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City of the Lost (Rockton #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  7,903 Ratings  ·  1,114 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 471 pages
Published January 14th 2016 by Sphere (first published January 2nd 2016)
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Kevin No. It's not a horrible book but I would recommend getting it from a library.

Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
12/29/17 - ON SALE for $2.99:

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

No matter how great our love for Kelley Armstrong, here at Rabid Reads, CITY OF THE LOST, superficially isn't a book we'd ordinarily review.

It's not speculative fiction; it's a mystery/thriller sans any supernatural elements.


I think a case can be made for it also being . . . HORROR.

It's like that random episode of SUPERNATURAL where creepy mountain people are kidnapping athletic men in their late teens to early twen
Berit☀️✨Traveling Sister✨
4.25 entertaining stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟.25

This is my very firstKelley Armstrong Book and I am definitely impressed! Her writing style was so smooth and flowed so well, just made this book even more of a pleasure to read....

Casey Duncan is a female detective flawed and all... but I have to say I found her a little more personable than the typical female detective.... Casey has made some pretty major mistakes in her past, so along with her BFF Diana she goes off the grid....

Their destination is Rockton....
Kaceey - Traveling Sister

Well, that was certainly different!

Have you ever considered picking up your entire life and just leaving? Starting fresh where no one knows you? A chance to reinvent yourself? Well, in that case, the small town of Rockton is just what you’re looking for. Where people who feel the need to escape from their former life, apply for acceptance into this close knit community in the territories of Northern Canada.
Everyone in this town is running away from something or someone.
Only now it may not b
Diane S ☔
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 A new author for me, her previous novels seemed to feature vampires, which I do not care for. The description of this one, however, enticed. A town cut off from everything, where people go who need to escape threats in their life, abuse from spouses or other forms of violence. Of course things are not as simple as they seem or sound, some in this town are not who they appear and people are going missing, found murdered.

Casey a police detective, is a flawed character as most of them seem to b
Susanne Strong
3.5 Stars* (rounded up)

Casey is a homicide detective and when she was in college something bad happened to her. She was attacked and she exacted revenge. She has been waiting for retribution ever since. It finally arrived.

Her best friend Diana married a horribly abusive man, yet she loves him desperately. Thankfully she has always had Casey to protect and take care of her. Together, they have always taken off and started anew, thus when Diana is found and beaten by Graham within an inch of her
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister
3.5 a bit outlandish stars to City of the Lost ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2

Some quick thoughts:

What I loved: the author’s smooth writing, the entertainment factor, and the setting (I’d love to go off the grid for a (short) while and live in the beautiful Yukon!).

What wasn’t quite as good: the romance was, to borrow a Susanne’s term, schmoopy 👀 and some of the happenings were too gory and on the outlandish side...

Overall, this was a good escape read during the holidays, and I’m grateful that I read it!

This was a
Holly  B


Want a ticket into the town of Rockton, an off-the grid secret town?

You will need to qualify to gain access and if granted you will need to cut off all ties of your former life and start over! Its in Canada and it is remote and primitive-no cell phones, internet, electricity, mail and few modern comforts.

Casey Duncan is a detective who has skills she can offer the town that has just had its first murder. She is able to negotiate a contract to get herself and her good friend, Diana into Rockto
This book was nothing like I thought it would be and I loved it. Will you love it? If you like mysteries with just a hint of romance, you might.

The sexy times were fade-to-black, so the only growling and mewing you will get is from the wildlife that is surrounding this town. And, hell-to-the-no on me ever wanting to visit a place like this, let alone live there. It's more dangerous than Australia!

Out on a horse ride, the sheriff is telling our heroine that they used to keep dogs and cats until
Mogsy (MMOGC)
5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Wow, you’ll have to excuse me, but I think I’m having myself another one of those “Why have I waited so long to read this author?” moments. Yes, believe it or not, it actually took me this long to finally try Kelley Armstrong (despite the fact others have been telling me about her awesomeness for years). I also find it a little ironic that even though I’m more of a speculative fiction reader, it wasn’t any of her fantasy o
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Wow, I *almost* bought this book before remembering that technically, I dnfed it at 50% when I read the serial. I needed to do something about my lack of memories, or I'd have ended buying this without intending to.

#Won't Bother Now
#Girl Fight Nightmare

My review of part 1 : ★★★
My review of part 2 : ★★★
My review of part 3 :

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Mackey St
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Casey Duncan is a homicide detective who has killed a man unrelated to her job. Her best friend is a toxic person always in trouble with her job, her ex, etc.....together they decide to runaway to a town that hides people in northern Canada. While that sounds implausible, it truly never was. However, it did trip over into shades of The Village by M. Night Shyamalan which was creepy at times. Apparently those are the types of books Kelley Armstrong normally writes and this series is something new ...more
Maureen Carden
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Holly B, Brenda, Rita Schuldt,L.G.
There have always been stories of cities lost to the mists of time and history, Camelot, El Dorado, Z and others. Did they ever exist? Maybe. But if you are a certain type person, a criminal, a victim, a killer with money you might have heard of another town that offers sanctuary. Not a glamorous town by any means, the living is harder than you can imagine, but Rockton does exist. If you meet the stringent requirements of need and/or money you might get in.

A homicide detective, Casey Duncan and
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars rounded up

I enjoy reading Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville series (currently on book 3), so I was excited to start another (and different) series by Armstrong. I will note that perhaps my rating for City of the Lost was influenced by the other books I have read by the author, as I enjoyed them a bit more than City of the Lost. That’s not to say this book isn’t good—it is, and it’s worth checking out if you enjoy detective novels.

Welcome to Rockton—an off-the-grid, dysfunctional town, wher
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

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 serie
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brenda by: Karin Frederick
I liked this book and will continue with the series, but there is an oddness that is affecting my rating of this first book.

The “before Rockton” part of the book showed main character Casey Duncan as a tough damaged badass cop. She had sought treatment from five psychiatrists. She had an unhealthy friendship with a battered woman named Diana with whom she had moved to another city. She moves again with this friend to Rockton, an isolated primitive village in the middle of nowhere whose residents
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I was interested in reading the book from the first time I saw it. A town for people that needs to get away. A secret town in the middle of nowhere. It sounded bloody fantastic. But, sometimes my expectations are too high, and when it came to this book did I expect a more mysterious and darker story.

Now, I don't say that the City of the Lost is a bad book, it started off interestingly with Casey and her friend Diana needing to get away, especially Diana after she once again had problems with h
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dtb-book
I've been a fan of Armstrong's since first reading her YA series way back when and as my tastes have changed and grown and I finally branched out to her adult books, that love has never faltered.

She is a fantastic writer, one that keeps you at the edge of your seat completely entertained and completely enthralled. When I saw a new thriller mystery from her set in an usual setting with characters ever bit as unique, I knew it was something that I needed to try.

I got every single thing from this
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Did you ever want to run away from everything and be in someplace where no one knows you and you do not know others? Do you think that "“A simple journey creates a peaceful life?"

For Casey Duncan and her friend, Diana, who are both looking to escape from some dangerous and tough issues in their lives, the ability to flee to a type of commune located in the midst of the freezing nowhere offers such promise, an escape from the reality of abuse and murder these two women had in their liv
First things first, if you know Kelley Armstrong from her very successful Women of the Otherworld urban fantasy series, be advised that there are absolutely no supernatural or paranormal aspects to this story. What does carry over from that genre to this one is Armstrong's ability to take an interesting premise and build an equally interesting story around it.

Casey Duncan is a 30 year old homicide detective who has more or less been going through the motions of a life ever since a tragic event i
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5Kelley Armstrong writes books that I enjoy reading. She wraps her stories around characters, very interesting deeply layer characters. Her other books are paranormal character reads, this one is suspense/thriller, I wasn't sure if it would fit with me. I am an unreal monster fan. Silly me, I was so glued to this book I skipped out on work and feeding the family. Cereal is a healthy food right, three times a day ? Okay I wasn't that bad but close.
So what do I tell you a bout this book ? The bl
Selena (The Bookwyrm)
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 starts just because it was way too slooooowww in the middle.
Jody McGrath
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Casey Duncan murdered a man. Yes, she is a cop, but it wasn't in the line of duty. Now the man she killed's grandfather, who is "connected" might be after her. Casey's friend Diane has been abused by her husband repeatedly. Now he is stalking her, but because he is a high powered lawyer, the police do nothing. When Diane hers about a town, a safe haven for people like them, people trying to escape their pasts she convinces Casey to come with her. Casey reluctantly agrees, for Diane's sake.

Once t
January 2018

Oh yeah, I read it again.

August, 2017 audiobook re-read

See below. :)

January, 2017 re-read

This has become a real comfort read for me.

October 31, 2016

Bumping this up to a full five stars. I've gone back to this book a lot.

Original Review

4.5 stars

So this book has a weird beginning. Weird enough that I'm glad I took so long to read the book because it gave me enough time to get used to what the story was instead of what the beginning implied it would be.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining tha
Amanda McGill
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
City of the Lost is a really interesting story. There is a remote town in the Yukon (yay a Canadian setting!) where people go if there want to disappear. Most of the people who want to disappear are criminals. Enter Casey who is a criminal, even though she was never caught, and a detective. Her friend, Diana, needs to disappear, and Casey is allow to come with her, as long as she works for the local sheriff to solve a string of murders.

I liked parts of the novel, but overall I found it too long
The Captain
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-thrillers
Ahoy there me mateys! For those of ye who are new to me log, a word: though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. Occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were.

Though this novel is off the charts, the author has been spotted herein before. This is an adult thriller/mystery/crime novel that struck me fancy because it sounded cool and because I
Apr 23, 2016 rated it liked it
3.25 stars

lots of twists and turns in this well imagined variation on the locked room murder mystery. this title has strong characterization and an intriquing setting, but it was a little heavy in the romantic byplay for my tastes.
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
Guys, I am totally kicking myself for not picking up a Kelley Armstrong book sooner. I picked up City of the Lost on the whim, I read the blurb, it caught my attention and I really wanted a good thriller. I know a lot of you have given Armstrong a lot of praises, so I can't say I haven't been curious what the fuss is about. What I got in return, I couldn't have asked for more, mixed in with some really amazing writing and I was completely sold.

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective that has killed
bran (brandonthebookaddict)
Oh man.

Went in a completely different (and less exciting) direction than I expected. More mystery and horror than thriller, this one. So much of the book was too drawn out and felt like it missed some really great opportunities to really play with the central premise. Overall a good read with some intense writing but otherwise, disappointing.

Definitely lived up to its name though.

3 melodramatic STARS

Twitter | Bookstagram | Youtube |
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WrensReads Review:

95%: Audio Book | Narrator: Therese Plummer
05%: Book came in the mail because the audiobook from the library couldn't stay on my physical shelf so I can read it over and over and over and over again.

Kelley Armstrong does it again.
How does she write pure gold all the time? Does she have Rumplestiltskin enslaved to her will?

Casey is a character you relate to. Not because she kills someone (hopefully) but because she lives with the guilt. It was a few years back but it did chan
I've been struggling to lock this down and have been vacillating between a solid three star read to a four. But because it's Armstrong and I'm a sucker for her, I'll just go for four.

CITY OF THE LOST got off to an interesting, if uncertain (for me), start. I didn't find myself really totally hooked until maybe a hundred and fifty pages in. It wasn't that I was bored but I just wasn't drawn to the story the way I am/have been for almost every other Armstrong novel. But once the mystery and the s
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Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers' dismay. All efforts to make her produce "normal" stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked a
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Other books in the series

Rockton (5 books)
  • A Darkness Absolute (Casey Duncan, #2)
  • This Fallen Prey (Casey Duncan, #3)
  • Watcher in the Woods
  • Rockton 5

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“Absolutely alone in the dark. Every outside stimulus vanishes and there’s nothing except me in the darkness and the silence. I swear I can hear my thoughts. All my thoughts. And it’s horribly uncomfortable, and I want to switch on the light and say something and shove that aside. But the feeling passes in a few panicked heartbeats, and then … and then it’s indescribable. This is what I’ve been looking for in all those therapy sessions. Not a chance to tell someone my story. A chance to be alone with it. Utterly alone with it, and maybe that makes no sense, but it’s what I feel. Just me and that one defining moment in my past. Grief and rage and pain and guilt and clarity. Yes, clarity.” 2 likes
“Comfort and reassurance and a wordless understanding that there is always darkness. In some part of us, there is absolute darkness, as much as we wish otherwise. As much as we pretend otherwise. Anders shifts” 2 likes
More quotes…