This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Minotaur Books
Released on February 4, 2020
A simple 2-Day camping trip sets Casey and Eric onto a whole new disturbing mystery when they find a murdered woman clutching a still living baby. With each new installment comes more intrigue and some answers about this wild area of the Yukon where a lot of secrets are hiding.
Alone in the Wild is book five in the Casey Duncan (Rockton) series. These all connect closely so work best when read in order.
Casey and Eric have had a fairly quiet six months in Rockton after the last harrowing case and have earn a bit of time out for themselves. They choose to go off on a camping trip for a few days leaving Will in charge and every one in festive spirits for the Christmas and Winter Solstice holidays. They are enjoying their time away when Casey stumbles upon a woman’s body buried in the snow and a crying baby. The woman has been murdered and the least of the mystery is the murder because this woman is dressed like a settler from one of the other settler towns and yet her skin under the clothes bares the markings of one of the wild people. April also confirms that the woman is not the baby girl’s mother.
At the same time, the wild woman, Maryam, who was once a member of Rockton has slowly become sane again and gives Casey the answers she has been hunting for why some people lost their sanity and went crazy in the wild.
So, off they go on the hunt even while Casey and Eric struggle with the private question of do they want children even as they grow attached to the little one they found.
I’ve been making my way steadily through the books in the series over these past few months and loved each suspenseful tale I got as well as the deepening relationship between Casey and Eric. They have all given a nice balance of romance and suspense. But, somehow this one felt like it dug a little deeper by forcing Casey and Eric to solve an internal mystery even while tracking down the answers to the murder case they have as well as finally getting the answers to the wild people’s existence.
When Casey was attacked many years before, the doctor told her that she probably would never be able to carry a baby to term. In the scheme of things, it hadn’t mattered before and Eric said he was content with it being just the two of them. Now, baby Abby is with them and stirring feelings and thoughts that they have to address. The dead wild woman and the live Maryam stir up even more. Their trail takes them out away from Rockton this time and I did enjoy seeing how Rockton fit with the other groups of peoples.
These people groups are always so fascinating out there in the Yukon wilderness. The intro to the trade family and their cut throat ways, the two other settlements, the lone people, and Rockton people living out in that vast wilderness is quite the melting pot.
In one of my previous reviews, I was disappointed in the way Storm their dog was a handicap and Casey’s impetuous need to prove herself to Eric and everyone else was the catalyst for some bad to worse situations. I was happy to see that along with her own personal growth and strengthened relationship with Eric, Casey has worked hard to keep Storm from being a liability and her weak point. She has also worked hard not to leap into danger without thought and is developing her own wilderness knowledge She also approached her personal and relationship issues with such maturity and Eric has opened up to her and is slowly unpacking things from his past to allow her to help him work through all that with him. This is all what I like to see over the long haul of a series.
Alongside Casey and Eric’s maturing, it is always fun to see recurring characters like Tyrone, Jen, Will, Kenny, April, Petra, Isabel, and the new council liaison, Phil, filling in the cast of characters around them.
The mystery itself led them on a merry chase and gave them some danger moments to deal with. Again, it twists along and seems obvious until yet another twist happens. I enjoy that about these. I can figure some of it out, but an always left with some good surprises.
So yes, all in all, I thought this was the best one yet and now that I’m caught up, I’ll have to try to patiently wait for the next Yukon wilderness adventure mystery for the hidden town of Rockton. Thriller romance fans who want something a bit off grid and gritty should definitely give this series a go.
I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.
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