Review: This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong

Posted February 5, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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Review: This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong
This Fallen Prey

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Series: Casey Duncan #3
Genres: Mystery Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Minotaur Books
Released on February 6, 2018
Pages: 359
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

As I cruise into the next installment in the Rockton-Casey Duncan series, it is like slipping into comfort jeans or reaching for a cozy throw blanket.  I anticipate each new venture with Casey, Dalton, the people of Rockton and the bizarre circumstances to happen to this remote Canadian wilderness group.

This Fallen Prey is book three in a series that do not read well out of order as its an ongoing story though there is a solved murder mystery with each book.

The book begins with Casey, Dalton and Will out on grave digging duty when a plane lands on the hidden town’s runway.  Thus begins their nightmare because the Council has sent them a serial killer to babysit for six months.  His presence ripples through the town causing first general unease and then sharper repercussions.  When there is an escape and murder, things go from bad to worse out there in the woods where survival on a good day is a crap shoot.

I found this one as thrilling and entertaining as the previous books and it is always a delight to get back with tough detective Casey, capable Dalton, and the rest.  Each book has them forced to conduct a criminal investigation on a shoestring, wonder just what the Council is hiding from them, and keep the quirky and often dangerous town residents and people in the woods under control.

This one pushes them ethically because they are told in a note that they are meant to guard and house a serial killer, but they are not equipped for it and this puts their town in danger.  The Council doesn’t care because the step dad of the killer has ponied up a wad to make it happen.  It sure would be simpler and safer to solve their problem with a bullet and Casey is tempted, but knowing Dalton would have to be complicit and his moral compass points true north with a belief that people are innocent until they do a guilty act has her holstering her weapon and twitchy.  Then, they must deal with treachery from within once again.  I do enjoy the complexities they face particularly when they get out in the woods.

Speaking of the woods, this one has them out in the wild and I do enjoy how the author details in her world and gives it such chilling atmosphere.  Its a survival story as much as a thriller.  And a love story as much as those as Casey and Dalton worked as a team throughout.

There were some really dark and evil characters in this one and they aren’t two-dimensional, but fully fleshed out just like the shades of gray types that include Casey to some degree.  Always fascinating to see how they all interact.  Or don’t, and we end up with an intense action-packed scene.

I did have a few ticky-tack issues with this one.  There were times when Casey, for as trained and smart as she is, doesn’t act like it.  There are a few thrilling moments that were only there because she was impulsive or went soft and chose to give in to people she shouldn’t have.  I don’t blame her for what resulted in how it affected others because, in truth, others acted with evil intent and probably would have found a way.  But yeah, I was being told how cold, calculating and smart she is when I thought she was as big a marshmallow at times as Dalton because she let her friendships or attempts at friendships override good sense and that includes her dog.  Leave the puppy behind until it is fully trained.  Seriously.  I can think of half a dozen bad situations avoided by not taking a dog only weeks into some of its training into the field.  I used to live near a K9- security dog training facility and I know for a fact that it takes years before some of those dogs are field-worthy if then.  Never did a puppy get put in the field especially for work they were doing- manhunt for armed serial killer?  Nope!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me reassure you that I in no way hated this book.  Those were little things that kept jabbing at me so that this was super good, but not amazing.  I am oh so curious about the conspiracy element that is growing stronger in the background and that last few twists on a new Rockton resident and the secrets of a long standing one.  I can’t recommend this series enough for thriller romance fans and particular those who enjoy survival settings.

Challenges Met

Mt TBR #16
Literary Pickers #25 knife


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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

It’s been quite some time since I read a series, mostly because of timing, and having to read these in order would probably kill me.(lol) Still, characters who say they are one thing, then we see them doing iffy things would make me scratch my head too. (lol) Great review! Hugs, RO

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  RO P

It is very tough to be patient and read a series in order. I don’t always manage and usually only if its still a shorter series like this one. LOL
Yeah, I kept shaking my head over the way she handled things a few times when I knew she was a tough homicide cop back in the big city. But, I guess there are other factors here, too.
Still, a really riveting story. Have a great day, Radiant Ro!

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Casey isn’t always logical. Great review. I love this series.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

So true, and yet we love her and can’t wait for more. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

I have a bad habit of reading out of order so it’s good to know to read this series in order.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

I do it, too, but yes, this is one that you can’t or you miss out on stuff in the series arc. 🙂 I think you’d love this series the way you love stories about serial killers, Mary.

Carole Rae
2 years ago

I really must read more by Kelley Armstrong. She is good.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Me, too! Soooo good, Carole!

Carole's Random Life in Books

I am so glad you are enjoying this series. I have to agree that it doesn’t always make sense to bring the dog with them, especially when she is so young, but I still love Storm 🙂 Great review!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yes, you and several others got me hooked. I am driven to get caught up even if it means joining the group waiting for the next one.

Yeah, it drove me nuts each time they took Storm out into that sort of situation. I love that big puppy, too. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I love this series SO much. I have been listening on audio though because Therese Plummer is great! Fantastic review. I have to agree about the dog.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I will likely do my eventual re-read in audio b/c I love Therese Plummer’s work, too. You were one of the people that got me motivated about this series. 🙂

2 years ago

I love this series and can’t wait to read the new one. I agree about getting out into the wild- there’s so much going on out there with settlers and hostiles and all that, I love how she’s slowly peeling back the layers. I agree about the dog too- I think she’s forcing it just a little bit, as much as I love the idea. Way too young!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Greg

I’m excited to get caught up to the new one, but also reluctant to get caught up and have to wait for the yearly releases. 🙂 Yes, this world out in the wild Canadian north is so fascinating with all the human types that are as scary as the grizzlies out there. Oh my yes, Storm is way too young. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I love a story that I can cuddle up with under a warm blanket. I’m glad you were able to enjoy this story despite a few irksome things, like the female not always portraying the superior intelligence that she’s suppose to have. Great Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yes, these wintry weather climates make me get a chill just from reading them and, of course, I do it in January. LOL I should save them for cooling down in summer.
I do really enjoy them even if there are things that get me frustrated.
Thanks, Lindy!

2 years ago

I am currently reading book 2 in this series. Glad to hear book 3 was such a good read. I like how each book has a different mystery, but they are best enjoyed in order due to some overarching plot lines. It does seem like this one has a few of those not so smart decisions from Casey, taking the puppy on a hunt when it isn’t fully trained just seems stupid.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Yay, glad you’re enjoying the series, too. I thought it was rather stupid to have the puppy along and especially when bad situations developed. Oh well, still a good series.