Review: Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong

Posted April 13, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 28 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong
Alone in the Wild

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Casey Duncan #5
Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Minotaur Books
Released on February 4, 2020
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

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.

Challenges Met

New Release #44
Literary Pickers #68 socks
COYER Quarantine #17
Romanceopoly #34 spring
Romance BINGO #22 Christmas


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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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2 years ago

The mystery of this one sounds very enticing! I may need to circle back to book 1.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Ethan

I enjoyed the gritty survival setting for this series, but the characters are great, too. Hope you like them when you get the chance, Ethan.

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

Okay where has this series been all my life 🙂 wow what a wild ride Sophia Rose thanks for sharing this one

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

That is exactly my reaction when I spotted Melanie’s review of the books. 🙂

2 years ago

I only tried book 1 but I haven’t read more. I should!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Most definitely!

Anne - Books of My Heart

Yay you are caught up! I really enjoyed this one as it had a mystery, but it also focused on the relationship of Casey and Eric. The combination of both aspects was very well done. Fantastic review!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

🙁 Sad to be caught up because now I have to wait, but this was a fabulous latest read. 🙂

sherry fundin
2 years ago

it sounds like this one is even better than the one before. makes me want to read it even more and i do love the wild setting. can make for some very interesting people and circumstances.
sherry @ fundinmental

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

Oh yes, they just get better and better it seems. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I love this series and found this interesting, especially the different groups. Great review, Sophia!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yes, getting the skinny on all those groups was a great part of this one.

Lover of Romance
2 years ago

I am so happy to see you enjoyed this one so much. Its always a delight to have a book that leaves you with plenty of surprises.

Great Review.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Exactly so, Renee! 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

Yes, I agree, in the past it was frustrating when Storm would run off and create a huge ordeal, and then Casey would just chase after her. Some of her moves were so reckless! I’m happy she’s improving. As usual I love Eric! This series is one of my favorites! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Eric is adorable and it was neat to see her figuring stuff out. I can’t wait for the next one.

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

That sounds really good. The characters sound really interesting.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It really is Mary. Hope you get the chance at these.

2 years ago

I’ve wanted to start this series since seeing the cover for the newest (this) book! I love Kelley Armstrong, and cannot wait to see how this story unfolds. 🙂

Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsi

I think you’ll really get into them, Lindsi.

Carole Rae
2 years ago

Mhmmmmmmm I am intrigued now. I like some previous novels by this author…so maybe

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Ha! Glad to hook you in, Carole. I’m hoping to try some of her other books, too.

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

I have seen this book around so often and I love the cover. It’s haunting.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I only recently came across the series. Yes, the covers really give one a chill. 🙂

2 years ago

Sounds like this continues to be a great series. I have read the first 2 books and hope to continue the series later this year. The blend of suspense and the personal storylines are well done so far ad I like the sound of how Casey continues to grow and is trying to keep Storm from being a liability.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lola

It will be fun to see what you think of the rest of the series. Yes, it’s great that she keeps growing.

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

This sounds like a great series, and it’s good to know that it should be read in order. The overall premise sounds original and fascinating. I love the setting, that you get a romance; and while you were able to figure out some of the twists, you got some surprises as well. K.A. Tucker is such a great author. I need to keep this series in mind for when I’m in the mood for a mystery or need one for one of my reading challenges. Fantastic Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I love the setting, too. I am now antsy for the next release. 🙂 Oh good, glad its going on your mystery list.