cover image Watcher in the Woods: A Rockton Novel

Watcher in the Woods: A Rockton Novel

Kelley Armstrong. Minotaur, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-15991-5

Bestseller Armstrong fuses small-town mystery with high-concept thriller in her propulsive fourth Rockton novel (after 2018’s This Fallen Prey). When U.S. marshal Mark Garcia arrives in Rockton hunting a dangerous fugitive whom he declines to name until caught, residents are understandably alarmed; the off-grid Canadian Yukon settlement is meant to be a sanctuary for those hoping to disappear. Det. Casey Duncan and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, order Garcia to leave, citing a lack of jurisdiction, but Garcia refuses. When a sniper shoots the marshal, Casey and Dalton must identify Garcia’s target, solve his murder, and determine how he found the supposedly secret refuge—all before the U.S. government comes looking for their missing agent. Complicating matters is the fact that Casey and Dalton broke protocol to smuggle in an outsider—Casey’s sister, April—just prior to Garcia’s arrival. Casey’s present-tense narration heightens tension, while colorful characters with checkered pasts add humor, intrigue, and heart. New readers and longtime fans will enjoy Armstrong’s adrenaline-fueled plot, which cleverly capitalizes upon her inventive series premise. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency (Canada). (Feb.)