next. And I could not wait to find out how the book would end.This was a wonderful sequel to City of The Lost. These books are must reads!
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  • Wren | WrensReads
    January 19, 2017
    WrensReads ReviewRELEASE DATE: February 07, 2017THIS BOOK WAS SO INCREDIBLE!Casey is comfortable. She has her sheriff-boyfriend Eric, her deputy-friend Andres, Isabel and other people that make her feel at home in the secret-settlement of Rockton.Diana is still apart of the town, but they are cordial enough to each other that things aren't too awkward.It's the middle of winter, and Casey and Andres have to track out into a snow storm to find a run away named Shawn Sutherland. It's the second tim WrensReads ReviewRELEASE DATE: February 07, 2017THIS BOOK WAS SO INCREDIBLE!Casey is comfortable. She has her sheriff-boyfriend Eric, her deputy-friend Andres, Isabel and other people that make her feel at home in the secret-settlement of Rockton.Diana is still apart of the town, but they are cordial enough to each other that things aren't too awkward.It's the middle of winter, and Casey and Andres have to track out into a snow storm to find a run away named Shawn Sutherland. It's the second time he has run, but it is their responsibility to bring him back before he dies of frostbite. It gets to be really late, and so they bunker down in a cave. They realize they are not alone and go to find that a long-lost settler, Nicole, is there. She had been presumed dead about a year ago, so it is shocking for all involved.What's more shocking is that she was kidnapped and brought there to use and be played with. They are fast to leave with her and bring her back to Rockton to get her back on her feet and healthy and safe; they are also fast to begin the hunt of bringing this mad-man to justice. Casey then finds two more bodies in the same cave system as the one they found Nicole in. They have another murder in Rockton.Or is it a settler? Someone not living in Rockton but living in the forest. It couldn't be a hostile, someone who is more animal than human, could it? This book is very fast paced and thrilling. Not only do we go on this hunt with Casey, but we also go along with her relationship with Eric. They run into a lot of bumps but they are sturdy. They are both not really experienced with this deep of a relationship so it is kind of cute.The setting is wonderful. You have a town in the middle of a forest that no one knows about. Some of the people that make up the town are hiding from something deadly, and some are deadly people that paid their way in. All of that is secret though. You pick a new name and everything. You don't know who is to trust and who to stay away from.I absolutely love this series. As a fan of Kelley Armstrong, I as so excited that I got an ARC. Her writing is phenomenal and something that will grab your attention and not let go. WrensReads | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Terri Wino
    February 27, 2017
    I enjoyed book 2 in this series as much as the first one. Really liking the way the characters are progressing with their acceptance of their own faults and "crimes," as well as their relationships with each other.The mystery in this book hooked me from the beginning and kept me guessing, even when it was revealed who the culprit was (you'll understand that sentence if you've read the book).My only complaint, and reason I didn't add another star, is I did feel a bit like a pinball machine ball b I enjoyed book 2 in this series as much as the first one. Really liking the way the characters are progressing with their acceptance of their own faults and "crimes," as well as their relationships with each other.The mystery in this book hooked me from the beginning and kept me guessing, even when it was revealed who the culprit was (you'll understand that sentence if you've read the book).My only complaint, and reason I didn't add another star, is I did feel a bit like a pinball machine ball bouncing around towards the end of the book. Just some bouncing around I could have done without. As with most of Kelley Armstrong's books, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this series.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    February 5, 2017
    Two things to be clear on, this is the first time I have read Kelley Armstrong and therefore I did miss book one in this series - which did not matter one iota and I will be going back and reading it for sure now!A Darkness Absolute was utterly addictive, a central premise that was completely gripping and some really fantastic characters, all of whom I just want to know more about at this point -plus I LOVED this so much I read practically all of it yesterday and its now gone onto my must read s Two things to be clear on, this is the first time I have read Kelley Armstrong and therefore I did miss book one in this series - which did not matter one iota and I will be going back and reading it for sure now!A Darkness Absolute was utterly addictive, a central premise that was completely gripping and some really fantastic characters, all of whom I just want to know more about at this point -plus I LOVED this so much I read practically all of it yesterday and its now gone onto my must read series list.Rockton, a town where you go to hide. Either as a criminal or as somebody running from danger, the community is secure, closed and hidden from the wider world. Slight issue - once you are in you cannot leave. At least not easily and not for some time. Casey is the town detective - whilst chasing down an erstwhile resident she finds a woman trapped in a hole - where she has been, abused and held hostage for years. There is a killer on the loose - and who knows where they might be hiding..So that is the set up then, the story rocks along from there, beautifully paced, intriguing themes digging into human nature abound, it is also a thrill ride of the highest order with many moments where you want to clutch your head. Really the best kind of thriller because it offers so many nuances, both in mystery element and character substance that just makes it a perfect storm of a read. Plus there is an actual storm when things could get really really sticky for our "good" guys and there is a puppy. I mean REALLY what more could you ask for?Personally I adored the immersive style of it and descriptively it made me shiver - you really felt like you were stuck in that snowy landscape right along with the protagonists, nowhere to run and everything to lose. The relationship dynamics were utterly compelling, I thought the world set up if you like was pure brilliance - especially in relation to the "hostiles" - even without the benefit of book one it all came into sharp wonderful focus, you did not feel at all lost along the way. Overall a banging read - adored it. It is set so there could be many more stories from Rockton - my obsession now is Matthias - TELL ME MORE ABOUT HIM - I'm a little in love. Highly Recommended for fans of intelligent, character driven thrillers with heart.
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  • Under the Covers Book Blog
    February 7, 2017
    When Casey gets stuck in a snow storm after chasing a reluctant resident of Rockton, the last thing she expects to find when taking shelter is a woman stuck in a hole. But, there is more to the case than just a kidnapping, the woman had been kept by her kidnapper for over a year…and she isn’t the man’s first victim. But could the man be a Rockton resident? Or one of the settlers or hostiles that surround it?Kelley Armstrong has managed to once again pull me in to one of her series, I really enj When Casey gets stuck in a snow storm after chasing a reluctant resident of Rockton, the last thing she expects to find when taking shelter is a woman stuck in a hole. But, there is more to the case than just a kidnapping, the woman had been kept by her kidnapper for over a year…and she isn’t the man’s first victim. But could the man be a Rockton resident? Or one of the settlers or hostiles that surround it?Kelley Armstrong has managed to once again pull me in to one of her series, I really enjoyed the first book in the Casey Duncan series, but a true test of a series is how well it is followed up in subsequent books. And once again Armstrong managed to deliver, her thriller set in Rockton, a village full of secrets in a remote and cold wilderness gives you a read which keeps you on the edge of your seat.What I really like about this series is Armstrong’s writing, much like her main character and indeed the setting of the book, it’s intelligent, but with no thrills and gets straight to the point without any meandering. Armstrong’s storytelling style gives us a transparent window into her story without any embellishments, I know this style isn’t to everyone’s taste, but for me it added to the atmosphere.Casey lives in a dangerous place, where both the terrain and the wildlife – including the residents of Rockton – could kill her without remorse and yet in A Darkness Absolute we see how well it suits her. I really enjoyed reading the investigation in this book, it always leaves you a little on edge, as you have no idea who could have done it, and the more you get to know some of the characters the more you realise she could be speaking to the killer. This leaves you feeling a little off-kilter and just when you think you know for sure whodunit, something else happens, or you learn something new.But, this also has a little bit of romance in it between Casey and Eric, the Sheriff of Rockton, and we see this progress through the second book as their relationship moves forward. They even get a puppy! Adorable. I love watching them together and I can’t wait to see what the future holds, I have a feeling it isn’t going to be smooth sailing.If you like a creepy thriller with a dash of romance then this is the series that you need to start this. Or if you are new to thrillers and want to give this a go, then you should also give the Casey Duncan a try, it isn’t bogged down with police procedure, but instead gets right down to the investigation and speculation on some interesting characters and suspects. In fact, everyone should give this series a try, it’s a fanatastic read that kept me glued to it right till the very last word.*ARC provided by publisherReviewed by Suzanne❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤
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  • Kathy Martin
    January 3, 2017
    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 t 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.
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  • Jess
    February 11, 2017
    I think I liked this better than the first one because there was less setup involved. That said, I still have some issues with this series. I'm super into Casey and Eric, and I adore Will, but honestly, the rest of the town lacks development and I can't tell if it's because we need to be wondering if they're evil at all times or she hasn't gotten to it or it's just lazy writing. The crimes also always seem incredibly over the top and I get it, it's an over the top place and that makes sense, but I think I liked this better than the first one because there was less setup involved. That said, I still have some issues with this series. I'm super into Casey and Eric, and I adore Will, but honestly, the rest of the town lacks development and I can't tell if it's because we need to be wondering if they're evil at all times or she hasn't gotten to it or it's just lazy writing. The crimes also always seem incredibly over the top and I get it, it's an over the top place and that makes sense, but it leaves me just a little bit far removed from the books, like I can't get scared of what's happening even when I should be because no. (This is not an invitation to tell me these are totally realistic crimes, I am aware of the depths to which humanity sinks, I live in Ohio with the kidnap house for goodness sake.) But yeah, I liked it and I think I will end up liking this series overall.
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  • Katie
    February 9, 2017
    This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it was good! I don't know that I have a ton more to say than that. I like the characters and the world and I hope there are new books in this world every year forever.
  • ♆ BookAddict ✒ La Crimson Femme
    March 19, 2017
    Hostiles are labeled hostiles for a reason. Everyone in this hidden town of Rockton knows to stay away from them because hostiles are savages. Or are there? This little bit of doubt is seeded throughout the book in key locations. It makes a reader wonder what the third book will feature. It is bound to be something exciting and frustrating. In the second book to the Casey Duncan series, Casey and Eric are thrown into a mystery as one of the people who was thought dead is found fifteen months aft Hostiles are labeled hostiles for a reason. Everyone in this hidden town of Rockton knows to stay away from them because hostiles are savages. Or are there? This little bit of doubt is seeded throughout the book in key locations. It makes a reader wonder what the third book will feature. It is bound to be something exciting and frustrating. In the second book to the Casey Duncan series, Casey and Eric are thrown into a mystery as one of the people who was thought dead is found fifteen months after her captivity, a dark hole in a cave, in the middle of no where. As the story unfolds about Nicole's torturous time at the hands of an asshole, it only gets worse.W.T.F? Where does Ms. Armstrong come up with these ideas? It seems most of her stories revolve around males who are dysfunctional around women. They are broken and can't seem to relate or build a healthy relationship. In this story, Eric may be a bit broken, but he is able to create a meaningful relationship with Casey. Nicole on the other hand suffers at the hands of a crazy stalker, not too different than the abuse Casey's ex-bff Diane enjoyed. Diane is still the jealous scorned woman. I loathe Diane and her channeling of Jan from Brady Bunch.I do love Eric and how he tries to woo Casey. Puppies are a good way to a woman's heart. The puppy, named Storm, is adorable. Eric is adorable. He reminds me of Clay from Ms. Armstrong's other series. This could be why I like him so much. Another new character I like is Mathias - crazy French butcher. He reminds me a little of the guy who plays a mix between Hannibal in the tv series, Hannibal and Dexter. I like him!The mystery is messed up. Ms. Armstrong keeps a reader guessing and places so many red herrings, my head is spinning. Finally when it all comes together, it makes sense and I'm exhausted. This mystery is a 3.5 star and recommended for those who like to figure out who is the killer with little to go on.
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  • Danya
    February 5, 2017
    This review and others can be found on my blog, Fine Print.Several months have passed since homicide detective Casey Duncan first arrived in Rockton, a secret settlement of 200 people tucked away in the wilderness of the Yukon. Like most members of the community, Casey came to Rockton to escape her past and leave the darkness behind…but Casey knows better than most that you can’t hide from your inner demons forever. Soon she starts to wonder: could it be that the people of Rockton are there for This review and others can be found on my blog, Fine Print.Several months have passed since homicide detective Casey Duncan first arrived in Rockton, a secret settlement of 200 people tucked away in the wilderness of the Yukon. Like most members of the community, Casey came to Rockton to escape her past and leave the darkness behind…but Casey knows better than most that you can’t hide from your inner demons forever. Soon she starts to wonder: could it be that the people of Rockton are there for more than just sanctuary?Before she has too much time to consider that truly chilling possibility, Casey, Sheriff Eric Dalton, and Deputy Will Anders are thrust into the middle of yet another disturbing case. While exploring caves, the colleagues and friends stumble onto a young woman trapped inside a deep, cavernous pit. The woman is none other than Nicole, a Rockton resident who had been ruled deceased more than a year earlier. Nicole has been malnourished, beaten, raped, and help captive inside that hole all without ever seeing the face of her tormentor, and now Rockton’s police department must race against the clock to identify and apprehend him.A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE is, perhaps unsurprisingly, very dark. If you find stories that address rape and torture to be disturbing, you may want to steer clear. But disturbing is kind of the name of the game in thrillers, and Kelley Armstrong does a good job with it. When Casey discovers that Nicole’s abductor may in fact be a Rockton resident himself, all hell breaks loose within the community. The only thing scarier than the stark wilderness surrounding the town is the idea that a violent psychopath is trapped among them for the winter.I’ve always felt that Kelley Armstrong excels best when she focuses on her characters, and I’m happy to report that she does so here. Sure, I wanted to know “whodunit” and I’m definitely intrigued by the shadowy council who controls Rockton – especially since they’re the only ones who know whether there’s a darker purpose behind the town – but for me the best part of A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE is learning more about those living in Rockton. Armstrong digs deeper into the hearts and minds of the characters I’ve come to love (and hate), peeling back the layers to show that no one is what they seem. I was particularly happy to see Jacob take on a more central role in this story, since he was one of the most intriguing characters from the series debut.As always, I adore the way that Kelley Armstrong writes her romances, and I was quite pleased with this part of A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE. The relationship between Casey and Eric is really quite sweet despite their circumstances and dark pasts, probably because neither one of them has really had a relationship before. Eric’s gruff bumbling was adorable in its way, and it’s nice to see Casey opening up and actually, you know, experiencing some happiness. Given the subject matter of this series, I think the romance is essential to break up the tension a bit and give readers some time to recover from the grimness of it all. It was also nice to see Casey develop some more friendships with Rockton residents, including a new character named Matthias who’s clearly going to be important as the series progresses.Admittedly the actual mystery portion of A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE was probably the weakest part of the book, not because I figured it out (I didn’t…sigh) but because it seemed a bit repetitive at times. Since they’re working in an incredibly low-tech environment, Casey, Eric, and Will are often forced to work in circles before they can discover any clues that help propel the mystery onwards. This made for some frustrating moments, as I felt like the gang took three steps backwards for every step forward. But that said, there were still lots of thrills and chills to be had in this one, and I think fans of the first book will be happy with it even if it’s not as strong as CITY OF THE LOST.I’m eager to see what happens next for Casey and co. in book three, and I’m stoked to read more about all the new characters introduced in this story in the sequel!
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  • LJ
    March 12, 2017
    First Sentence: We’ve been tracking Shawn Sutherland for almost two hours when the blizzard strikes. The Yukon Canadian town of Rockton is completely off the grid and its residents, those running from their past/past crimes, are controlled by a remote town council. The unapproved departure of one of those residents leads to the discovery of a woman who has been held captive in a cave for over a year, as well as the bodies of two other women. The town’s sheriff, Eric Dalton, and homicide detectiv First Sentence: We’ve been tracking Shawn Sutherland for almost two hours when the blizzard strikes. The Yukon Canadian town of Rockton is completely off the grid and its residents, those running from their past/past crimes, are controlled by a remote town council. The unapproved departure of one of those residents leads to the discovery of a woman who has been held captive in a cave for over a year, as well as the bodies of two other women. The town’s sheriff, Eric Dalton, and homicide detective, Casey Duncan, need to find the person responsible. No easy, gentle opening here. Instead, the story begins with a strike to the senses and continues on to the end with a story that keeps you totally off balance. The town of Rockton is as unique as its residents. Each has a history of which only parts are revealed as the story progresses. And as with any small town, there are rivalries, jealousy, and mistrust, heightened in Rockton by the resident’s pasts. Then there are the “outsiders,” those who don’t live in the town, but with whom some of the residents have contact; and the “hostiles,” with whom no one deals. The relationship between these characters, as well as the characters who live with Rockton, is what gives humanity and dimension to the story. There is an interesting analysis of a serial kidnapper/rapist. In fact, although much of the book focuses on action and suspense, there is a fair amount of psychology included, along with an appropriate reference to “Lord of the Flies,” as well as a line that can make one smile—“Do you ever look back on your younger self and just want to slap her?”. “A Darkness Absolute” is a fascinating book dealing with the complexities of what are considered we humans. It’s also highly suspenseful and very well done.A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE (Susp-Casey Duncan-Canada-Cont) – VG+ Armstrong, Kelley – 2nd in series Minotaur Books– 2017
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  • Debbie Krenzer
    January 18, 2017
    I loved this book. I know it was the second in the series. It did refer to the first book in the series which did not keep me from reading this one. However, I still don't know some of the friction or other events that the second one referred to. So that just makes me want to read the first one.This book dealt with a out of the way town that no one knows about. You have to be invited to live in this town (Rockton). It's a town where abused women, witness protection people, white color crime peop I loved this book. I know it was the second in the series. It did refer to the first book in the series which did not keep me from reading this one. However, I still don't know some of the friction or other events that the second one referred to. So that just makes me want to read the first one.This book dealt with a out of the way town that no one knows about. You have to be invited to live in this town (Rockton). It's a town where abused women, witness protection people, white color crime people, or people that pay a lot that have people looking for them come to live. There is one sheriff and two deputies. There are no doctors. However there is a person trained as an army medic, one trained in EMT services, a psychiatrist and a person trained to look at criminal behavior.There is also a bar owner/madam and a butcher. Everyone has a job. There is no need for money as everyone is paid and uses credits or rations.Out of town, there is like 2000 acres of wilderness. There are several settlements, but they are not sanctioned. The people who live there are people who did not like living with rules in Rockton and left the town to start out on their own. There are also people who don't live in a settlement who are on their own.In this book, the two deputies go looking for a man who has left town without permission. During their search, a huge winter storm comes upon them all of a sudden and they have to look for a place to ride it out. They find a cave and while there, they discover a woman who they thought died over a year ago. She is deep in a hole in the cave where she has been held hostage the whole time. That means someone out there or someone in town has captured her and done this to her.I really got into this book. I loved the characters and how they all looked out for each other, well most of them. There is one character who is a royal beatch who has nothing but insults for everyone. She doesn't discriminate. But for the most part, people are nice. It's amazing how they have to live. They have no electricity, no fancy gadgets and hardly no outside intervention. It's kind of like an apocalypse book as they are almost the only people around.I can't wait for the next book in this series. And this book isn't even out yet. Ugh!!Huge thanks to St. Martin's Press for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tori
    February 19, 2017
    This was fun. I like this series. I enjoy that Casey and Eric have such an open and honest relationship. They talk about things, it's great. The case was kind of... meh, but that's the way case stuff tends to go. I enjoy it anyway.
  • Joy (joyous reads)
    February 15, 2017
    We’re thrust back into the remote Northern Territories with Casey Duncan on the hunt for another killer. An unforeseen storm that throws them off track led them to a girl who has been missing for more than a year. Trapped in a hole no more than the size of a small person, the emaciated girl is rescued from her harrowing isolation. Days and months of endless physical, sexual, and mental abuse left her on the brink of madness.Now, the Sheriff’s office has to track down a killer who upon further in We’re thrust back into the remote Northern Territories with Casey Duncan on the hunt for another killer. An unforeseen storm that throws them off track led them to a girl who has been missing for more than a year. Trapped in a hole no more than the size of a small person, the emaciated girl is rescued from her harrowing isolation. Days and months of endless physical, sexual, and mental abuse left her on the brink of madness.Now, the Sheriff’s office has to track down a killer who upon further investigation might be responsible for several deaths of missing women.Casey Duncan has all but acclimated to the life living in remote Northern Territories. Rockton and its people have grown on her – especially one person in particular. But if peace and quiet were what she’s after, Rockton apparently is the wrong place. Because once again, the town is facing deadly crimes with very little suspects to consider. And since this is Rockton – remote, a touch primeval, and wild – finding the killer will prove to be difficult. They’re not only racing against time, there’s also the brutal changing weather to contend.Kelly Armstrong does a marvelous job in immersing her readers in her story in such a way that descriptively immortalizes an otherwise fictional town. The town of Rockton and its vicinities are beautiful as they are harsh. Not only do we get to experience all its wildness, but the townspeople themselves add a certain brutality that makes it seemed more sinister. Characterization has always been Armstrong’s forte. She writes the most credible kick-ass women. Surprisingly enough, the men play a pivotal role in further empowering her heroines. It’s hard to explain. I guess the best way to describe it is like a marriage between a couple and each unit has the ability to qualify each other’s strengths and weaknesses.She keeps the pacing of the story at an even keel. Giving her readers time to adjust and savor their own observations. Short chapters also help as she effectively pulls the readers into the nuances of the plot. Armstrong was very stingy with suspects. Since the town’s population is small, I felt like I already know everyone so you can pretty much tick off one townie at a time. But in the end, and after the pieces of the puzzle have been connected, she made a very convincing case for the killer’s motives, psyche, and eventually, his identity.A Darkness Absolute is a fantastic sequel. It hits the ground running right from the first page and doesn’t let up until the very end. There’s never a dull moment and you’ll feel like you can’t flip the page fast enough. This is the perfect book to cozy up to on cold winter nights with your reading socks and a nice cup of tea on hand.
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  • The Captain
    February 7, 2017
    Ahoy there me mateys! If ye haven’t read the first book in this series, city of the lost, then ye might want to skip this post and go read the first book. Worth the read. If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .Source: I received this thriller/crime ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. So here are me honest musings . . .I love Kelley Armstrong! I discovered her through her young adult book, sea of shadows, and she became me Ahoy there me mateys! If ye haven’t read the first book in this series, city of the lost, then ye might want to skip this post and go read the first book. Worth the read. If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .Source: I received this thriller/crime ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. So here are me honest musings . . .I love Kelley Armstrong! I discovered her through her young adult book, sea of shadows, and she became me most read author of 2016. I couldn’t help but gobble up her work which led to me seeking out her adult crime thriller, city of the lost. So when the publisher contacted me directly and asked if I wanted to read the sequel to that thriller I said yes please and did a happy dance of joy.It certainly was another highly engaging and intense book. In this novel, Casey has lived in Rockton for over four months after successfully figuring out the who-dunnit in the first book. This book starts out with a bang as Casey and Will, the deputy, are looking for a runaway resident of Rockton in a howling Yukon snowstorm. They find something way crazier than who they initially were looking for.The suspense set up in that storm continued throughout most of the book. Unlike the first novel, I did figure out the bad guy at about the middle of the book, which was a bummer because Casey was always a couple of steps behind at that point. But overall it did not decrease me enjoyment.I continued to find Casey to be a highly likeable and awesome protagonist. Her spunk and grit makes me happy. This book also had some surprising revelations about other Rockton residents. That I was not expecting and it was cool to have some of me own conclusions flipped upside down.Whether it was me noodles being hard to eat because I was trying to read and kept missing me mouth or not wanting to bunk down for some shut-eye because I had to know how the story resolved, this book was hard to put down. I did have some minor quibbles with the ending that I would love to discuss with me crew at some point and the mysteries of this novel seemed less organic in this book versus the first, but overall a very enjoyable reading process.I need to know where there be another Casey story? Only time will tell . . . but I will definitely be wanting more from Kelley Armstrong.So lastly . . .Thank you Macmillian/Minotaur Books!See me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...
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  • Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
    January 26, 2017
    When Casey gets stuck in a snow storm after chasing a reluctant resident of Rockton, the last thing she expects to find when taking shelter is a woman stuck in a hole. But there is more to the case than just a kidnapping, the woman had been kept by her kidnapper for over a year…and she isn’t the man’s first victim. But could the man be a Rockton resident? Or one of the settlers or hostiles that surround it?Kelley Armstrong has managed to once again pull me in to one of her series, I really enjo When Casey gets stuck in a snow storm after chasing a reluctant resident of Rockton, the last thing she expects to find when taking shelter is a woman stuck in a hole. But there is more to the case than just a kidnapping, the woman had been kept by her kidnapper for over a year…and she isn’t the man’s first victim. But could the man be a Rockton resident? Or one of the settlers or hostiles that surround it?Kelley Armstrong has managed to once again pull me in to one of her series, I really enjoyed the first book in the Casey Duncan series, but a true test of a series is how well it is followed up in subsequent books. And once again Armstrong managed to deliver. Her thriller, set in Rockton a village full of secrets in a remote and cold wilderness gives you a read which keeps you on the edge of your seat.What I really like about this series is Armstrong’s writing, much like her main character and indeed the setting of the book, it’s intelligent but with no thrills and gets straight to the point without any meandering. Armstrong’s storytelling style gives us a transparent window into her story without any embellishments, I know this style isn’t to everyone’s taste but for me it added to the atmosphere.Casey lives in a dangerous place where both the terrain and the wildlife – including the residents of Rockton – could kill her without remorse and yet in A Darkness Absolute we see how well it suits her. I really enjoyed reading the investigation in this book, it always leaves you a little on edge, as you have no idea who could have done it and the more you get to know some of the characters the more you realise she could be speaking to the killer. This leaves you feeling a little off-kilter and just when you think you know for sure whodunit, something else happens, or you learn something new.But, this also has a little bit of romance in it between Casey and Eric, the Sheriff of Rockton, and we see this progress through the second book as their relationship moves forward. They even get a puppy! Adorable. I love watching them together and I can’t wait to see what the future holds, I have a feeling it isn’t going to be smooth sailing.If you like a creepy thriller with a dash of romance then this is the series that you need to start. Or if you are new to thrillers and want to give this a go, then you should also give the Casey Duncan series a try, it isn’t bogged down with police procedure but instead gets right down to the investigation and speculation on some interesting characters and suspects. In fact, everyone should give this series a try, it’s a fantastic read that kept me glued to the page right till the very last word.
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  • Meigan
    January 29, 2017
    The Casey Duncan series isn't your average murder-mystery-suspense series. Simply put, it can't be because everything about this series - from the strange town of Rockton to the characters who inhabit said town, are all so well-crafted and certainly many, many steps above average. What sets this series apart right from the start is the premise of the off the grid town known as Rockton. Set somewhere in the heart of the Canadian wilderness, Rockton is a refuge for people with secrets. And money, The Casey Duncan series isn't your average murder-mystery-suspense series. Simply put, it can't be because everything about this series - from the strange town of Rockton to the characters who inhabit said town, are all so well-crafted and certainly many, many steps above average. What sets this series apart right from the start is the premise of the off the grid town known as Rockton. Set somewhere in the heart of the Canadian wilderness, Rockton is a refuge for people with secrets. And money, because getting into the town comes with a steep price tag. Rockton is home to those on the run, those with lives best left behind, those with enemies and the location is a perfect place for both the innocent and the guilty to lay low. This time around, Casey, Anders, and Eric are trying to solve the case of Nicole - a woman who went missing quite a while ago. While investigating, they stumble across several more bodies that have the same look as the crime involving Nicole. In Rockton, it's always a possibility that one of theirs is responsible for the crime, as the down does harbor its fair share of criminals. But - there's also the hostiles and the settlers in the woods, and it's up to Casey and her crew to try and solve the case. City of the Lost hooked me with such an inventive and super interesting storyline about the strange little hidden town in the woods, and A Darkness Absolute continues to build on the creativity and the inventiveness of that premise. I love the fact that because the town is off the grid, everything technological is useless and unavailable to the residents. Casey has to rely on instincts rather than all of the resources she had at her disposal when she was with the police, which often presents its fair share of difficulties. Another point that makes crime solving harder than normal is the amount of people and 'things' working against them. In the forest surrounding the town, there are two types of people living in the woods - settlers and hostiles. While both present a fair amount of danger to the otherwise civilized folks of Rockton, one of those groups is fond of dismemberment and cannibalism, and the other group just wants to be left alone and will fight for it. Add to that, the elements and the forest and the rough terrain, and any investigation that takes Casey and crew outside of the town is immediately fraught with danger and plenty of obstacles. Bottom line - A Darkness Absolute was a strong second installment in Armstrong's new Casey Duncan series, and I have definitely found a new series that will most likely make it to my favorites shelf. Very excited for the next installment and if the ending is anything to go by, it looks like Armstrong will finally explore the hostiles storyline a bit more which I am am definitely looking forward to. *eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Jo (Mixed Book Bag)
    November 25, 2016
    When I agreed to review A Darkness Absolute I knew it was book two in the series and I had not read book one. After starting the book I realized that I was missing some of the references and missing how they tied into this story. I did not have any trouble following the main plot but still knew I would have enjoyed it more if I had read book one. That said this was still an interesting book with a very interesting setting. Everyone in the book is running from something in their past and that mak When I agreed to review A Darkness Absolute I knew it was book two in the series and I had not read book one. After starting the book I realized that I was missing some of the references and missing how they tied into this story. I did not have any trouble following the main plot but still knew I would have enjoyed it more if I had read book one. That said this was still an interesting book with a very interesting setting. Everyone in the book is running from something in their past and that makes everyone a suspect. It also makes for some really great characters. Casey Duncan is trying to sort everything out and who is doing what. I was so caught up in the world building and back-story that I often missed some of the clues. I really liked the setting. The plot was complex. I had no idea who the bad guy was until Casey did. A very interesting series with many, many possibilities for future plots. I am going to go back and read book one and I suggest that you start there or do the same. While this can stand-alone there is just a lot of back-story and world building that despite hints is missing.
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  • Heidi
    February 19, 2017
    Four stars: An excellent, suspenseful mystery with terrific characters and a creepy, atmospheric setting. Casey is irritated that she and Will are chasing after one of Rockton's residents who got a bad case of cabin fever. To make matters worse, they are suddenly caught in a snowstorm and forced to take shelter. Will and Casey find shelter in a cave. They are horrified to find a young woman in the cave. Nicole, a former resident of Rockton, disappeared over a year ago and was presumed dead after Four stars: An excellent, suspenseful mystery with terrific characters and a creepy, atmospheric setting. Casey is irritated that she and Will are chasing after one of Rockton's residents who got a bad case of cabin fever. To make matters worse, they are suddenly caught in a snowstorm and forced to take shelter. Will and Casey find shelter in a cave. They are horrified to find a young woman in the cave. Nicole, a former resident of Rockton, disappeared over a year ago and was presumed dead after a body was found with her clothing. Nicole was kidnapped and held captive in a dark cave. Once Casey and Will rescue Nicole, they head back out to investigate with Eric. During the search, Casey finds two more bodies, which point to the same person who abducted Nicole. Casey, Will and Dalton push to solve the mystery, but unfortunately in Rockton, everyone is a suspect. Will they catch the killer in time?What I Liked:*City of Darkness is even better than its predecessor. I loved the mystery, the quirky characters and the terrific atmosphere setting of Rockton. If you want a suspenseful thriller with unforgettable characters and a town that is unlike any other, this is a series to try. *The murder mystery is excellent. I liked that in Rockton there are plenty of suspects as there are many criminals hiding out in the town, and you never know whose back story is legitimate and who is lying. I liked that there are lots of red herrings, some excellent twists and a fantastic finale. This was so much fun to try and unravel. *I love the quirky cast of characters. In Rockton, there are so many imposters. I even like that there are characters that I love to hate such as Jen and Dianna. I keep hoping that either girl will redeem herself, and then they do something that makes me hate them all the more. I have to admit, I was fasicnated by Matthias. He is the butcher and a brilliant psychologist who studied psychopaths. He is all about intimidation, and he makes sure almost no one in the town likes him, except Casey. For me, there was a strong resemblance to Hannibal Lector (except he isn't a cannibal as of yet). Matthias is creepy and interesting, and I was never sure of him. I hope we get more of Matthias in the next book. *The setting of Rockton gets even better in this book. I enjoyed learning so much more about the people outside of the town as well as in. Secrets are revealed about those inside, and more is exposed regarding the Settlers and the Hostiles. They are just beginning to scratch the surface on the Hostiles, which I can't wait to follow up on. I also love the isolation and the rudimentary lifestyle of Rockton. This is one of the most interesting settings I have ever read. Rockton provides the perfect creepy backdrop for the story. *I so appreciated that the romance is going strong still and that it is without drama, love triangles and all that I have come to hate. I love that the relationship between Casey and Dalton is straightforward, honest and open. *I also love that this series doesn't get too dark or gory. Yes, there are some disturbing things especially when it comes to the kidnapping of Nicole, but the author doesn't go too far with all the details. *The ending was outstanding. So much goes down in those final pages, but I didn't feel like it was dumped on me like in the first book. Everything is clear and it ends with an eerie note, that I thought fit the story perfectly. No cliffhanger. *I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Thérèse Plummer. This is the first time I have listened to Ms. Plummer, and it won't be my last. She does an excellent job with all the voices, and her male voices superb. I highly recommend the audio version!And The Not So Much:*I am itching to know so many thing still. I want to understand the Hostiles. Casey starts digging to uncover the truth, but unfortunately, this story line is abandoned, which I found disappointing. I am eager to know more. *I didn't like that it took Casey and Dalton way too long to clue into who was behind the murders. *I am still frustrated about the mysterious Town Council. I want to know more about the faceless people behind the town. Absolute Darkness is a thrilling and suspenseful murder mystery with an excellent atmospheric setting. I love the characters and the town. This series keeps getting better and better. If you want a terrific thriller, this is one to read. I thought the audiobook was outstanding, and I would highly recommend giving this one a listen. I am now a big fan of the Casey Duncan Series, and I will be eagerly counting down the days to the next release.I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review. [email protected] Day Ramblings.
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