WATCHER IN THE WOODS by Kelley Armstrong


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A Canadian town whose population includes people running from criminals and criminals running from the consequences of their crimes is infiltrated by a U.S. Marshal bent on bringing an unnamed resident to justice.

Rockton Detective Casey Butler is on an unusual new mission. Usually something of a maverick working alone to solve crimes, Casey has relied on the help of her sheriff, Eric Dalton, who’s not only her technical superior and frequent investigative collaborator, but the first man she’s ever committed to living with or calling her boyfriend. The two leave the safe haven of Rockton, a secret town in the Yukon, to recruit Casey’s sister, April, a gifted doctor, to operate on Kenny, a resident who’s been badly injured. Although Casey and April have never been close, Casey convinces April to sneak into town to save Kenny’s life. The bigger hurdle is getting April to Rockton without alerting the town council, especially Phil, its hidebound new leader. Rockton is a planned community of residents hiding from outside threats, but the town’s pay-to-play rules mean that some residents are perpetrators of crimes hiding out to avoid paying their debts to society. After April comes to town, Casey and Dalton discover a man camping out in the surrounding woods. Mark Garcia identifies himself as a U.S. Marshal on the hunt for a Rockton resident he won’t identify except to say that the fugitive's psychopathic tendencies will endanger residents. Casey and Dalton, uncertain whether it’s riskier to work with Garcia or against him, are unable to wrest the resident’s name from Garcia before he’s shot and killed. Now Casey must work with Dalton to counteract that threat to Rockton as she tries to forge a path to peace with April.

Building on the hidden world she’s built, Armstrong focuses less on the moody atmosphere earlier installments (This Fallen Prey, 2018, etc.) have favored than on the politics and interpersonal dynamics of her metaphorical lions and lambs—though it seems like everyone here is a bit of a lion.

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-15991-5
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2019


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