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Released: February 4, 2020
Series: Casey Duncan #5
“A great read, maybe it wasn’t quite what I expected from this series, but it was still a real page turner.”
~ Under the Covers
Rockton, the remote settlement in Yukon where you go when you’ve got money and need somewhere to hide…whether you’re a victim or the criminal.
When Detective Casey Duncan and Sheriff Eric Dalton take a camping trip to relax and escape their responsibilities in Rockton for a few days the second to last thing they expect to find is the body of a murdered woman. Of course, finding the, thankfully still living, baby with her is the very last thing they expect to see. Who is the child? Where did she come from? Who left her in the snow and cold to die? As Casey and Eric investigate it takes them away from Rockton and into the remote settlements where alliances are uneasy and reluctant and where they may just find a ruthless killer.
I’ve really come round to thrillers in the last few years, there’s something about them that just entices me in and makes me want to stay and read more. Much like with romance. It got me thinking…why do I love such seemingly different genres? Then I wondered…how different are they really? In romance you follow the relationship of two (or more!) people until they find their happily ever after. With thrillers, you’re also watching the relationship between two (or more!) people until a happy ending has been reached. Granted the relationship is usually between a cop and the killer and the HEA will come when that killer is either dead of in prison, but it follows a very similar pattern. There’s a structure and predictability to it where, usually, everything works out how you want it to and clearly this is the kind of book I love.
This leads me merrily to the Rockton series and the latest instalment Alone in the Wild. It’s a thriller series in a unique setting, with a very strong romance thread between Casey and Eric. Their relationship has constantly evolved and grown as Rockton throws challenge after challenge their way. If you’re looking at getting into thrillers from the romance genre, this series would be a good place to start.
Most of this series has had the main bulk of the problems and the action set in Rockton itself. In this book, Armstrong expands and has us exploring some of the surrounding territory and peoples that have been spoken about in previous books. We learn more about the hostiles and the other settlements. This led to a different kind of thriller from the previous books. Usually in these books, despite the vast amount of land and wilderness these books are set in, they feel very claustrophobic. You never know who you can trust and it makes for a very nail biting read as you’re constantly looking over your shoulder. This wasn’t the case in Alone in the Wild.
Casey and Eric are searching for the lost baby’s parents and so it’s a lot of walking from one place to another and it lost a lot of the tension I have come to expect from these books. This book felt more like a tool to progress the relationship between Eric and Casey. The presence of the baby makes them both confront painful wounds in their psyche, wounds that they otherwise ignore. In Alone in the Wild they look at these problems dead on and must decide how they’re going to deal with them both individually and as a couple.
But, that doesn’t make for a fast paced atmospheric thriller. I still very much enjoyed the book as I have come to love all the characters, but it wasn’t the tense, nail biting thriller I was expecting. As I am a die hard romance reader I was perfectly happy with the shift in focus, but I think any purely thriller readers may find this one a bit slow.
A great read, maybe it wasn’t quite what I expected from this series, but it was still a real page turner.
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