By Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: February 21, 2023
If an author writes in two very distinct genres, I usually pick one over the other as my reading preference. But with Kelley Armstrong, I’m equally a fan of both her Urban Fantasy and Mystery/Thriller series. This book, the first in the Haven’s Rock series, is a spin-off of her Rockton mystery series.
Rockton, the off-grid camp in the Yukon where Casey Butler fled to for protection, is being shut down. After several years there, Casey has found a place where she can continue to put her skills as a homicide detective to work. In addition, she’s found a home and a husband with sheriff Eric Dalton. With so many Rockton residents hesitant to return “down south,” it made sense for them to build another community similar to Rockton. But this time, Casey and Eric will be the owners, with no council overseeing their lives. It’ll be perfect.
Until members of the construction crew go missing before Haven’s Rock is completed, and another dead body turns up near the site. Add in “neighbors” who don’t want them there, and Haven’s Rock may not be as perfect as they’d imagined.
Even if you haven’t read the Rockton series, you could certainly start with this book. Honestly, the plot is essentially the same with the main difference being the characters involved in this installment. Armstrong does a good job of bringing the reader up to speed on important information contained in previous books, and since the series arc will most likely focus on how well Casey and Eric can make this community the refuge they envision, I’d imagine there will be plenty of hints dropped in on what went wrong in Rockton. All that to say, it’s not totally necessary to jump back and read the seven Rockton books, unless you want to. They’re certainly entertaining enough.
I like Armstrong’s style in this series. Reminds me a lot of Sue Grafton, if her MC lived off-grid in the Yukon rather than a California beach town. So while the plot is essentially the same in each book (dead bodies appearing where they shouldn’t be, Casey and Eric butting heads with authority), I love the characters in this installment and their chemistry, especially Casey’s relationship with her sister April. The new characters also promise to bring plenty of questions and conflicts in books to come. This is a solid set up for the new series.
Final rating: 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing the ARC ebook. I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.
Until next time, thank you for visiting.