A Stranger in Town: A Rockton Novel

Kelley Armstrong. Minotaur, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-78172-7
Bestseller Armstrong’s propulsive sixth novel set in the off-grid Canadian Yukon sanctuary of Rockton (after 2020’s Alone in the Wild) begins with Det. Casey Duncan and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, encountering a female hiker at the forest’s edge. Her bare feet are bloody and frostbitten, she has an infected abdominal wound, and she is babbling in Danish. With translation assistance from a Nordic studies professor who lives in Rockton, the woman reveals that she and three companions were attacked by a “wild man.” A search for survivors turns up a campsite strewn with partially dismembered corpses. The ambush appears to be the work of “hostiles”—former residents of Rockton who have reverted to a primal state—but something about the scene sits wrong with Eric and Casey. Their misgivings multiply as their investigation progresses. Armstrong’s unique setting and clever premise play pivotal roles in this multifaceted mystery, which satisfies as a self-contained puzzle and significantly advances the series’ arc. Abundant plot twists amplify tension, while poignant interactions between psychologically complex characters add heart and heft. Thriller fans seeking something different will be delighted. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/17/2020
Release date: 02/02/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-78818-4
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