Saturday, January 15, 2022

Rockton Comes To An End (or does it?)


 Rockton # 7
 Kelley Armstrong
 St. Martins Minotaur
 February 15, 2022

Kelley Armstrong is one of those authors who seems to be able to write in any genre and provide a suspenseful, imaginative, and action-packed experience for the reader. Nowhere has her ability been more evident than in her seven-book Rockton series. Rockton is a village in the Canadian Yukon, established to be deliberately off the grid, invisible to even overhead air traffic. The town was founded decades ago as a refuge for people on the run from abuse or victimhood, primarily political persecution. Governed by the shadowy "council," it has slowly devolved into a money-maker. Once for only non-violent people, the council has gradually allowed violent criminals in for vast sums. The changes are no secret to Sherriff Eric Dalton and his Deputy, Casey Duncan. Casey came to Rockton, running from her problems, but Eric was born there. It also is clear that the council is closing the town down. They just aren't saying so.

Secrets are the essential currency in Rockton. The residents promise never to divulge the reasons why they are there. But when the history of another deputy's presence is revealed very publicly, things begin to fall apart. Everyone wonders what other secrets are hiding and trust, never much in evidence, disappears completely. Eric and Casey must find out who revealed it and why. When they do, the person is nearly dead. Rockton has a desperate resident willing to do anything to hide his secrets.

The Deepest of Secrets brings the Rockton series to an end, at least in its present form. Eric and Casey are well-developed characters, as are others who have been front and center in the series. I will be sorry to see them go. One thing I am sure of is that Kelley Armstrong has more exciting stories to tell.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martins Minotaur for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.

RATING- 4 Stars


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Crime Short Stories from a Master

 READER, I BURIED THEM and other stories
Peter Lovesey
SoHo Crime
February 1, 2022

My first question was, "Who could resist that title?" and with Peter Lovesey as the author, who would want to? Peter Lovesey has had a long and distinguished career as a crime novelist, telling stories in the classic puzzle vein. I am a great fan of his contemporary series, set in Bath and featuring the overweight, irascible Peter Diamond. I was unaware of his Victorian series and many short stories.

The stories in Reader, I Buried Them include characters both high and low-born, rich and poor, good and evil, and those caught in situations, not of their making. I found And The Band Played On heart-wrenching and The Homicidal Hat hilarious. Each of the stories is a small gem, many with a touch of macabre humor. Anyone who knows Peter Lovesey's work will be delighted by this collection, and those who aren't familiar will have a pleasant introduction.

Thanks to SoHo Crime, NetGalley, and Mystery and Suspense Magazine for an advance digital copy.

RATING- 4 Stars