FIVE LITTLE LIARS by Amanda K. Morgan

I Know What You Did Last Summer meets One of Us is Lying in this fast-paced suspense thriller following five teens who must cover up the suspicious death of their teacher.

Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret . . . especially when that secret is a dead teacher.

Ivy used to be on top of the social ladder, until her ex made that all go away. She has the chance to be Queen Bee again, but only if the rest of the group can keep quiet.

Tyler has always been a bad boy, but lately he’s been running low on second chances. There’s no way he’s going to lose everything because someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut.

Kinley wouldn’t describe herself as perfect, though everyone else would. But perfection comes at a price, and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her perfect record – one that doesn’t include murder charges.

Mattie is only in town for the summer. He wasn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely wasn’t looking to be involved in a murder. He’s also not looking to be riddled with guilt for the rest of his life . . . but to prevent that he’ll have to turn them all in.

Cade couldn’t care less about the body, or about the pact to keep the secret. The only way to be innocent is for someone else to be found guilty. Now he just has to decide who that someone will be.

With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. But in order to take the lead, you have to be first in line . . . and that’s the quickest way to get stabbed in the back.

Perfect for fans of Chelsea Pitcher, Karen M. McManus and Holly Jackson!


Title : Five Little Liars
Author : Amanda K. Morgan
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 368
Genre : YA Thriller
Publisher : Simon & Schuster UK
Release Date : June 11, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

This was a fast-paced teen thriller, a little out of the realms of reality but a page-turner nonetheless. I found some elements predictable and the cast of characters were broadly unlikeable but it kept the plot spinning.

The story was told in multiple POV, all students taking a college-level summer psychology class in high school. Oh the irony of the psychology of this bunch of teens. Out of the this cast of five characters, there were only a couple I took to, the rest were conceited, trouble-makers or plain old mean. All that said, the teacher was plain evil.

The story took a spiral of events, panic and then lies in a familiar pattern but one that works. I did call the final twist very early on though. There were other twists that I didn’t predict however and it did keep me reading.

FIVE LITTLE LIARS was somewhat high drama teen-feeling. I read a lot of YA, but this felt particularly teeny to me with a lack of balance in the characteristics. I reminded myself that someone was dead and high drama was perhaps an appropriate response but there was just something about how it was written that sometimes made my eyes roll (like a teen).

I read this book in an afternoon, it kept me entertained and it was a switch up from genres I’ve been reading. I definitely think it has something to lend to the YA thriller scene and would appeal particularly to young adult readers.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for the finshed review copy.

THE WIVES by Tarryn Fisher – release blitz and review!

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretences, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realise she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?


Title : The Wives
Author : Tarryn Fisher
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 352
Genre : Thriller
Publisher : HQ
Release Date : June 25, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

This was an all-consuming and enjoyable thriller from Tarryn Fisher. It was convincing, screwed with your theories and left you with a jaw drop. It was pretty difficult to put down and I love that kind of feeling in a thriller.

Told from the POV of Thursday, she was one of three wives. Thursday hooked you in too being on her side and wary of the moves of the mighty husband, Seth. Seth, was the kind of man that could juggle three women and keep them all on a string, waiting for their turn and for him to deign his affection. There was only one problem with thinking this…Thursday was an unreliable narrator and I loved that!

I basically didn’t know my head from my tail, which was up and which was down or who to believe. I was here for that. There was polygamy, grief, stalking, domestic abuse, mental health problems and manipulation all going on at once, but with three women that worked. My thoughts ricocheted from one wife to another, unsure of their characters, unsure of Seth.

The ending was something else and I can imagine people finding the exponential acceleration of crazy towards the end a little too much. For me, it was just right, at the end I did a little laugh, nod and inner ‘cleverly done’. I’m left feeling that this book was such a ride, a quick read due to the previously mentioned mind-consumption and just right to lose yourself in. I highly recommend for a great thriller with unusual themes.

Thank you HQ for the review copy.

HIDEAWAY by Nora Roberts

A family ranch in Big Sur country and a legacy of Hollywood royalty set the stage for Nora Roberts’ emotional new suspense novel.

Caitlyn Sullivan, a daughter of Hollywood royalty, was already a star at ten, but still loved to play hide-and-seek with her cousins at the family home in Big Sur. It was during one of those games that she disappeared.

Despite her glamorous background, Cate was a shrewd, scrappy survivor, and she managed to escape her abductors. Callan Cooper was shocked to find the bruised and terrified girl huddled in his ranch house kitchen—but when the teenager and his family heard her story they provided refuge and comfort, reuniting her with her loved ones.

Cate’s ordeal, though, was far from over. First came the discovery of a betrayal that would send someone she’d trusted to prison. Then there were years away in Ireland, sheltered and protected but with restlessness growing in her soul. Then, finally, she returned to Los Angeles, hoping to act again and get past the trauma that had derailed her life. What she didn’t yet know was that two seeds had been planted that long-ago night—one of a great love, and one of a terrible vengeance… 


Title : Hidewaway
Author : Nora Roberts
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : Romantic Thriller
Publisher : Piatkus
Release Date : May 26, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

HIDEAWAY was a rich melding of a family saga with suspense and a gentle romance. It was also only my second stroll with Nora Roberts. The story started with an almighty thrilling bang and then the rest of the tale played out over decades. This growth of the readers knowledge and affection for the family was facilitated by great writing and a solid plot.

Caitlyn (Cate) was at the centre of a kidnapping plot, age ten, all due to the fact she was from a famous family of actors. The Sullivans as a family made for great reading even though I got confused with the many names and who was who in the first quarter of the book. The whole kidnapping plot made for tense reading and this tension ebbed and flowed through the years as the crime was never really put to rest.

The characterisation was the key strength in this read, all the characters, good and bad, had great depth. I loved to read about Cate’s mother, Noah, Dillon, Red, Michaela and of course Cate herself. There were a few niggles for me, some of the ‘darling world’ and privileged life of the Sullivans was a little irritating at times and I didn’t like Dillon’s consistent reference to his mother and grams as ‘my ladies’.

The plot was interesting, I wanted to get back to the book and although there were some unexpected twists, many of the twists were pretty predictable. I can’t say that aspect spoilt the read at all. The wrap up at the end was a little too swift and I would have liked a bit of the calm after.

HIDEAWAY has definitely made me want to read more of this genre from Nora Roberts and this family saga is likely to appeal widely.

Thank you Piatkus/Little Brown UK for the early review copy.

THE HUNTING PARTY by Lucy Foley

Everyone’s invited…everyone’s a suspect…

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?


Title : The Hunting Party
Author : Lucy Foley
Format : ebook
Page Count : 406
Genre : Thriller
Publisher : Harper Collins UK
Release Date : January 29, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ 


Micky’s 2 star review

The book club I’m in is pretty awesome and we have been trying to navigate different genres each month. We decided on this thriller and while it isn’t my happy reading place genre-wise, I sometimes really love them, so I am always ready to be surprised. This read was an epic fail, not because of the genre but because of the writing of the characters.

THE HUNTING PARTY had about 13 characters in it, isolated in the highlands of Scotland and it had almost as many POVs. I spent the first 30% of the book, thinking ‘who’s that’, ‘which one is that, again’, ‘who is her husband’. So it was confusing from the off, that did settle somewhat as the story evolved. It was told over about three days and moved back and forth in that timeline, which did work for me.

One of my main issues that led to my dislike of this book was that it focused on a long -term friendship group who went away for NYE and this friendship group were pretty despicable to one another almost across the board. I found it unrealistic that most of the characters were horrible and they had been ‘friends’ for so long and still got together. None of them liked one another, they treated each other so badly and I found it intangible and annoying. I also found the friendship dramarama boring.

I pushed through the book, through the events to the big finale and found that I didn’t care whatsoever about ‘who dunnit’ or these characters. This is one thriller that wasn’t for me. Whatever the genre, I want to relate to and find realism in the characters I’m reading about.

THREE HOURS IN PARIS by Cara Black 🎧

In June of 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the City of Light—abruptly leaving, never to return. To this day, no one knows why.

The New York Times bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc investigations reimagines history in her masterful, pulse-pounding spy thriller, Three Hours in Paris.

Kate Rees, a young American markswoman, has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Wrecked by grief after a Luftwaffe bombing killed her husband and infant daughter, she is armed with a rifle, a vendetta, and a fierce resolve. But other than rushed and rudimentary instruction, she has no formal spy training. Thrust into the red-hot center of the war, a country girl from rural Oregon finds herself holding the fate of the world in her hands. When Kate misses her mark and the plan unravels, Kate is on the run for her life—all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up.

Cara Black, doyenne of the Parisian crime novel, is at her best as she brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity—and drive—to take on Hitler himself.


Title : Three Hours in Paris
Author : Cara Black
Narrator : Elizabeth Rodgers
Format : Audiobook
Length : 10 hours, 21 minutes
Genre : Historical Thriller
Publisher : Recorded Books
Release Date : April 7, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5-4 star review

This was a strong character-driven historical read set in WW2 France and Britain. Told from the POV of Kate, an American living on the Orkneys where she lived with her late husband, this was a tense and fast-paced suspense. Kate was recruited because of her marksmanship with a rifle and found herself on a high profile job.

What entailed was a story all about her survival in Paris during German occupation. She ricocheted from one situation to and her, not knowing who to trust. Kate was a woman in the full depths of grief over a significant loss and yet she was navigating this high stress situation. The story gave me Charlotte Gray vibes. It was a gripping listen and totally enjoyable.

The narration by Elisabeth Rodgers encapsulated Kate, her journey and her desperate circumstances so well. She transported me to the era and the story completed.

Thank you to LibroFM and Recorded Books for this ALC.

GOLDILOCKS by Laura Lam

The Earth is in environmental collapse. The future of humanity hangs in the balance. But a team of women are preparing to save it. Even if they’ll need to steal a spaceship to do it.

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

The team is humanity’s last hope for survival, and Valerie has gathered the best women for the mission: an ace pilot who is one of the only astronauts ever to have gone to Mars; a brilliant engineer tasked with keeping the ship fully operational; and an experienced doctor to keep the crew alive. And then there’s Naomi Lovelace, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, who has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity to step out of Valerie’s shadow and make a difference.

The problem is that they’re not the authorized crew, even if Valerie was the one to fully plan the voyage. When their mission is stolen from them, they steal the ship bound for the new planet.

But when things start going wrong on board, Naomi begins to suspect that someone is concealing a terrible secret — and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . .

Goldilocks is a bold and thought-provoking new thriller for readers of The Martian and The Handmaid’s Tale.


Title : Goldilocks
Author : Laura Lam
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : Sci-fi/Thriller
Publisher : Headline
Release Date : April 30, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★.5


Micky’s 4.5 rounding up to 5 star review

GOLDILOCKS is the rare kind of sci-fi that kept pace from beginning to end without any kind of lull or overly descriptive narrative. I have just finished the book on a wow whilst congratulating myself on already having secured an order for a signed hard copy; it was that good.

This did not feel like a story I’d read before, it was fresh and gripping. The protagonist Naomi was the daughter of a renown scientist and protege of a leading researcher into all things space science. This story was set in the backdrop of a close dystopian patriarchy with an active programme of sidelining women and their rights. Therefore, this story took a matriarchal path into the future on another world.

I could not predict the twists in GOLDILOCKS, nor could I predict many of the character developments. But I knew Naomi, I came to admire her, cheer for her, will her survival. The team she was working in was complex with allegiances unknown. The morality and ethics of the mission had me taking quick in-drawn breaths, thinking…what???

“Success will never be linear. Success is illusive, it’s a mirage. What you learn, what you do, how you react – that’s what matters.”

Success came at a price in this story, this mission and whether the crew were willing the pay that price was the nugget to follow through the story. The ‘baddie’ of the piece came from initially unexpected quarters for me, although later I questioned why I hadn’t been more suspicious.

The science in this story was utterly palatable, readable and not beyond any readers’s comprehension. I liked the botany aspects of the science, I found the futuristic nutritional ideas fascinating. This was an intelligent read and I devoured it front to back.

I am now off to work out if I can turn Alexa into a male voice in my house…you have to read to understand this subtle but creepy suggestion.

Thank you to Headline Books for the early review copy.

HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD by Sarah J. Maas

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.


Title : House of Earth and Blood
Author : Sarah J. Maas
Series : Cresent City #1
Format : library/audio
Page Count : 803
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date : March 3, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

This wasn’t a flawless book from Maas but my, does she know how to wrap your attention around her little finger. HOEAB was a book that required your attention and commitment to get through the first 25% of info dump and some narrative passages that seemed superfluous. However, from that point on, the characters had embedded themselves on my psyche and I was a willing captive to their stories.

Told from the perspective of half-fae-human Bryce, this was about a journey of death, grief, loss and the fight for justice. It felt like a fantasy-thriller if there is such a genre. Bryce and her foisted upon partner, Hunt Athalar, were the investigators of a two-year-old murder. That murder led them into a complex tale involving species of magical creatures and other worlds.

It was an incredibly twisty tale, some of the twists I saw coming and others I didn’t. I can honestly say that for the final quarter of the book, I was pumping adrenaline, taking little breaks and pulling my hair at the angst. The way the story’s intricacies finally interconnected was very clever and reminded me why Maas is a master storyteller.

The chemistry between the two main characters was a different experience to my knowledge of Maas’ previous writing. This was a slow burn from hate to friendship and then more. The on-page steam was very limited, a surprise to me and maybe others considering this was in adult genre. I would say that genre classification comes from the violence and gore constantly on the page.

Maas has pulled me well and truly into her new world, I enjoyed this suspenseful and thrilling hunt for answers and I cannot wait to read more in this series.

WHO SPEAKS FOR THE DAMNED by C.S. Harris

It’s June 1814, and the royal families of Austria, Russia, and the German states have gathered in London at the Prince Regent’s invitation to celebrate the defeat of Napoléon and the restoration of monarchical control throughout Europe. But the festive atmosphere is marred one warm summer evening by the brutal murder of a disgraced British nobleman long thought dead.

Eighteen years before, Nicholas Hayes, the third son of the late Earl of Seaford, was accused of killing a beautiful young French émigré and transported to Botany Bay for life. Even before his conviction, Hayes had been disowned by his father. Few in London were surprised when they heard the ne’er-do-well had died in New South Wales in 1799. But those reports were obviously wrong. Recently Hayes returned to London with a mysterious young boy in tow–a child who vanishes shortly after Nicholas’s body is discovered.

Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is drawn into the investigation by his valet, Jules Calhoun. With Calhoun’s help, Sebastian begins to piece together the shattered life of the late Earl’s ill-fated youngest son. Why did Nicholas risk his life and freedom by returning to England? And why did he bring the now-missing young boy with him? Several nervous Londoners had reason to fear that Nicholas Hayes had returned to kill them. One of them might have decided to kill him first.


Title : Who Speaks for the Damned
Author : C.S. Harris
Series : Sebastian St Cyr (book fifteen)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 336
Genre : historical fiction/mystery
Publisher : Berkley
Release Date : April 7, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 3 star review

I am late to this series, having wanted to read it for years but only actually getting around to it back in December, but after fifteen books, no matter how recent a fan, you have to wonder : how long will it go on?

This installment definitely felt episodic in the sense that this was removed from what I sort’ve expected to see come to light by now. Events I can’t hint at or speak of due to s p o i l e r s. Instead this was just another vaguely run of the mill murder mystery that Sebastian involves himself in, much to the dismay of almost everyone around him, and as a result a lot of other people die in the midst of trying to cover something up from long ago, now come back to haunt them, and which is forced out into the open because they tried to cover it up.. again.

The one positive I can say (well, okay, that sounds terrible, this book wasn’t bad, but..) is that some of that copy and paste feeling I had reading these books, particularly when dealing with a certain character, wasn’t present this time. Some of the laziness was absent from this fifteenth book and that made everything feel much less rote, which I appreciated. Again, I just wonder, how long can things continue? I have nothing against a long series but only when the new books offer something worthwhile or fresh for the characters; that’s why we read these. Not for the plot or villain of the week but for progress.

There did seem to be some nostalgia and hearkening back to book one in this installment, some what-if and it-could’ve-been-me which did allow for some perspective on Sebastian’s part but I think we had already worked through most of that, so why was it important to rehash?

If you missed these characters, I think you’ll be satisfied by the new book. If you expected that long-awaited drama to bubble up and dealt with head-on, you might be disappointed. But either way I think you’ll enjoy sinking into a familiar world considering the world outside is looking mighty strange right now. This will be comforting in that respect but a new favourite? I wouldn’t expect so.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

NVK by Temple Drake

A hypnotic, unforgettable Gothic page-turner soon to be a cult classic

One night in 2012, Zhang Guo Xing takes a group of European clients to a fashionable high-end nightclub in Shanghai. While there, he meets a strikingly beautiful young Finnish woman called Naemi Vieno Kuusela. The physical attraction between them proves irresistible, and they embark on an intoxicating affair. But Naemi is not what she appears to be…

To Zhang’s surprise, she veers between passion and wariness, conducting the relationship entirely on her own terms. He feels compelled to find out more about her, and is swiftly drawn into a web of intrigue, mystery, and horror. Is she a ghost? A demon? Do the living dead walk the streets of twenty-first century Shanghai?


Title : NVK
Author : Temple Drake
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 320
Genre : Thriller
Publisher : Titan Books
Release Date : March 17, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

This book could not be further out of my usual reading comfort zone if it tried and yet that synopsis reeled me in like a newborn flounder. It claims to be a page-turner and it was definitely that, I read it in one sitting on a Saturday afternoon/evening. The story intrigued me, creeped me out and kept me guessing. The cover and the title are very clever.

Don’t wander into this book if you have sensitive scruples or a weak stomach. Do wander into the book if it’s out of your comfort zone, I don’t like horror and this was just creepy at times, not scary. Zhang, the protagonist, had a wife and son living elsewhere and on the periphery of the story, they really did not factor into his high-powered business Shanghai life. Naemi’s story was creepy from it’s start a long time ago, she was of Sami/Finnish heritage and she had travelled the world.

The relationship between these two was both restrained and passionate with neither of them in control or understanding each other. I was there to find out who or what Naemi was and I actually felt sorry for her a number of times. The Mad Dog character brought a real richness to the story and I enjoyed reading about the doubts he created in Zhang’s mind.

As the book progressed the creep-factor increased for me. Please bear in mind that I am a wuss with scary books and so for many I am sure the creepiness would be mild. The book reached a cresendo and then ended with a question mark for me. Nevertheless, I was satisfied with the culmination, mystery and the story as a whole. I would definitely read Temple Drake again.

Thank you to Titan Books for early copy for review.

ALONE IN THE WILD by Kelley Armstrong

In #1 New York Times bestseller Kelley Armstrong’s latest thriller, the hidden town of Rockton is about to face a challenge none of them saw coming: a baby.

Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that’s what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there’s always something to worry about.

While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

A town that doesn’t let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from – and whether she’s better off where she is.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong again delivers an engaging, tense thriller set in perhaps the most interesting town in all of contemporary crime fiction.


Title : Alone in the Wild
Author : Kelley Armstrong
Series : Rockton (book five)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : mystery/thriller
Publisher : Doubleday Canada
Release Date : February 4, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 3 star review

I’m sad about this “low” rating because I had hoped book four was a fluke and this new book would recapture the magic of the first three installments. This is such a unique premise, with interesting characters, who have plenty of unlikeable and challenging personalities to bounce off of, along with the complicated situation of their living conditions, and it all just makes for fun and exciting and thrilling stories. But these last two..

This series is about an off-the-grid town in the Yukon, called Rockton. Rockton being a town populated by people who have escaped horrors, are on the run from something in their pasts, and have found a place where they can disappear for a few years. Sometimes, too, they are the ones who caused the horrors and just paid enough to a particular group in order to be admitted in order to lay low. Our lead protagonist is Casey Duncan, who arrived to this town to help her friend escape her ex, and has become one of the three detectives who help to police the outlaw-esque locals and keep the peace.

In this particular story, Casey discovers a baby in the woods, along with the body of a dead woman.. and discovers she was not the baby’s mother. It’s through communicating with the two local settlements, plus in speaking with a recluse, and a former hostile (someone who was once part of one of the nomad-esque tribes of.. well, hostile people), to track down who this woman is, where the baby’s parents are, and.. well, lots of that, really. There’s the politics of dealing with the settlements, trade negotiations, and just general complexities in navigating all that plus the wildlife and plus the harsh weather.

What I like about this series continues to be the characters, though some are forever a frustration, and again the setting is just so different. It’s great to read a contemporary where detectives can’t just google shit, there’s no conveniences of the kind we’re used to living with, and it’s a very hard life but not without lots of positive things, too. This particular mystery forced Casey and her Sheriff pseudo-husband to talk about the possibility of children, and the complications therein, and it got a little emotional there at the end. But while I also appreciate that Armstrong uses her cast of characters, most who have never lived within a modern society or any place other than the wilderness, to explore particular discussions, ie, bias, prejudice, toxic masculinity, etc, this one felt really.. preachy. I don’t know. Sometimes people who are too self-aware just get side eye from me.

So, yeah. Not my favourite. But the series itself is still one I enjoy. I do wonder if the particulars of some of what was brought up in this one means there’s an end date coming for the series but who knows. This is the same author who had a thirteen book series, so. Anything goes.

I’ll definitely read on! But this was not a favourite.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **