Welcome back to Rockton – Kelley Armstrong’s fictional Alaskan off-the-grid escape for anyone needing a quick getaway, home to detective Casey Butler and her partner Sherriff Eric Dalton. Previous events have led to a state of near-crisis even before someone decides to start revealing the secret pasts of other residents; and it’s not long before that decision brings a whole host of matters to a head.
The events of The Deepest of Secrets have been building for a few books now, but never fear – if you’re new to the series, there’s an introduction at the start of the book to catch you up. These books do very well as standalones, but it’s much appreciated that new readers are given that context on previous events; though as a fan of the series, I’d have to recommend going back to read the earlier books as well.
This series is as reliably good as you’d expect from an author as well-established as Kelley Armstrong, and this latest entry takes it all the way to phenomenal. A lot happens in a relatively short space, and yet it never feels rushed – events move at a pace that feels natural, but build the suspense nicely towards the finale. The Alaskan setting isn’t just a pretty backdrop, but actually impacts the story in such an effective way, both with environment and wildlife – it’s certainly not just the people you have to watch out for up there.
The Deepest of Secrets is an exciting thriller, one that remembers to include everyday life in the story, grounding it and making it feel impressively welcoming, for a genre that usually centers on the worst in people. But in Kelley Armstrong’s hands it’s humanity’s flaws that showcase characters rising above and doing better – something that will keep me coming back to her novels again and again.
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