by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Casey Duncan #2
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
A Darkness Absolute is the second novel in the Casey Duncan series by Kelley Armstrong. I loved Rockton, the characters, and suspense delivered in City of the Lost and I am delighted to tell you A Darkness Absolute exceeded my expectations and raised the bar.
First, I must note that while this story contains its own mystery to be solved, the overall series arc, character buildup, and world demand that these books be read in order. So if you haven’t run, don’t walk and grab the City of the Lost (currently on sale for $2.99). The third novel, This Fallen Prey releases in February 2018.
Five Caffeinated Reasons to Devour A Darkness Absolute
- The world: From the creepy, remote setting to the ominous wilderness that backs up to the uncharted town of Rockton, Canada Armstrong pulls readers into the story. Her vivid writing and colorful, complex characters will have you rooting for some and loathing others. Rockton is a haven for some a nightmare for others. The author does an excellent job of sharing the ins and outs of this weird little town, all while shrouding it in mystery, particularly regards the council who oversees it.
- The story: In the City of the Lost, Casey Duncan faced her own darkness and dealt with a murder mystery involving cannibalism all while adapted to her new home and job. How do you top that? You do if your Kelley Armstrong. In A Darkness Absolute, a citizen has run off into the woods, Eric, Rockton’s police chief, is out of town, so it is up to Casey and another to find them. A snowstorm forces them to seek cover and there they discover Nicole Chavez, a citizen of Rockton who has been missing for over a year and assumed dead. Only she is very much alive and has been held in captivity. While investigating Nicole’s case, Casey and Eric find the remains of two other Rockton women. It soon becomes apparent they have a serial kidnapper/serial killer on their hands. But is the killer local or one of the others?
- The characters: Our hero and heroine are both flawed, complex and brilliant at solving crimes. Both have interesting pasts and their share of demons. Together they simply work, and their feelings, discussions, and chemistry felt genuine. As a crime-solving team, they each have their strengths and mutual respect produces stellar detective work. Suspects, victims, townsfolks, hostiles, and others ground the story, build suspense and add humor and agitation. A feisty, loud mouth named Jen and a psychologist turned butcher will certainly gain readers attention.
- The Unknown Element: Folks who arrive are vetted by the council, an unknown entity who financially backs Rockton. They have control over who arrives, stays and leaves. While we know people pay for the privilege of staying in Rockton this group’s demands, motives and secrets add an unknown factor to these tales.
- The Writing: Every element of this story is delivered to perfection creating an intense read that grabs the reader. Armstrong makes you believe Rockton and these characters exist. Character development and the suspenseful mysteries are amplified by the setting and the author’s attention to detail. The world freaks me out but I cannot wait to go back! The tale is part horror, part self-discovery with a dash of romance and all the thrills, chills and mysteries one could hope for in one of the creepiest havens.
Fans of suspense, mysteries, and thrillers will find that book high they crave in A Darkness Absolute and the Casey Duncan series.
[bctt tweet=”A creeptastic thrill from beginning to end -A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
This series sounds so good. Every time I come here I end up adding to my TBR. This world sounds amazing and your excitement for this series sealed the deal for me. Thanks for sharing this review.
Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books
I have to agree with everything you said in this review. This series is just amazing. Glad you enjoyed it!
Jenea's Book Obsession
It sounds like series is getting even better! Love it!
Oh good! It stays strong through book two.
Wow! Look at your rating — awesome!
I loved this one! Some good new characters including the one dude (drawing a blank on his name) who helped them and had a history with Eric. Also hoping to find out more about the mysterious council in the future. Can’t wait for the third book!
Tyler H. Jolley
This is a great series for sure. Also, Kimba, I love when you add the snowflakes to your blog. So festive.
Yeah, I like the snow too 🙂
I liked this story even better than the first one. A bit darker, but still with amazing characters. I loved the butcher (can’t remember his name off the top of my head). I hope we get more of him in the third book.
Sarah @ A Weebish Book Blog
Flawed and complex characters are my catnip. This series sounds like a lot of fun. I really need to read more by Armstrong in 2018.
Love that cover and I am up for a creeptastic read ANY TIME. 🙂
One day, one day
I adore this series, I’m so excited you are reading and loving it too Kim!
As I was reading this premise and thinking about book 1 you talked about yesterday I just kept saying wow. Yeah this series is on my list. Thanks Kim
This sounds intense. Love the snowflakes.
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence
This series sounds so incredibly haunting and dark especially with the cannabalism and the small town setting! Lovely review Kimba.
love the snow flakes!! oh and did I read cannibalism? oh I hope she’s okay (hero and heroine no romance?)
oh you’re fast already book 2! Since yesterday I still need to read book 1 but it’s great to see it continues to be good!
Nice! Glad to see you rave about it since I just bought the first one! 😀