New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton Novels had one of the most unique towns in crime fiction. Murder at Haven’s Rock is a spinoff, a fresh start… with a few new dangers that threaten everything before it even begins.
Haven’s Rock, Yukon. Population: 0
Deep in the Yukon wilderness, a town is being built. A place for people to disappear, a fresh start from a life on the run. Haven’s Rock isn’t the first town of this kind, something detective Casey Duncan and her husband, Sheriff Eric Dalton, know first hand. They met in the original town of Rockton. But greed and deception led the couple to financing a new refuge for those in need. This time around, they get to decide which applicants are approved for residency.
There’s only one rule in Haven’s Rock: stay out of the forest. When two of the town’s construction crew members break it and go missing, Casey and Eric are called in ahead of schedule to track them down. When a body is discovered, well hidden with evidence of foul play, Casey and Eric must find out what happened to the dead woman, and locate the still missing man. The woman stumbled upon something she wasn’t supposed to see, and the longer Casey and Eric don’t know what happened, the more danger everyone is in.
Title : Murder at Haven’s Rock
Author : Kelley Armstrong
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : contemporary / mystery thriller
Publisher : Minotaur Books
Release Date : February 21, 2023
Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★
Hollis’ 2 star review
As much as I was looking forward to a fresh start for this spinoff series, while still featuring both characters and a similar setting to the original series, this felt a liiiiittle too samesies for my liking. I’m worried I have to maybe call time of death on this one even after only one book (even if, technically, the other series makes it more like book eight).
In this post-Rockton existence, Casey and Eric are trying to build a new home, with a similar purpose but less corrupt bureaucracy, but before they can even get their town finished, their residents installed, two workers have gone missing. Along the way there’s an unexpected dead woman to deal with, a miner and associated claims to navigate, and a new set of locals who will undoubtably be trouble for Haven’s Rock’s future.
This didn’t do anything wrong. There was no particularly heinous addition to the cast. We had a good red herring or two along the way to solving things. But.. neither did this feel like it added anything new. We just have different scenery and less hierarchy to contend with. Equally, the familiar faces felt fairly cardboard-y which certainly didn’t help with my overall feelings about wanting more time with them.
I may push on but this was not the exciting fresh take I expected it to be. But, you know, your mileage may vary if all you wanted was to not say goodbye to the main characters of series one.
** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **