Book Review: City of the Lost (Casey Duncan #1)

Book Review

City of the Lost (Casey Duncan #1)

Kelley Armstrong

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 Stars!!)


I COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN! I loved it. I couldn’t helping thinking: I hope I write this well some day. lol. I can’t wait to read the sequel! 🙂

City of the Lost is about a detective who, along with her best friend, escapes her troubles in the real world by running away to a tiny camp of 200 people way up in the Yukon wilderness, far away from even the most remote civilization. There, she and the gruff, complicated sheriff investigate a series of murders shaking up the small community.

I’d never heard of Kelley Armstrong before this but the local library had a display up for her, and she had a lot of interesting-looking books, so I picked on up. Absolutely thrilled I did. Can’t wait to read more. I couldn’t put City of Lost down and tore through it, glad it had some length to it, and was left wanting even more.

I loved the remote wilderness setting. Maybe because I’ve been there and done that, and because I enjoy it as much as our heroine eventually finds that she does too. I think, for some reason, it contributed to the distinct Canadian feel that I got for the book. That feel is nebulous, but seems to stem not just from place names and setting, but from something inherent in the author’s style that I can’t quite put my finger on, but seems there anyway. Could also be my imagination. But the book did resonate with me and I’m neither a detective nor a criminal, so I don’t think it was those aspects.

The characters were detailed and vividly portrayed so that we really felt like we got to know them. The author’s observations and depictions were insightful and smart. The story features a cast of semi-broken characters that find healing, and possibly redemption, in the best way possible – through each other and through cooperation doing the right thing. It’s not just a crime thriller, it’s a story of redemption and personal growth, both for tough little Casey Duncan and for her stalwart sheriff.

I thought Casey Duncan was a great female lead. She’s tough, bold, ambitious, direct and generally fearless. But she’s also a bit broken and scarred in the soul. She’s dynamic and interesting and someone the reader can cheer for.

The subtext of romance throughout the story was subtle and authentic, yet rewarding in the end. Though I did find certain aspects a little cliché, but I think that’s just me. Male romantic interests and romance itself seem to portrayed in common ways in many novels written by women and I’m coming to see that the genders view these things rather differently at times. Whatever women say in real life, there sure are an awful lot of male romantic interests who are angry, sometimes rude, periodically violent or almost so, who completely lose control of themselves in their lust/love over the female, and then act overly protective or actually possessive. Seems quite caveman-ish. And this seems to be terribly attractive to women despite the fact that they also rail against men for being illtempered, rude, violent or threateningly so, dominant and brutish. So, they love and hate the same things, depending on their mood? But I suppose that there’s a good reason why women have been portrayed as walking contradictions. Class by Lucinda Rosenfeld is the most brilliant and illustrative example of this that I’ve ever seen and should be a must read for insights into the modern female mind. (Or at least one common example of it. Not everything feels/thinks the same way, obviously.)

I don’t want to give the mystery away, but I will say, I didn’t see the end coming at all. There are some excellent twists through the latter half of the book that delightfully shake things up. Well done!

City of the Lost is a fine read by Kelley Armstrong and readers will definitely enjoy it. Get a copy today!

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