Cover Image: Alone in the Wild

Alone in the Wild

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Alone in the Wild is the fifth Rockton novel, set in the fictional town in Canada’s Yukon Territory. It’s off-the-grid, secretive, and internet-free, a description that just scratches the surface. The climate is “characterized by long, cold winters and brief, warm summers.” Outside its perimeter are settlers, some of whom are hostile and unpredictable. Rockton, its inhabitants, its rules, and its raison d’être are at the heart of the series.

Detective Casey Butler and her beau, Sheriff Eric Dalton, are taking a couple of days off to go winter camping in December. Time off is catch as catch can because, although Rockton has less than 200 people, it’s known as the “murder capital of the world.”

We are a town of fugitives. Everyone here is running from something. Some are victims, on the run from ex-partners, stalkers, anyone who might want them dead through no fault of their own. This is the true purpose of Rockton—a refuge for fleeing persecution. It’s also home to white-collar criminals, whose misdeeds pay our bills. Then there are those whose mistakes—often violent ones—brought them to Rockton under expensively bought cover stories given even to Dalton. So it’s no surprise that we have a murder rate.

Casey and Eric are roughing it in the bush, enjoying a tequila-fueled mini-vacay. As Russian writer Anton Chekhov, no stranger to winter, said, “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”

Casey has slept in. She’s on her own if you don’t count Storm, a 140-pound Newfoundland tracker. Eric’s off hunting. He left her a note, breakfast, and a warm fire, but after she plays with Storm for an hour, “the fire is down to embers.” Eric said, “Don’t wander,” but Casey takes that as “a suggestion rather than the imperative it seems.” What is imperative is finding kindling.

That’s life up here. Constant work just to survive. Heat doesn’t come at the flick of a switch. Food isn’t the nearest fast-food joint away. Water isn’t a simple matter of turning on a tap.

Casey searches for dead trees, which are “the best source of winter kindling.” Playful pup Storm wants to romp some more. The frolicking ends when Casey hears an inconceivable noise.

The noise comes again, a plaintive wail, like a baby’s cry.

 

Storm catches it. She stops and pivots, ears perking. She glances at me as if to say, What is that?

Is it an animal that isn’t hibernating—a cougar, a bird, a fox? The weak cry seems to be coming from a buried log. The snow is up to her knees, but Casey powers through and finally reaches the heap. She claws away, hits fabric, and sees a dead woman’s body. There’s no sound; is the baby trapped?

Then, at a whimper, I realize the sound comes from under her jacket. I tear at it, the fabric frozen and stiff.

 

Blood. I see blood under the snow. I wrestle the jacket open, and there is the baby, clutched to the dead woman’s chest.

Casey is out of her depth when she’s confronted with a tiny baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. Shouldn’t a homicide detective figure out what killed the woman or what to do? Casey returns to her tent, unwraps the babe, discovers she’s a healthy baby girl, and shifts to triage. The baby must be hungry, thirsty, and cold. Casey’s rising hysteria is palpable. Eric returns, takes one look at Casey, and kisses her.

I’m startled at first, and then all I feel and smell and see is him, and the panic evaporates. Tears spring to my eyes. As he breaks the kiss, he brushes the tears away and says, “Everything’s okay. You’ve got this.”

 

I nod. “I-I don’t know much … Anything really about …”

 

“It’s more than I do.”

Kelley Armstrong presents a terrifying situation—a dead woman and an abandoned baby—then imperceptibly shifts the tone into something recognizable and manageable. Eric and Casey are a team, “only an hour’s fast walk from town,” so they drip water into the baby’s mouth before they go back and examine the dead woman more closely. There are a scalp wound and a bullet hole in her leg. They make a stretcher to transport the body back to Rockton, sheltering the baby inside their clothes.

There are no infant supplies in Rockton, as Casey’s sister April helpfully points out, because the community doesn’t “allow anyone under eighteen, and there’s a reason why we have a shitload of condoms and diaphragms and every other method of contraception.” But rules are meant to be broken, and the Rockton community comes together to care for the abandoned infant while Casey and Eric figure out who she is and why she was abandoned. Who was the dead woman? “A hostile turned settler. A former hostile with an infant baby. Murdered in the snow. Both of them left to die.” The pair searches out settlers and hostiles alike, maneuvering through challenging interviews, some of them brutish and dangerous.

Rockton’s impending Winter Solstice celebration is the backdrop to the investigation. It’s Casey’s second Christmas in Rockton. “This place goes a little nuts at the holidays, to stave off going a little nuts in general as the days get darker and the temperature plummets.”

If Alone in the Wild is your first Rockton story, you’ll want to catch up to find out what makes this unique community tick. Kudos to Kelley Armstrong’s imagination; Rockton deserves its reputation as “perhaps the most interesting town in all of contemporary crime fiction.”
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I really enjoyed how Alone in the Wild was this great mystery but it was also a self discovery novel that pushed Casey and Eric into making decisions about their future. Which one was more interesting? Truly they were both great. The mystery was excellent and it each discovery gave a little more information about this world and some of it was eye opening.

This series is now in it’s fifth installation and my interest in the town of Rockton and Casey and Eric in particular has not waned at all. The two of them keep getting more interesting and as their romance becomes more emotional I want to learn even more about them. While taking care of a baby we see a softer side of both Casey and Eric and I kind of liked it. They are both so tough that it’s nice to see that they can have deeper emotions, not just for each other, but for someone that needs their care and support.

I was really looking forward to this novel and it lived up to my expectations. It was not just a mystery it was a look into the souls of our two main characters. Luckily, the depths of these two characters held up and made this novel even stronger. I’m really looking forward to what their future holds and can’t wait for the release of the next novel!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!
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Thank you to Minotaur Books for sending me a review copy of Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong.

I’d read some wonderful reviews for this book before starting so I definitely had high expectations. However, it is the fifth book in the Rockton series and within the first few chapters I realized I really needed to read the other four books before this one.

Some books stand alone really well, despite being part of a series, but the background of Alone in the Wild seemed too complex to make a lot of sense without having read the other books. The premise was really interesting, but I had so many questions about the community, the area, The Settlement, the people, that just weren’t answered to my satisfaction in this book alone.

I liked the characters though, and as I mentioned, the premise of the story is a really interesting one but I had a lot of trouble emerging myself into the story without the benefit of that background information. I just had too many unanswered questions. SO, having said that I’ll add the synopsis below so you can read it for yourself, and at some point I’ll re-read this after reading the other books in the series and then reassess my opinion of it.
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Alone in the Wild is another fascinating page turner in the Rockton series. I believe that this could be read as a standalone, but I also believe that to do so would be a grave mistake by the reader. Each book in this series give another important layer of story about protagonist Casey and her partner Eric and their little neck of the Canadian woods, so this book would not be as enjoyable without reading the other books in order. 
 
Alone in the Wild sucked me in from the first page. It was action packed but the pacing is spot on for an engaging book, without it becoming a frantic list of events (as many books do).   
 
Armstrong's character building is a truly great strength in all of her books and I think these books may be the best example of what she can do. By now I feel like I know Casey and Eric pretty well, but we learn new things about them in each book. Also, the secondary characters never fail to surprise me with some small but interesting fact about their lives before Rockton. I also like how not all the characters are people you'd ever want to spend time with, but they are somehow a small but integral part of the town and the books. 
 
I LOVED learning more about the hostiles and what makes them, well, so dang hostile. The explanation make perfect sense and make them even more scary in a lot of ways, but you understand what has made them the way they are and why they act the way they do. 

The Rockton books take place in present day Canada, but Armstrong has built her own tiny universe inside the real world with these books. I know that Rockton isn't real place, but after reading these books I believe that it really could be.  
 
I highly recommend this series for anyone who enjoys mystery with suspense, romance and great world building. 
 
I received an ARC in exchange of my honest review.
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My first introduction to Kelley Armstrong was through No Humans Involved.  I don't remember the context that lead me to pick that book, but I gave it a three star rating so it didn't leave much of an impression.  When I picked up Frostbitten years later, I didn't recognize the author.  Once I finished Frostbitten, I was hooked.  So when I was given the opportunity to read and review Kelley Armstrong's latest book, I jumped at the chance.  Never mind that I hadn't read any other book in the series, or the fact that I thought it was only the second book when it's actually the fifth.  I was determined to read this book.

Casey is a homicide detective who had to escape her past life by moving to the world's most remote town in the Yukon.   There's no cell service, no internet, and very little contact with the outside world.  There's even a council who gets to decide who and what comes and goes from Rockton.  Casey is starting to come into her own in her new life.  She has a good job as the deputy, a loving partner in Eric Dalton, and a lovable Newfoundland she's training to join them on the force.  However,  a camping trip brings a new resident to Rockton when Casey finds a dead woman in the snow curled protectively around a young baby.

Now Casey and Dalton have a double case, who murdered the woman and who does this baby belong to.  Their search takes them to the various groups around Rockton.  The First Settlement, the Second Settlement, a couple of former hostiles, and the former sheriff.  They follow one dubious lead after another in an attempt to get the baby girl back to her birth parents or at least make certain that they no longer want her before finding a permanent family for her.  

Even though it was the fifth book in the series, I didn't feel like I was at a disadvantage.  Armstrong does a fabulous job at engaging the setting, painting a picture so vivid that I could hear the footsteps crunching through the snow.  I could feel the cold seeping into my bones.  The only downside is that following Casey and Dalton traveling through the snow between lead gets repetitive after a while.  While evocative, there's only so much trudging through the snow I can handle before I want to put the book aside and curl up with a mug of hot chocolate instead.

One of the things Kelley Armstrong always gets right is her treatment of sensitive subjects.  There are some elements used (far too often in romance literature) that when handled poorly turns me away from the book in a heartbeat.  Luckily, Kelley Armstrong handles them with the dignity they deserve.  It's one of the reasons why she so quickly climbed my favorite author list.  Alone in the Wild is no exception.  Without giving too much away, I will say the ending provides a satisfying conclusion to the child's story and opens new possibilities for the next installment.  

Alone in the Wild is an enjoyable book that should be picked up by both Kelley Armstrong fans and mystery fans.  Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to track down the first four books so I can catch up properly.
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I'd heard about the Rockton series, but hadn't had an opportunity to read any of the books until now. When I saw this ARC on NetGalley, I decided to give it a try. 

I really enjoyed the different setting of the fictional town of Rockton in the Yukon, which is inhabited by a mishmash of people. Dealing with an extremely isolated area changes the dynamics of both the people involved and also how a murder mystery is solved, which I loved. The story focuses on the relationship between Eric and Casey (the Sheriff and detective in town) and their attempts to figure out who murdered a woman and abandoned a young infant. Despite not being familiar with the series, enough details are given to keep you "in the know" and it was an easy and fun read.

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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Author: Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Thriller / Detective Mystery / Adventure

Rating: 10 Million Stars

Happy publish day to the latest installment in my favorite mystery series ever! Alone in the Wild is the newest book in Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton series, and I am so grateful to Minotaur Books and the author for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Now, first and foremost: this is a series, and Alone in the Wild is book #6. And this is most definitely, in my opinion, not a series to start in the middle. Start with the first one, City of the Lost (a top read of mine in 2018) and read them in order. I actually reread the whole series in January before diving into Alone in the Wild, and I loved them just as much the second time around.

While Armstrong does provide some background in each book, if you don’t read them in order, you miss a lot of important backstory. For example, a huge plot point in Alone in the Wild drew on a story arc from the first book. Since I had that knowledge and backstory, the new plot line in Alone in the Wild had me crying and emotional by the end. If I hadn’t read them all, I would miss so much of that emotional pull that makes this books amazing.

It is so hard to do this book and series justice in a review without writing a million pages worth of information – and trust me, I just tried and then decided keeping it short and sweet would be better.

So, first, general thoughts on the series:

Unique setting: Rockton is a small, remote, hidden town in the Yukon where people escaping from a difficult situation “down south” can pay to live for 2-5 years before leaving and starting over.
Kick-ass characters: Eric Dalton is Rockton’s sheriff, raised in Rockton from a young age. Casey Duncan is a homicide detective from “down south” but moves to Rockton with a friend and joins Dalton as a detective to help solve a string of murders in the first book. The two remain the main characters throughout the series. Their relationship with each other and others builds throughout the series – a main reason they should be read in order.
Thrills and twists galore: Each book presents new, terrifying mysteries – often revolving around murder of course. Some residents of Rockton are actually criminals from down south who are able to pay a significant sum to escape to Rockton. Rockton’s council is behind these people being allowed in, and is often at odds with Casey and Dalton.
Okay, onto the usual review style for Alone in the Wild:

Rating Breakdown

Plot – 2/2: I LOVED the story line for this one: Casey and Dalton find an abandoned infant, sheltered from the cold winter by the body of the dead woman who seemed to die protecting the child. It’s up to Casey and Dalton to figure out where the baby came from and how the woman died, all while also caring for the first child allowed in Rockton since Eric himself arrived as a young boy.

Writing – 2/2: I’m a huge fan of Armstrong. I don’t know what it is about her writing, but it’s so dang addictive. When I read City of the Lost in 2018, I almost stayed up all night to read it in one sitting – the only reason I didn’t was because it was our last night in Norway and we had an early flight the next day. Since then, each and every book is typically a one-sitting read for me.

Thrills/Twists – 2/2: Because Alone in the Wild had two mysteries: death of the strange woman and origins of the infant, this one kept me guessing the whole time. But it also had the added benefit of finally getting into the reasons behind some major plot points from the series as a whole. Issues that have always been on the back burner were brought forward and the answers that came to light were SO GOOD.

Characters – 2/2: Dalton is my fictional boyfriend/husband. Casey is my fictional heroine/idol. Casey is seriously so kick-ass…and so is Dalton. They make an amazing team, and I fall more in love with them with each book. The rest of the folks in Rockton are also all excellent – their little town is full of so many unique residents, as one would expect, and the more the develop throughout the series, the more amazed I am by each and every one of them.

Feel – 2/2: This isn’t just my favorite detective series, it’s easily one of my favorite series ever. When I finished reading all 6 of them over the past few weeks, I was hit with a huge sense of loss. Closing the final page of Alone in the Wild, knowing I now have a long wait before the next book comes out, I wanted to just rewind and go back to rereading them all over again. I’m still sitting here in a huge book hangover, one which will likely last a very long time. Alone in the Wild had me tearing up at the end, feeling all the feels, which is why it rose to the top of the series as my new favorite. I can’t wait to reread them all again in preparation for book #7!

Do yourself a favor and go buy the whole series. I can’t recommend it enough. All the stars!

Happy reading!
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This is the first book I have read in the Casey Duncan series. It is not, however, the first book I have read by author Kelley Armstrong.

With little information about what the book and series were about, I had some problems with the overall concept and with some of the dialog.

I think if I had started with the first book and read through, this book would make complete sense. However, as I often dive mid-stream into series, I am used to trying to figure out things on the fly. I was able to but some of the story was not as well explained for a first time reader.

Casey Duncan and her husband Eric Dalton (who has an incredible case of selective potty mouth) have gone off for a break in the woods. Casey comes across a dead woman who has a baby in her arms who is still alive.

The story follows Casey and Eric as they search for the murderer as well as other family of the baby. Their search takes them to other areas of this strange town and surrounding area in the Yukon.

This is where it gets a little difficult to follow. I let go of the need to understand everything I was reading and was able to enjoy the character of Casey (and others).

I would heartily suggest that individuals who like suspenseful mysteries with a touch of slight outlandishness, start with the first book in the series. I’m pondering doing so myself as I really like Casey and the rest of the screw but Eric’s language is a little off-putting at times.

I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.
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Such a compelling read. This book grabs you from the first moment and doesn't let go until the last page. It is the 5th installment of the Rockton series. I don't normally like to read series out of order, and I definitely have questions about Rockton, but I just had to finish this book. I will definitely go back and read the rest of the series for the additional backstory. Are there really places like this? Great story!
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4.5 Stars
Rockton is unknown to the general population, set up in the Yukon, off-the-grid, and a place formed for those on the run from danger.  An abusive husband, a stalker, unfair conviction? Rockton is your place to hide until the dust settles. Supposedly inhabitants are vetted so that no violent criminals are allowed in, but in the past books we’ve learned that this isn’t true.  

Eric, the Sherriff of Rockton and Casey, the town’s Homicide Detective are a close team working together to keep order, their residents safe, and to solve whatever crimes. However, they’re more than that, and have been almost from the start, and part of the big draw to this series for me is their romance. There’s no drama stemming from unnecessary relationship conflict, rather the drama is from the danger they face daily from residents, the Hostiles, or from the outside Settlements. 

In Alone in the Wild Casey and Eric find a very young baby, clutched in the arms of a murdered woman. Was this baby taken from her family, and if so why? They need to find a killer as well, so they set off to find answers from the two Settlements, and Tyrone Cypher the former Sherriff of Rockton. 

I’ve been eagerly looking forward to Alone in the Wild and was pleased to finally get answers about the Hostiles, and a glimpse into the lives of the Settlers, people who chose to stay in the area rather than go back home after their five years at Rockton were up. Were introduced to a few new, interesting characters and a couple that sent shivers done my spine, anticipating the threats and danger they may pose in the future. I think this installment really set things up for future dealings with the Settlements and maybe some interventions with the Hostiles? 

Eric and Casey, as usual, make a phenomenal team, although there was a scene where I wanted to shake Casey for being reckless, but it was a minor annoyance.  With being stuck with a baby, Casey and Eric faced some fears and made a plan for the future, whatever it may bring. I loved their approach! 

Rockton is one of my all-time favorite series’ and Alone in the Wild was another riveting installment fans won’t want to miss! If you haven’t tried this series yet, I highly recommend it! For audio book junkies (like myself) the audios of Rockton are amazing! The talented Therese Plummer narrates, and I’ll be buying a copy to start on Thursday with the hubby (he’s a huge fan of the series, too!).
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Casey and Eric are taking a few days to themselves and even though it's winter a camping vacation seems the best getaway.  When she wakes up one morning she realizes she has slept in and Eric has already started the day.  When she comes out the fire has died down and Casey knows she needs to find some dry branches to get the fire going again.  While searching for branches she heard a cry that she soon realizes is that of an infant.  The two pack up and rush back to town, they need to get the baby out of the weather.  They know that keeping the child safe is the most important thing along with figuring out who killed the woman carrying him.  Can they find the child's family or is the baby better off staying with them?  That is just one of the many questions they need to find the answer to.  This was a great read that is a mix of the wild West and today's living.
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This was fantastic!  I have been a big fan of Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series for quite some time so I was pretty eager to get my grubby hands on this newest installment.  I went into this book with extremely high expectations and I was not disappointed.  This book grabbed my interest in the first few pages and never let go.  I had an incredibly hard time setting the book down anytime life got in the way.  I enjoyed every moment that I spent reading this book.

This is the fifth book in the Rockton series which I think is best read in order.  Casey and Eric want some time alone together so they take a quick camping trip.  While Eric is off hunting, Casey hears a noise and discovers an infant in the arms of a dead woman buried in the snow.  Casey needs to not only solve the murder of the dead woman but find out if someone is looking for the baby all while trying to care for the infant.

This was a wonderful and complex mystery.  There were so many pieces of the puzzle that needed to be found in order to really see the big picture.  I liked getting the chance to go along with Eric and Casey as they visited some of the other groups that live near Rockton.  There were a lot of twists and turns in this story and I was never quite sure what would happen next.  At times, it almost felt like the more I learned the less I knew as a new piece of information would negate everything I thought I had figured out.

The story was exciting and there were a few times that I was rather worried about how things might turn out.  I love the fact that their dog, Storm, is a constant companion and a rather large part of the story who gets some excitement of her own.  We also get the chance to learn a few things about some of the residents of Rockton and it was entertaining to see how a baby could shake things up.

I would highly recommend this series to others.  This is a very well done and original series with likable yet flawed characters.  I cannot wait to read more of this wonderful series!

I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books via NetGalley.
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This is the 5th book in this series and brings us the great characters of Dalton and Casey as they have to solve another mystery to do with the town of Rockton where people pay a lot of money to stay off the grid and live a quiet life away from the world. I found this to be a fast read as it kept my attention and I found myself staying up until I finished it!  Hoping there will be more of this series to come.
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Of course when I seen this on NetGalley to review I jumped at the chance to read a new KA book. Now I didn't realize this is part of a series and am kicking myself for staring a series many books in. Regardless of that AITW was quite an engrossing story of the secret town of Rockton where people who need to escape go. They're off grid, no internet, tv or even cell phones. It's very secretive.

I loved that this book was so different than anything I've read recently. I wish I had already read the previous books as I'm sure things would have made even more sense to me. It did completely draw me in and kept my attention throughout.

Now I definitely need to read the other books to discover all the buried secrets of the townsfolk of Rockton.

Loved the premise, loved how well the story flowed, fantastic read!!

**Received ARC through NetGalley. Voluntarily reviewed.**
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I went into this one blindly almost, only reading the synopsis, but nothing else. Which also means I haven’t read any of the previous novels in this series.

On of the first impressions, the town in this story.. the most unusual you’ll ever read about. None of the usuals exist in this town, cell phones, internet.. and people don’t get mail?? Very strange. 

We follow the mystery of a horrific crime, after a woman has been found dead, and more mysterious still,  a crying baby wrapped in her arms. 

I’m not sure if I have to read all the books prior in order to understand and be more engaged in this story, It’s like I don’t really know what I’m missing since it worked so well as a stand alone. The story was definitely suspenseful, and it kept me guessing, which I love in a mystery. 

I would love to read the first four books in the series to be able to get the full background. Overall, I definitely recommend it, it had some great twists along the way, and it definitely has made me look forward to the next book in the series.
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I will start this off with a few caveats: I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in return for this review AND I am a Kelley Armstrong fan.  I have been a fan from the first time I was introduced to her in Bitten, and have followed her bodies of work avidly since then.  One of the things I love about her body of work is that she has a vision.  She stays true to that vision even when fans criticize her for it.  Sometimes, the vision isn't immediately apparent but it is always there.  She also has a number of compelling stand alone novels that are unique and compelling.


I have greatly enjoyed the Rockton series and I was one of those who read the first book in installments.  The premise is unique and it seems like there are many ways for the story to advance over time.  I didn't see that at the beginning, but now I do.  I have to say that once again Kelley Armstrong has delivered a compelling series with well rounded characters that will appeal to readers.    These multifaceted characters defy classification as heroes or villains.  It highlights the fact that everyone has both good and bad and must be evaluated on their own merits.  This is especially true of the residents of Rockton, where everyone is running from something.


I do not want to ruin any of the books by alluding to parts of the plot line that are spoilers for earlier books: so SPOILER ALERT (not for this book but for others in the Rockton series)!


When the series started, we followed Casey Duncan and her best friend Diana on the journey to Rockton a town in the Yukon that isn't on any map.  It's billed as a town for those who need to get away from something.  You have to cut off contact with everyone in your old life.  There will not be any contact once the decision to go is made.  A generic open end message will tell friends and loved ones that you will be out of touch and then you disappear when you get on the helicopter.  There can be no cellphones, no GPS, no email, not even an air-gapped computer.  The town itself is camouflaged by the terrain.  AND everything is controlled by the town; unless the council think it's necessary you won't be getting it.  Once you arrive you must contribute to the workings of the town.  Casey has a vital role as a homicide detective.  Even that is different in Rockton--there are no forensic teams to call.  Not having the internet to research forensics makes a large difference and there is no end to the challenges that Casey faces.  And getting used to life with less electricity isn't a walk in the park either.


Once Casey arrived, she discovered there was a hidden underside to Rockton and to Diana who she thought she knew so well.  Turns out that Diana and her Abusive Ex-husband had stolen a large amount of money and that was why he kept turning up like a bad penny.  Being in a town without internet makes it easy for people to hide their true natures.  But all of that is another story, literally...so go read the first 4 books!


At the beginning of Alone in the Woods, Casey and Sheriff Eric Dalton are on a much needed vacation after all the truly daunting challenges they have faced in earlier.   Casey has had a steep learning curve sine she walked out to that helicopter so many moons ago.  But when Casey awakens alone in the camp with her Newfoundland puppy Storm and she hears what she thinks is a baby crying she doesn't quite believe her ears.  When she finds a baby clutched to the chest of a murdered woman, it raises a number of issues.  The most immediate of which is that Rockton doesn't admit children of any age.  Solving the mystery of how this baby came to be in the Yukon without any others in sight will be one of the toughest challenges Casey faces.  It will introduce a number of new characters into the world of Rockton.  And, seeing Sheriff Dalton with this newborn will cause Casey to face emotional pitfalls that surprise her and force both she and Eric to have a relationship talk Casey never thought to face.  Since I wholeheartedly hope you will read this book I will stop here.


I have enjoyed the journey with Rockton so far and I cannot wait to get my hands on book 6.  At the beginning, I was anxiously awaiting the next installment and I still am!  Seeing Casey settle into Rockton is a pleasure and seeing the world expand to include so many characters  reminds me of the early books of Otherworld.  Even more of a Kelley Armstrong fan even though this book kept me up all night!
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There are three stars in the Rockton series, the impossible non-existing town of Rockton, the irascible (such a mild term) Sheriff Eric Dalton and his detective Casey Duncan, and the Yukon forest surrounding Rockton. All are always present in the series, but in Alone in the Wild the Yukon forest takes center stage
Rockton is the very small, extremely off the grid little town somewhere in the Yukon. It is protected from detection by advanced technology and from the impossibility that it actually exists. It was started over sixty years ago to provide sanctuary from those wrong accused, convicted, or pursued by government gone crazy. It then morphed into a sanctuary for other victims. Recently the ruling outside council realized it could make some big bucks by accepting white collar criminals; and then a few serious crazies with very big bucks.
Life in Rockton is fairly primitive, but somewhat sophisticated too. It’s also a place where people can reinvent themselves. The 90 pound weakling is now a hunky carpenter. The demure grade school teacher is now a foul-mouthed witch; and the respected psychologist has turned madam. But she still accepts an occasional patient.
Then there is the Yukon boreal forest. Life in the forest is mad, bad and dangerous; also extremely gorgeous and rewarding if you pay attention.
In Rockton there are certain immutable laws. Do not ever leave the confines of Rockton unless you are in a guided group. If you are in the forest always treat the settlers with respect and do not purposely trespass on their hunting grounds. Avoid any contact with the hostiles and good luck surviving if contact is made. They kill first, eat later. Okay that last was only a nasty, probably unfounded rumor.
Another rule, no one under eighteen is allowed in Rockton. Eric has been the only exception in almost 70 years as a well meaning Rockton couple kidnapped/rescued him from the forest. A serious matter of perspective still having repercussions.
On a quick camping trip for some down time and for training the young dogs Storm and Raoul, Casey discovers the body of a murdered woman and a baby sheltered by the woman’s body.
Eric and Casey's puppy Storm reigns supreme in Rockton,  Imagine how a newborn  baby electrifies Rockton; with most of its residents not having seen a baby in years. The baby also results in Eric and Casey confronting some difficult issues in their deepening relationship.
All those rules I mentioned earlier, Eric, Casey and Will are the only ones who can usually safely break them as they forced to do in their search for the woman’s killer and the baby’s parents. Eric and Casey are forced deeper into the woods with more and more contact with settlers, hostiles, and the nomads who survive in the world between. Their contact with these inhabitants has been a fascinating study of the realpolitik of the world in a virtually unknown world.
I have been fascinated by intricate, fascinating Rockton world building from the very first book, City of the Lost. Alone in the Wild has continued tradition, this time encompassing the forest, the settlers, and providing some unexpected answers concerning the hostiles.
The problem with the forest taking center stage, there is not near enough time spent in Rockton or with the people who live there.
As always in a Rockton book there is the fine writing, inventive story-lines, characters you want to invite into your life. There is also that lovely mysterious world, the impossible non-existing small town set in one of the most stunning hostile environments on earth. Most of all there is the compassion and tenderness underlying it all. This is what will stay with the reader the longest.
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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There was a time in which I read Kelley Armstrong books like they were life sustaining.  Lately, I've read them more for nostalgia.  In the past I've been charmed and intrigued by this little town of refugees.  Until this one.  I forced myself through and just couldn't get invested in this latest entry.  It furthers the story of some of the residents you may have grown to love as I have, but it seemed forced and awkward throughout my entire reading.  It was a quick read.  I'll give it that.  I may soon see it as a stepping stone to the next story.  It just wasn't for me.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I believe I read the first book in this series and was not very impressed but I'm glad I tried again. This book draws you into the "wilderness" and really shows you how you must live to survive against the elements and the people and what do you do with an orphaned baby when there is no one under 18 in your "community" and no one knows who the baby belongs to? ! Enjoy this great read on a windy, snowy night to add to the ambience. 📚
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Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong   5 stars

This book follows last year "Watcher In the Woods" is another book in the Rockton Series.   The small settlement of Rockton holds a unique secret.  Most of the settlers pay to be there because it is an isolated location.  There are many characters that occupy Rockton, but the focus is on Detective Casey Duncan and Sheriff Eric Dalton.  Their relationship has been evolving since the first book - City of the Lost.  In this book, they are taking a mini vacation from their duties and enjoying being together in the wilderness with their dogs.  When Casey hears a baby cry she searches for the source and stumbles on a dead woman buried by snow.  The baby is protected by the woman's coat and is unharmed.  The story focuses on the identity of the dead woman and finding the parents of the baby girl, who is temporarily named Abby.  In this book we also are given more of the backstory of Rockton and the other settlements/camps that surround it.  This was an enjoyable and engrossing book and I particularly liked the relationship between Casey and Eric.  I look forward to the next Rockton book next year.

 Many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for this ARC
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