Sunday 28 March 2021

Rain, rain, go away...

It’s a dull, rainy morning as I sip my cup of steaming chai and enjoy a slice of freshly baked Date Bread and a delicious Date Bar.  I’ve got a kitty snuggled in my arms, too, and I’m typing with one hand, so this may be a short post.

I finally got a chance to read Kelley Armstrong's latest book in the “Rockton” series, A Stranger in Town, which I was super-excited about.  Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my admittedly high expectations and left me feeling a bit flat once I closed the book.  If I remember correctly, Eric and Casey are once again out for a hike, pondering the declining number of residents in Rockton and the unusually high number of extension requests that are being denied by the council, when an injured tourist stumbles onto their path (or maybe they stumble upon the ravaged campsite).  It looks like she was attacked by hostiles, leaving her nearly comatose, and they must try to save her and find out more about her attackers. If it was indeed the work of the hostiles, it would strengthen their case with the council that the hostile situation must be dealt with soon, but in a humane and respectful way.  They discover that this Danish tourist was part of a group of four, and while Eric and Casey are searching for the others, they discover more dead bodies, also possibly victims of a hostile attack.  When two people from the First Settlement go missing after a meeting in Rockton, the case becomes more dire and they must ramp up their efforts before more dead bodies turn up.  Is this all part of a much bigger plan, a plan that could affect the future of the whole town?  It will be up to Casey and Eric to uncover the truth before it’s too late.  OK, just to be clear:  this book was miles above your average run-of-the-mill mystery.  The characters were as consistent and interesting as they were in previous books, the setting was just as Wild West/wilderness survival-ish, the plot just as complex and compelling, and the topic of the hostiles was finally explored in-depth, so I’m not sure why this novel was less-than-satisfying.  Maybe it was because I felt there were not enough of the usual resident interactions that I have come to expect from this series, or maybe there was too much negotiating and not enough detecting…  Whatever the reason, I felt a certain sense of disappointment when I reached the last page.  Of course I will read the next book in the series, when and if it comes out, but I think the fourth and fifth books are her best so far.

That’s all for today.  Stay dry, drink tea, and pick up a good book.

Bye for now…

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