Review: A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

Posted December 27, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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Review: A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
A Darkness Absolute

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Series: Casey Duncan #2
Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Minotaur Books
Released on November 14, 2017
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

After the first book thrilled and chilled me with its gritty, twisting suspenseful introduction, I was more than ready to buckle up and ride out book two, hoping it would hold more of the same for me.


A Darkness Absolute returned to the town of Rockton with a new situation to be tackled, but relies on the reader to have gotten the books in order when it jumps into a rush of a first scene with no introductory explanation.

Eric has flown to the city for supplies leaving Casey and Will in charge.  She’s antsy to prove her stuff as a cop still.  So, against orders, Casey and Will charge into the wilderness of the Yukon’s rugged weather and landscape to bring back the guy who did a runner.  Bad goes to worse and after some harrowing experiences they stumble into a cave for shelter and stumble across something truly horrific pointing to the fact that the already zany hidden town of Rockton has a serial killer.  Eric and Casey continue to work on their relationship as a couple when both have struggles from their past and need to take things carefully even as they also have to figure out quickly who captures women and hides them away before they strike again.  Is it a crazed person living in the wild or one of the outlying settlements? Or, is it one of their own?  The Council isn’t helping and soon prove to have been interfering and manipulating the residents more than ever.  Val, their rep in town, is actively hostile and Casey is determined to know what she has against Eric.  Narrow escapes show the killer might be targeting Casey and outsmarting them all.

This story doesn’t have the job of introducing Rockton and the surrounding world or characters, but it continues to paint in the setting and situation focusing on the psychological aspect of who would do the atrocities they are investigating.  Casey’s curiosity about so much also has her studying up on the wild, feral people in the woods as well as a few smaller mysteries around the town.  The relationship between she and the woman who betrayed her in the last book gets a look in and a goodly amount of development occurs in her relationship with Eric and also between him and his past life.

I enjoyed exploring all the plot paths and of course, following as they worked on the main mystery.  Though, in a rare bit of insight, I figured out the who, the how, and even the why not far in.  I couldn’t tell you what tipped me off other than opportunity and a few casual things.  Casey was gutsy and skated the edge of some stupid moves, but she also had a good mind and was steadily working to have the skills for her new life and job that I could totally get behind.  She didn’t cause undo drama in her new relationship with Eric when he was vulnerable about her abandoning him and needing a solid commitment from her.  They are a great couple and I loved seeing them grow and have each other’s backs.  Doesn’t hurt that they’re heating up the cold, dark nights.

Yes, all around it was another exciting, twisting, dark suspenseful installment that read quickly and left me wanting more.  Those who enjoy a bit more bite to their romantic suspenses and like survival type situations should definitely give these a go.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #89
COYER Winter Friends #17


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

Thanks for the great review Sophia Rose. I actually prefer (for myself) a short intro or background. Happy New Year!!!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

In a good mystery, I feel the same. I like to wonder and question and build my curiosity and suspense.

Anne - Books of My Heart

I’m really loving this series and it is on some of my 2019 lists!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

You and Melanie put me onto it and now I’m addicted. 🙂

2 years ago

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but haven’t read book 2 yet. I hope to get to it soon, but I am not always in the mood for this type of darker reads, so i need to time it right with my reading mood. I already have my copy of book 2 ready :). Great review and it sounds like a solid sequel with how there’s another mystery and also deepens the characters and the romance.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lola

You’re right to wait until the right mood for some of the darker moments. 🙂 I had to read some of it in the bright light of day.

2 years ago

I really need to start this series! I love Kelley Armstrong (Have you read Sea of Shadows??), and cannot wait to dive into this newest mystery! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? ☃

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsi

Oh you sure do and I need to get to her other series b/c I’ve heard such good things.

2 years ago

I’m a big fan of this series and I love the psychological elements, as well as the suspense. Such a moody setting, it almost feels like you’re there in the woods!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Greg

Yes, the blend of elements and the atmosphere really do notch up the enjoyment, Greg.

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

I’ve only read a couple of her books. This sounds pretty good though.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, its really neat how isolation in the cold north and people living in the wild can feel like such a scary setting. 🙂

Angie Elle
2 years ago

This does sound good, Sophia. And I do love grit! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Great review. 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

Oh yes, I’m really getting into this series. I think you’d like it, Angie.

Melanie Simmons
2 years ago

I love this series so much. I can’t wait for the next book to be released early next year. Wonderful review.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I’m hoping to catch up in time to read the latest release when it comes out. 🙂

Carole Rae
2 years ago

I really must read more by this author. It has been TOO long.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

I’m just starting out with this series and loving her stuff.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I’m thrilled to see you’re continuing the series! I love it so much! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yes!!! I’m hoping to get caught up by the time the next one releases. These are so good. 🙂