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Watcher in the Woods is the next gripping installment of number-one best-selling Kelley Armstrong's riveting Casey Duncan series.
The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town's only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson, and falling in love in the several months she's lived there. Yet even she didn't think it would be possible for an outsider to locate the town and cause trouble in the place she's come to call home.
When a US marshal shows up demanding the release of one of the residents but won't say who, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, are skeptical. And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead, and the only possible suspects are the townspeople and Casey's estranged sister, smuggled into town to help with a medical emergency. It's up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal and why someone would kill to keep him quiet - before the killer strikes again.
The Audiobookworm's Review
Rating: 4.75 Stars
I effing love the Casey Duncan series so much. It will go down in history as one of my favorite series of all time, along with Harry Potter and ASOIAF. There, I said it. And yes, I did move heaven and earth (credit-wise) to get this audiobook when I could've waited two more weeks to access it through my Scribd account. But it was a give it to me now or I will implode type of thing and I regret nothing.
I ravenously tore through the first three books in the series last year. It was one of my most enjoyable binge sessions of 2018. Watcher in the Woods was on track to be just as good as its predecessors until the last 5% of the book. It ended more with a fizzle than a bang, but honestly, it didn't matter that much to me. The first 95% was so incredible that Armstrong really would've had to have sh*t the bed to upset me at that point. I should probably lower my rating to 4.5 stars to account for that, but this is such a solid series that I really don't feel like nitpicking it.
Objectively-speaking, this wasn't the strongest installment in the series. In retrospect, the plot formula was rather similar to previous installments, but I didn't notice that at the time (probably because I was too busy freaking out over puppy playdates and Casey's sister and how much I was enjoying it all of it). But I mean, if it's a good formula, why change it?
My obsession with the series kind of baffles me because I haven't connected with anything else written by Kelley Armstrong. I've tried several of her other series and nothing clicked with me. But Casey Duncan is life to me. She's one of my favorite characters of all-time and a serious badass. I didn't even try to pace myself with Watcher in the Woods. It would have been a futile effort and I knew it. I also knew that I was going to have one hell of a book hangover when I finished it. One which I'll be reeling from for days to come.
But, oh my God, it was so enjoyable. Once again, Armstrong blindsided me with the mystery. I love it when that happens. Watcher in the Woods did feel more like a set up installment (aka a "bridge" book), which could account for the weak ending and somewhat formulaic plot. A lot was set up in Watcher in the Woods that won't fully develop until the next installment or beyond. I'm totally fine with that. I'll sit right here, on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next installment.
Narration review: This series always reminds me of how much I enjoy Therese Plummer's narration. Narration had a lot to do with my underwhelming experiences with Armstrong's other work, which makes me even more grateful to have Plummer narrating this series. Her characterization for Casey is spot on and she also did a great job of voicing April (an individual with ASD). She gives subtle accents to certain characters, which goes a long way toward, not only distinguishing their speech, but providing added depth to the characters as well. ♣︎