Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Review: A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong

A Darkness Absolute (Casey Duncan #2) by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication date: February 7th 2017
My rating: 4.5 stars 
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The follow-up to #1 NYT bestseller Kelley Armstrong’s acclaimed City of the Lost, Rockton town detective Casey Duncan makes a terrible—and dangerous—discovery in the woods outside of town.

When experienced homicide detective Casey Duncan first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.

Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that...before another victim goes missing.

Casey Duncan returns in another heart-racing thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

My Thoughts:
I love the setting and premise of this series! If you’re a fan of a well-plotted mystery with plenty of suspense, twists and turns, and multi-dimensional characters, (thankfully without a self-destructive streak!) the Casey Duncan series is for you.   

Rockton is a refuge city for those on the run. A city off the grid and under the radar, perfect for any trying to escape a whole range of situations: a stalker, abusive partner, or punishment from a crime.  Applicants are vetted for violence risk, meaning someone who poses a threat to others will not be admitted. Well, that’s the theory, anyhow. In book one, City of the Lost, Casey and Eric found some exceptions that cost the town dearly.  Are there more to be uncovered?

Casey is very smart and insightful, considering the motivations of everyone she deals with, helping her manage the residents in Rockton, as well as track down a particularly clever killer.

I was on edge so many times sensing danger, worrying that something terrible would happen to Casey! Kelley Armstrong did a wonderful job setting the stage for one nail-biting tale! The crime was disturbing, because it’s so very similar to the horrifying things we hear in real life.

I love the romance between Eric and Casey!  They’re in the new stages, smitten, and at times vulnerable wondering just how much this relationship means to the other. 

Just when I think Diana (Highlight for spoiler): will somehow redeem herself, she’s back to her self-centered schemes, rationalizing by suggesting her decisions ended up benefiting Casey. I can’t stand this woman. I’m thankful that Casey really does have her number, even if she wishes she were wrong. (End of spoiler) Jen is just awful.  She was in book one and things haven’t changed. That’s how she goes about getting a job?!  

Just like the first book, the current mystery is solved, albeit in a chilling way, but I’d say the punishment fits the crime! I can’t wait for the next mystery!  If you haven’t read the first book, City of the Lost, I’d highly recommend starting with that one first. 

Therese Plummer, one of my all-time favorite narrators is fantastic, as usual.  She makes any book even better with her performance.


  1. I absolutely love this series, it has quickly become a favorite after reading this one. So happy you loved it as well! It is definitely an underrated story.

  2. I finished this yesterday, and I liked it so much better than the first. I can't wait for more. Even though Jen and Diana suck, I like that you have characters that are fun to hate.

  3. Ohhh Jen and Diana I could do without, trust. Love this series and I can't wait to read more. :D

  4. I haven't read this series but I do love this author so I definitely need to check this one out. Wonderful review, Rachel!

  5. Gorgeous review Rachel :D Yay for enjoying this one so much. <3 I just learned about this series, and I kind of want both books a whole bunch. Think I might love them too :)


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