📚 City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

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Goodreads⎮Reviewed Mar. 2018

Narrator: Therese Plummer
Length: 13 hours 47 minutes
Publisher: Macmillan Audio⎮2016

Synopsis: Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: When she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster, and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her.

Casey’s best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana’s husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it’s time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton, and if you’re accepted it means walking away entirely from your old life and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval.

As a murderer Casey isn’t a good candidate, but she has something they want: She’s a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn’t the only secret Rockton is hiding – in fact she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

An edgy, gripping crime audiobook from best-selling urban fantasy writer Kelley Armstrong, City of the Lost boldly announces a major new player in the crime fiction world.

4.5★ AudiobookCity of the Lost is my first novel from author Kelley Armstrong. I’ve begun a few of her other titles, but have been put off for reasons varying from narrator dislike to protagonist annoyances. Thankfully, neither of those applied here. I’ve been in the mood for something suspenseful, thrilling, and gritty. City of the Lost checked those boxes and then some. An off-the-grid city for people who want to disappear? My arm needed no twisting to jump into this audiobook.

City of the Lost features the exact type of the protagonist I love. Casey Duncan is flawed, yet tough as nails. She’s also extremely savvy and it’s easy to believe that she is a police detective. She meets my high standards for a heroine with ease. Armstrong is a good enough author that she doesn’t need a conveniently naïve main character in order for her plot to fall into place. And although I had the “whodunit” culprit pegged before the big reveal, there were several other curve balls thrown my way before that revelation, thanks to Armstrong’s delicate weaving of plots and subplots.

Intensely satisfying is the best way to describe City of the Lost. Or maybe intense and satisfying, because it was so much of each. I was there for the mystery, which certainly didn’t disappoint, but the romantic element of the story caught me by surprise. Unlike most other romantic subplots, the progression in between our main character and her man felt natural, not forced or out of place. Like everything else, it fit beautifully into the larger arc of the story. I became overwhelmingly invested in each character individually, as well as their pairing.

My only complaint, if you can call it that, was the final resolution. I wish it had been drawn out a bit more and “shown” more than “told”. Still, City of the Lost left me as satisfied as a cat with a full belly. City of the Lost is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that burns like dry ice. It consumed me from start to finish and, once it was done, I couldn’t reach for the next installment fast enough. Now that I know what Kelley Armstrong is capable of, I won’t be so easily put off by small annoyances with her other work. I’m currently reveling in the excitement that comes from the discovery of a new favorite author, so expect to see a lot more of a Armstrong on The Audiobookworm!

Narration review: Therese Plummer was the reason I even gave City of the Lost a second look. The synopsis intrigued me, but Plummer sealed the deal. I loved her performance in This Savage Song enough that her name and voice have become recognizable me. Plummer does excellent characterization for women and her primary male characterization is one of my favorites. If you haven’t heard anything from her, I suggest correcting that immediately. She has a ton of fantastic titles to choose from and I’m having a blast working my way through them. ♣︎

$ Available at Audible/AmazonScribd, and Audiobooks.com

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