My Rating: 4 stars
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
When experienced homicide detective Casey Butler first moved to the secret town of Rockton, she expected a safe haven for people like her, people running from their past misdeeds and past lives. She knew living in Rockton meant living off-the-grid completely: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. What she didn’t expect is that Rockton comes with its own set of secrets and dangers.
Now, in A Darkness Absolute, Casey and her fellow Rockton sheriff’s deputy Will chase a cabin-fevered resident into the woods, where they are stranded in a blizzard. Taking shelter in a cave, they discover a former resident who’s been held captive for over a year. When the bodies of two other women turn up, Casey and her colleagues must find out if it’s an outsider behind the killings or if the answer is more complicated than that…before another victim goes missing.
It’s been years since I read the first book in this series, but I decided it was finally time I returned to this series. I didn’t remember all the details from what happened in book 1, so that made the start a bit rough as I didn’t remember everyone, but it was easy enough to get back in the series especially as the story progressed and I remembered more of book 1. I normally don’t read thriller books, but this is one series I do like. While it’s definitely dark and gritty and has scenes that can be uncomfortable to read for me, there aren’t too many vivid or graphic details, which helps.
This book starts with Casey and Will chasing an escaped resident who got cabin fever, they get trapped in a snowstorm and have to seek shelter in a save. In that cave system they find a women who has been hold captive there for a long time. They free her and take her back to Rockton. Now it’s up to them to figure out who put her in that cave. More clues slowly come to light, but it’s still a slow process and only by the end they figure out whose behind it.
They don’t have technology out here in Rockton which adds for an interesting dimension when solving these crimes. A lot of it replies on them talking and finding physical clues to who is behind this. For a long time I didn’t have any suspects. There are clues and hints, but there are a lot of possible candidates and at the same time no one seems right as we don’t have any information that points to a specific person. Until a certain clue which made everything fall in place for me. It took the characters a bit longer to figure it out. I have to say I like the twist and the way it makes sense and how previous clues are now seen in a different light. The ending is quite suspenseful.
I like reading about this small isolated town of Rockton and getting to know more about the residents. There is quite a bit about Mathias, Isabel and Petra in this book as Casey has quite a few interactions with them. There is the whole situation with Diana that’s quite complicated. The women who has been found in the cabin, who plays a big part in the investigation. And some interesting developments and reveals regarding Val. I like how we see more of the residents and learn more about them as the series progresses.
While each book has it’s own mystery, there are side plot lines about the town and characters that seem to build throughout the series. I like seeing how the characters interact and how things change. How more secrets come to light. How they learn more about the settlers and hostiles that roam the forest around them. How Casey interacts with Jacob. And how Casey and Eriç’s relationship develops. I like that while they got together in book 1 they still have things to figure out. It’s fun seeing a romance go past that first get together stage and see how they have things to work through and also get to see them working together and being together and developing their relationship.
Casey is a great main character to read about. I like how she’s capable and determined to solve this mystery. But she also has her flaws and things she struggles with. She makes a few not-so-smart decisions, but they all feel in character. She sometimes does dangerous things just because she’s so determined to catch the killer. I like seeing how she interacts with the other characters and how she handles certain situations.
To summarize: This was a great suspenseful read. While thrillers are normally out of my reading zone, I make an exception for this series as it’s really good. It does get a bit too dark and gritty and disturbing for my taste at times, but I like how the author doesn’t go to deep into these topics or with too many graphic details. Each book has it’s own mystery, but there are also continuing side plot lines about the characters and their relationships as well as the town and what else is out there that continue throughout the series. It also makes for a good mix between the mystery and other things that happen. I like reading about this town and the residents and seeing how things change and develop throughout the series. Casey makes for a great main character. I like how capable she is and determined to figure out the mystery. She makes some not so smart decisions, but I do feel those are all in character, as she will get herself in danger if she thinks the danger is worth it to catch the murderer. I liked this sequel and I hope to continue with the rest of the series eventually.