“This Fallen Prey” by Kelley Armstrong is the third entry in the novel series about Rockton, a place in the far North Canadian Yukon where the permafrost never melts and a hidden settlement protects people who need to disappear for almost any reason.
Casey (not her real name) arrived at Rockton in the first book to be the detective. She was fleeing her old life and embraced the chance to start over in Rockton. What she didn’t expect was the plethora of killings that she then needed to solve.
In this story, those who control the settlement, the mysterious Council, drop off a serial killer and expect Casey and Eric, the town’s sheriff, to keep him safely locked up. They are told that Oliver Brady killed five people in a horrible manner — basically torturing them to death. His stepfather doesn’t want Brady’s mother to go through the heartbreak of a trial and is willing to pay whatever it takes to keep Brady out of prison, but where he can’t harm others.
But the townspeople are of a different mindset. And when Brady escapes, Casey knows that it was with the help of one of the residents. She just doesn’t know which one.
While this book is especially welcome to those who have read the first two books in the series, those who are picking up this as their first “Rockton” book will not be lost. Armstrong does a valiant job of keeping new readers clued in to most of the history of the important characters. Obviously, having read the first two novels does give additional insight, but this one could work well as a stand-alone novel.
The action moves quickly, and the reader will be hard-pressed to not finish the book as quickly as possible to find out how all the plot twists and turns end up. Who is the real serial killer? And along the way, the reader will gasp and worry every time Storm, the lovely Newfoundland puppy that Casey is training to be a tracking dog, seems to be in danger.
It’s a mystery series with a twist — the very unusual location and a cast of characters including the people who live in the First Settlement and left Rockton years ago to survive on their own, and the “hostiles,” who went wild and are like wild animals. This book, much more than the others, has a cliffhanger ending. Can’t wait for the next one!
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher, Minotaur Books, for review purposes.