Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Minotaur Books
Released on May 3, 2016
An off-grid town full of people with dark secrets has a murderer on the lose. The town’s newest resident, Detective Casey Duncan, joins up with the brooding sheriff to follow a twisting trail to the truth. Casey’s no innocent, but this new start, even with a sadistic killer on the loose, may be just what she needs.
City of the Lost is the first book in the Casey Duncan series (or Rockton series- depending on where you look) and its a thriller with a slow burn romance element. Casey is a city detective and does her job well. She’s got a dark past, but between her job and efforts to be there for her long-time friend, Diana, she’s doing all right. Diana’s abusive ex won’t stay gone and Casey’s past includes a dark alley and a shooting so she is more than willing to give Diana’s hair-brained idea to disappear to a city designed for those who need to leave behind their lives a chance.
Only, when they get there, Casey lands in the middle of a gruesome murder investigation, a lifestyle that is beyond her experience, and people who even shock a cop who has seen it all. And, this group is led by a man who is to most beyond her scope of experience and he just happens to be her new boss.
The book pulled me in right away when Casey admits to murder and then the story flashes back to what led up to this. I enjoyed how the author took the reader from the set up for a normal thriller or mystery and goes off the beaten path to a primitive place deep in the Yukon. It was like a frontier town with a few modern amenities. People who came from the modern world, but lived far from civilization. I found the set up and background of story and characters not just believable, but riveting.
There is savagery from the beginning with a murder that turned my stomach. The mystery was good and had some nice twists so I was pointing the finger all around. But, the mystery is set inside a deeper mystery and among people who offer several other mysteries. It was a great beginning for a new series.
I liked the main characters and enjoyed the way the author developed them along with the surrounding characters. People are complex and often deeply flawed . The romance is organic to the story and takes a backseat as Casey and the others work the case and Casey gets used to her new surroundings while attempting to make peace with her past. She is a tough, resourceful woman and has to be. Her romance is just as tough as she and it suits the story when it finally moves from the sidelines to being one of the strong story elements.
So, I can definitely see why many of my book pals are raving and I am jazzed to keep going with this series. Thriller and romantic suspense fans are definitely in for a treat if they pick this one up.
COYER Winter #26