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City of the Lost (Casey Duncan Series #1)

City of the Lost (Casey Duncan Series #1)

4.7 15
by Kelley Armstrong

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Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly


Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

An edgy, gripping crime novel from bestselling urban fantasy writer Kelley Armstrong, City of the Lost boldly announces a major new player in the crime fiction world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[A] locked room mystery on steroids; readers should prepare for an all-nighter to finish it." —Booklist

"Excellent first in a new thriller series... A highly unusual set-up sets the stage for a distinctive cast of characters and a page-turning plot." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"One of the best new series debuts this year! With its compelling characters and completely original set up, Omens delivers a powerful combination of suspenseful thrills and supernatural chills. I can't wait to read more!"-Lisa Gardner on Omens

"Through a series of surprises and sleights of hand, [this book] had me conspiring for ways to get back to the gripping story, the colorfully bizarre cast of characters, and the clever, strong, smart heroine at its center."-Lisa Unger on Omens

"Fast-paced and mysterious."-USA Today on Visions

"The town of Rockton’s strong, atmospheric presence will interest readers of Armstrong’s Cainsville series and appeal to new readers, particularly fans of C.J. Box." —Library Journal

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Casey Duncan Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

KELLEY ARMSTRONG graduated with a degree in psychology and then studied computer programming. Now, she is a full-time writer and parent, and she lives with her husband and three children in rural Ontario, Canada. She is the author of City of the Lost, the first book in the Casey Duncan mystery series.

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City of the Lost 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kind of mind blowing....the whole thought of a hidden town, in this day of age.....off the grid...that no one knows about....explained in a way that makes complete sense....the characters of such a town and how it works, just awesome....add in a murder mystery, and you have a story that you wish would not end....kudos to Ms. Armstrong, for another engaging tale....hope there is a sequel...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding!!!! The previous reviewer said it all, and I totally agree!! This is a true page turner not to be missed. Highly recommend!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just couldn't stop reading it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Kelley Armstrong MUST. Every page turn will have you engrossed even more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me engaged during the whole book.awesome read
Anonymous 7 days ago
Caroles_Random_Life 11 days ago
I am shocked by how much I ended up liking this book. The story grabbed me immediately and I never lost interest. This was one of those books where just as soon as I thought I knew where the story was going, something would happen and I would realize that I was completely wrong. This really was the kind of book that can really hard to put down. This is the first book in the Casey Duncan series and after reading the first two books in the series, I do recommend that this series be read in order. This book really does set the groundwork for the next book in the series. This was a book that started in one manner and by the time it was over it was a completely different book. I loved that this book kept me guessing until the very end. Casey is a detective. A detective with a past. She is very protective of her friend, Diana, who has been the victim of domestic violence. She has even moved before in order to support her friend. Diana learns about a town where people like her can go to hide and desperately wants to go. She wants Casey to come along with her. They end up going to Rockton, a town off the grid, in the Canadian wilderness. Rockton is filled with interesting characters. Casey is put to work right away with Sheriff Dalton who more or less runs the town. The mystery in this story really took a lot of twists and turns that were completely unexpected. I had no idea which characters could be trusted from one moment to the next. I had to keep the pages turning just to find out what would happen. The writing was wonderful. I was sucked into the story from the first sentence. Literally the first sentence. The pacing of the story was perfectly done. There were points in the book that were focused on really getting to know the characters while others were actively working on the mystery. The mystery was complex and believable. I honestly cannot believe that this is the first book by Kelley Armstrong that I have read because it seems that I am really missing out. I would highly recommend this book to mystery thriller fans. Although Kelley Armstrong is known for writing books filled with supernatural elements, this book is a straight up mystery thriller. And it is a good one.
Anonymous 11 days ago
Grabs you by the throat and never lets go. Chilling. Taut. Incredibly plausible. Loved every word
Anonymous 10 months ago
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
Amazing Yukon Territory Casey Duncan is a detective that is both talented and young. She also killed a man once and got away with it. Though that isn’t the reason she needs to find a refuge. Diana is her best friend and Casey has been hiding her from an abusive ex but now he has found Diana again. In Diana’s support group she has heard of a mythical town that she knows she will be safe in because they take people like her that are escaping from all that threatens them if she can only find it. It turns out the town actually exists and is called Rockton. The town council will accept Diana but only if Casey goes too. The laconic town sheriff is completely capable of sobering up drunks and dispensing his own frontier justice, but now the town is being rocked by a series of brutal murders. Suddenly the question is what is happening? Is it the town of Rockton turning on itself or is the victims’ pasts catching up with them. Whichever it is it is threatening the survival of the town. The sheriff hates to rely on anyone but himself but he needs the help that Casey can offer. What started out as a sacrifice that Casey is willing to make for her best friend shows her that she just might need the town of Rockton as much as it needs her. This is an amazing start to a series that will have readers wanting the next book right now. The characters are intriguing and move the story along at warp speed. Just as readers think they know what is going on in the town of Rockton a twist is thrown in and will have them wondering if they know what is going on in the town at all. This story keeps the reader guessing until the very last page. It will be interesting to see where the series takes the reader. For those that enjoy thrillers this is definitely a book to check out.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
While in college, Casey was attacked and almost killed because of her boyfriend. She ends up killing him and becomes a successful detective. Casey has been friends with Diana since childhood and has been trying to protect her from her abusive ex. One night Diane’s ex catches up with her and beats her up pretty badly. When Casey’s own past catches up with her they decide to disappear to a place that Diana has heard about. After an exclusive interview process where Casey almost didn’t pass, both women find themselves in Rockton, a small Yukon town that is pretty self-reliant full of people escaping for one reason or another. Diana takes her new life and freedom way to recklessly while Casey becomes a deputy and helps solve a series of murders. Casey is a great detective and a kick-butt woman but she just can’t let herself move past the attack and the killing. For some reason she just has to punish herself. But she is a great person, especially how she is just willing to walk away from her life just so Diane can get away from her own ex. And Dalton, what a hard headed pain in the butt. But he is a great match for Casey. I loved the mystery. I had me guessing right up to the end and had lots of twists and turns in between. I am a huge Kelley Armstrong fan since I first read the Women of the Otherworld series. Although this has no paranormal characters I loved it just the same. I was also lucky enough to get City of the Lost on audiobook. Therese Plummer is an amazing narrator. She has a beautiful voice that had me taking the extra-long way home from work so I could keep listening to the story. If you like thrillers and mysteries I recommend that you check out this book or audiobook. I received City of the Lost for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a HUGE Kelley Armstrong fan. When I saw this book come out I didn't even hesitate I just bought it. I was not disappointed. I couldn't put it down until I had read it from cover to cover.
nita3 More than 1 year ago
CITY OF THE LOST is an incredibly layered story with an intriguing concept and compelling characters. Detective Casey Duncan opens by revealing her biggest secret in session with a new therapist, her sixth. Diana, her friend, convinces Casey that the solution to both their problematic pasts is an off the grid town. Enough logistical information is provided to make one think, 'this place could exist'. Meet the people that are willing to forego modern day conveniences, needing this sanctuary in the midst of the majestic and terrifying Yukon. Meet some who live in even more primitive conditions. Enjoy the scenery. Solve a murder... Kelley Armstrong may be better known for paranormal urban fantasy, however she is a masterful storyteller, adept at drawing the reader in, whether the tale has supernatural elements or not. This eminently engaging thriller has twists, turns, unexpected corners, and a satisfying conclusion (no cliffhanger). I'm eager to visit the citizens of Rockton again in the second novel due in February, tentatively titled A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JennMcLean More than 1 year ago
"City Of The Lost" by Kelley Armstrong will be published on May 3, 2016. This is not the first Armstrong book I have enjoyed, I have also read much of the Cainsville series and truly loved it. But I have to say, even though I gave the Cainsville books five stars, this one is even better! I think many people think of Kelley Armstrong as either a YA (young adult) writer or a paranormal/fantasy writer. Well, hold onto your hats everyone, we have a NEW mystery writer in our midst and she's gonna give the greats a run for their money! I really like Kelley Armstrong's writing style so I was pretty sure I'd like "City Of The Lost". Boy, was I right. In fact, I'm starting my own new rating just for this book. I am lucky that I read many really good authors so it's not surprising that I give about half of the books I read a five star rating. But now I'm starting a personal new category, the Five PLUS rating, just for books like this. Definition: 5+ rating When a book gets to the five star rating it has to be eminently readable, truly enjoyable with no annoying bits that you want to skip and also have that "I don't want to put it down" feeling. If a book then adds one other element, that of "I can't forget what I read no matter how hard I try" then THAT'S a 5+ star book. It's a book that's so darn good that if you miss reading it, you're a fool, you're gonna miss something spectacularly special. That designation starts with "City Of The Lost". It's been a whole twenty-four hours now and still I find myself wishing there were more pages to read, I want MORE. I can't seem to stop thinking that I can go read a little more about these characters, get my fix and I'll be ok. But, alas, there is no more, I finished the last page last night and with the light of the morning I am sad. IT'S OVER!!! I want to know what's next for these characters, I don't even care if the mystery is solved. I just want to "hang out" with these people. *Sigh*. I wish I could beg the author to write more, just for me. Let me give you a synopsis of what the book's about. Casey Duncan is an excellent police detective but she carries a secret with her, she killed a man and got away with it. When she was a cadet in training she killed her mob connected drug dealing boyfriend, she has held all the guilt and shame of that incident in but now her past has caught up with her. Even worse, her best friend Diana is having trouble with her ex-husband again. He has stalked her before and even though Casey has tried to hide Diana and keep her safe, it seems he has found her. They both have to run for their lives and Diana has heard of just the place, a town where people can purchase their anonymity for five thousand dollars as long as they're prepared to live off the grid in the middle of nowhere. There's a town in the Yukon Territories where desperate individuals can find sanctuary and get away from the dangers in their real lives. Casey finds that they could use her skills. When one puts a hoard of desperate people together in a small town unconnected to the outside world, one can expect trouble. I need to make you read this book. The characters were so darn dimensional and meaty. I really did sink my proverbial teeth into these characters and as the reader I found myself wanting to hang out with them. I found all the dialogue so well wrought and believable, there were no miss steps. And talking of miss steps, Armstrong doesn't make a single mistake when describing the surroundings