The Boy Who Cried Bear
January 31, 2024

Book Review

The Boy Who Cried Bear

reviewed by Pam Guynn

Kelley Armstrong’s Haven’s Rock series keeps getting better and better. The Boy Who Cried Bear, the second book in the series, has a significant mystery along with plenty of suspense and atmosphere that keeps readers rapidly turning the pages.

This is a spin-off continuation series after the Rockton series ended with book 7, The Deepest of Secrets. The unique setting adds another layer to the tone of the book. Haven’s Rock is a hidden town built somewhere in the Yukon wilderness of Canada. It’s a place for people to disappear and a sanctuary for those that need refuge.

Detective Casey Duncan and her husband, Sheriff Eric Dalton met in the original town of Rockton and are feeling at home in their new town. While they know how to navigate the woods, their town’s residents don’t. People aren’t allowed to wander in the woods alone. When ten-year-old Max believes he saw a bear while on a group hike, there are concerns that it was stalking the hikers. But Max says it had human eyes. Casey and Eric take the sighting seriously despite not knowing exactly what it was. When a dead body is found, it adds to the mystery.

Casey and Eric are well-developed characters with plenty of depth. Casey is driven, a great investigator, and frequently finds dead bodies. She’s a good listener, empathetic, and understanding. Eric is a fantastic tracker, needs alone time in the woods occasionally, is truthful and intelligent, and asserts himself when needed. He also gets short-tempered and blunt with annoying or bothersome people at times, and isn’t good at small talk. Max is smart, intuitive, empathetic, and responsible. He is also suffering from a trauma that affected his family. It was great to see some of the secondary and tertiary characters again. Each book adds some depth to them.

Overall, this is well-written and entertaining with a solid mystery and complex characters set in an off-the-grid sanctuary town. An intriguing start quickly accelerates as the plot develops and Casey’s investigation takes off. Murder, trust, secrets, lies, concealment, and respect are all threads that are explored during the novel. It was also great to see more of Casey’s and Eric’s personal lives and how they work through the challenges. While the main mysteries are solved, there are some threads for the next book that should prove fascinating. I can’t wait to read it. While this novel can be read as a stand-alone, readers will gain a better understanding of the key characters and their backgrounds if they read the Rockton series first or start at the beginning of this series. Fans of Kelley Armstrong and the Rockton series will likely thoroughly enjoy this novel.

St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books and Kelley Armstrong for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for February 20, 2023.

The Boy Who Cried Bear available at:

More Police Procedurals


Police Procedural Features