Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Kelley Armstrong
Minotaur, February 2024
352 pages
ISBN: 1250865441

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

First off, I really like the title. It's evocative and gives a hint of what the book is about. In the new hidden Yukon town of Haven's Rock (#2 in the Rockton spin-off series), the founders have expanded the singles-only requirement of the previous series to allow families and children. This is meant to both broaden the social environment and to serve a population that wouldn't have been provided with a haven in Rockton. Along with the positive aspects of the change in policy, however, come new challenges. These challenges are suddenly quite obvious when a 10-year-old boy, Max, goes missing after claiming to see a bear with a man's eyes.

Max is a combination of a nave boy and a budding outdoorsman, so as Casey and Eric search for him there is actually hope that he is alive. A number of theories as to his disappearance emerge, ranging from an actual bear attack, to someone following his family up to Haven's Rock to exact revenge, to involvement by the mining organization located not too far off, to someone from Haven's Rock hiding secrets. Aspects of the search turn up clues that could fit many of these theories, and there are many twists and turns.

Armstrong transports the reader to the remote setting, and particularly to the forest surrounding Haven's Rock. The writing about the location is, as always in this series and the previous Rockton series, evocative. The characters are developing as the new series begins, and Armstrong provides enough background and detail to many of them to bring them alive. It would not be difficult nor disorienting to begin the series with this book. There is a kindness and sense of the underlying good of people that permeates Casey's musings throughout the series, in spite of the harshness of the setting and the fact that the books always involve pain, danger, and evil. The plotting is complex and engaging, and the pace picks up to a blistering speed at the end.

In addition to the search for Max, this book deals with a personal issue for Casey and Dalton. While that issue has an impact on the search, it primarily helps define the characters of the detective and sheriff. It also sets up a plot line for future books in the series. In fact, although the disappearance of Max is brought to a resolution in this book, the town's relationships with the miners and others in the forest outside of the town are left open enough to provide future fodder for the author. I am definitely looking forward to seeing where she goes with it in the third book of the series.

Sharon Mensing, retired educational leader, lives, reads, and enjoys the outdoors in Arizona.

Reviewed by Sharon Mensing, February 2024

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]