Wednesday, May 25, 2016
City of the Lost
City of the Lost is a suspenseful thriller (a genre I don't read a lot of) about two women who go off the grid to escape secrets in their past. Casey is a cop with a dark secret and her friend Diana is trying to escape from an abusive marriage- but when Casey's past returns and Diana's ex-husband shows up, they take an extreme measure to get away. Diana hears about a town in the far north of Canada where people can get away- for a price. Naturally it's hard to get in, but they manage to do so and that's when things get interesting.
Turns out the town needs a detective to solve several murders that have occurred- there's a lot of stuff going on in this town and the sheriff has his hands full. Him and Casey get off to a rough start and this story is at least as much about their relationship as it is about the murders. This is a straight up thriller mystery with a strong romance element- I wasn't expecting the romance to be such a part of the book, but it mostly works. I did get a bit annoyed towards the end as it threatened to take over the story- but readers who enjoy romance probably will have no problem with that. Even though it's handled well it seems a bit trope- ish.
The story itself started out a bit slow and I thought it took off at about the twenty percent mark. Once they got to Rockton (the town) the story picked up and became quite compelling. There were hints that a scifi element might be introduced but that didn't really happen, and I was a little disappointed in that. Characterization is strong and I enjoyed all the interplay in the town- the web of relationships, the secrets and lies you would find in a place like that. It's perhaps a little implausible that a place like that could remain undetected, but it's way out in the middle of nowhere and the author does a good job of setting it up.
This story would have worked a lot more for me if there were a paranormal or scifi element- that's why I don't usually read straight thrillers. I'm always looking for that out there element. In spite of that this was a good read with a flawed and broken character (several, actually) and if you like strong characterization mixed with secrets this would be a good pick.