Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Deepest of Secrets by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Rockton #7
Published by Minotaur Books on February 15, 2022
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
It’s not always easy to live in the hidden town of Rockton, something Detective Casey Duncan knows firsthand. Tucked away in the Yukon wilderness, the community survives―and thrives―because the residents' many secrets stay just that―secret.
But what happens when these secrets start to come out? Overnight, no one is safe. It’s not a question of if your secret will come out―but when.
Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, need to find the culprit while protecting those who have been thrust into the spotlight. For a place built on privacy and new beginnings, Rockton isn’t handling these revelations very well. People are turning on one another, and when one of the loudest complainers turns up barely alive, it's clear that their trickster is actually a murderer.
The Rockton series has built a fantastic and riveting series arc, provided intense and intriguing murder mysteries along the way, and delivered a core group of characters who instilled deep reader love. Now, it is driving toward a climax that will hold us spellbound and keep us reading into the dark hours.
The Deepest of Secrets is the seventh installment in a very connected series of books that provided gritty suspense, sensual romance, political intrigue, captivating Canadian wilderness setting, and pulse-pounding thriller action and police work. Do yourself a solid and read them in order.
As the town of Rockton recovers from the latest murderous rampage, and the secret of the wild people is now in the open, Casey and Eric along with a few trusted others know the clock is ticking down to when the Council closes down their hidden wilderness town. It is when, not if, and they will be forced to make a huge decision.
They don’t need this latest anonymous antic that stirs the town into a frenzy. Someone has posted a huge sign at the center of town outing Deputy Will Anders’ big secret. It divides and creates a nasty atmosphere especially when the main person vocally against Will and the other leaders is nearly murdered. Casey tries to solve the case even as the Council is coming down with decisions that force her to work with one hand tied behind her back so to speak and many townspeople barely trust her to do her job because of the fervor stirred up against the police.
I have no idea if The Deepest of Secrets is to be the last book, but it certainly had that feel the whole time I was reading. All that has gone before has led to this point and still, Kelley Armstrong manages to rev it up to a whole new level. The Council has been sending in types who are dangerous and volatile and expecting Eric and his team to stay on top of it. The cauldron has reached the boiling point and is ready to boil over. In the midst of great change and time for a big decision, there is this new mystery. Someone is outing deadly secrets on people in the town and a murderer is on the prowl in their midst. The pace and tension was perfect, but so was the emotional impact especially when poor Will had to face down his past under a spotlight with witnesses. This time, I pegged the culprit early even with some other villains causing their own brand of trouble. I was just hazy on motive until later.
The character growth across the series has made it so Casey and the others are in a place personally and with each other to face what is happening. The malice was heavy on several fronts including from the Council, but Casey was one tough operator who took the hits, went down, dusted off and came up ready for more. She and Eric are an amazing team as police and as romantic partners. They faced all that got thrown at them so well.
I didn’t want to stop reading once I got started. There was never a moment when I felt it was a good place to stop. Every bit was pulling me in and most of the time I was flipping pages madly to see what came next. I felt this one wrapped things up logically, but also left room for more. Please, let there be more. If you haven’t started this series yet and you really love murder mysteries or especially outdoorsy thrillers, grab this series up.
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