‘A Darkness Absolute’ by Kelley Armstrong is a Chilling Sequel to ‘City of the Lost’


“A Darkness Absolute” is the sequel to the first book in the series, “City of the Lost.” Kelley Armstrong creates a place in northern Canada where those who want or need to hide go to escape from their problems for a while. It’s really far north, so the weather is usually cold — very cold. And the people in this little, hidden town all have their own issues.

While this book could be read as a stand alone novel, it’s much better enjoyed after reading “City of the Lost,” to meet all the quirky unique characters, including the main character, Casey Duncan.

Casey was a detective “down south,” as they call life before living in remote Rockton. She and her best friend Diana went to live in Rockton in the first book. That’s where the reader meets the residents of the town.

In this second book, readers will learn more about the settlers and the hostiles. Armstrong writes beautifully, and it’s obvious that she has planned carefully for the series because in this book, she raises the question about the hostiles — and why they became so violent and so crazy in rather short time periods. This question is not solved, but it’s sure to be revisited in future books. This book also, of course, has its own mystery to solve. While chasing a runner (a resident who decided to leave the town), Casey stumbles across a woman who was being held in a cave in a mountain. The woman had been presumed dead a year before.

After investigating, Casey finds out that other women have disappeared and been killed in the past. She and the town’s sheriff, Eric Dalton, who is also her boyfriend, work together with the deputy Will to find the perpetrator before another woman is taken.

Armstrong writes a good murder mystery, but she does much more in this series. She takes a very unusual setting, adds very unusual characters, and throws in plenty of twists and turns. In this book, readers learn something very disturbing about one of the characters, and another character appears to be getting more important. It’s apparent that much thought has gone into the development of all the residents of the town.

Be warned: Once you begin the series, you will want to read every book — and each book is very difficult to put down.

Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Minotaur Books, the publisher, for review purposes.

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