Reviewing isn’t my thing, since I tend to ramble and either give way too much info or not enough. But since I have gotten a few ARC’s I guess it is going to be something I have to work on. In this case, I was lucky enough to get a copy of the second Rockton novel from Kelley Armstrong, A Darkness Absolute. I am a big Armstrong fan, and I find myself following her across genres. In the case of the Rockton books, the stories are mystery/thrillers, which is a nice change of pace.
The idea of Rockton intrigued me from the start. A tiny town in the middle of nowhere, Yukon, that takes in those that need to disappear – both the innocent, and the guilty. Every person there is on the run from their past, from what they’ve done and what was done to them. Into the middle of this lands homicide detective Casey Duncan, now known as Casey Butler, whose particular skill-set is put to use hunting a killer who just might be one of their own.
As of A Darkness Absolute, Casey has been in Rockton for four months, and she already has one major case under her belt. She is settling surprisingly well into her new life, her new relationship with Sheriff Eric Dalton, and her new freedom from her past. I enjoy Casey, she is no-nonsense and tough without being over the top. I always enjoy Kelley Armstrong’s leading men since they are not your traditional “heroes”, and Eric is no exception. He is rough around the edges, foul-mouthed and quick tempered, but he also has an honesty and earnestness about him that balances it out. He doesn’t play games, doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what he is, and he does the best he can to not only keep order in the off-the-grid town, but to keep everyone safe from the dangers surrounding it. And there are many. Casey and Eric must balance their professional and personal lives while investigating some of their own, tracking a killer, and dealing with the mysterious council who controls Rockton – and who has an agenda of their own.
I enjoyed finding out more about the “outside world”, as well. What exists outside the borders of Rockton isn’t always pretty, but it is interesting. We delve a bit more into Eric’s backstory, his family and his feelings about where he came from, and I hope we learn even more in the books to come. The only thing that threw me a bit in A Darkness Absolute was how many times Casey wandered into mortal danger. That happens, and it is what drives the story forward, but it just kept happening. She would be told “don’t do that, because…”, and she would do it anyways. It wasn’t like she fell into the too-stupid-to-live category, and she did usually manage to go a long way towards extracting herself from whatever the situation was, but I did find myself saying “Again?” a couple of times.
So, all in all, I enjoyed A Darkness Absolute a lot. I like the whole idea of Rockton, I like the idea that nobody there is what they seem, and where the story can go from there. I very much like Eric and his relationship with Casey, and I hope to find out more about his past. The action starts at the first page and never stops, and there are a lot of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I do wish that Casey might’ve been in peril a couple less times, but it was a small thing that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story. Definitely worth a read if you are looking for a solid mystery/thriller. You can pick this one up on February 7th.