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City of the Lost

(Rockton/Casey Duncan #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  17,670 ratings  ·  2,284 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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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
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 twenties, playing their own toothless version of THE MOS
Berit Talks Books
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, mystery, 2017
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....
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong is a 2016 Minotaur publication.

A taut, gritty, and imaginative thriller!!

This novel is a very different kind of thriller. I didn’t know what to expect when I started this book, but I found it to be a nice change of pace. For starters, the setting, which is an off the grid area of Northern Canada, a place most would probably consider uninhabitable, contributes a great deal to the story, setting the tone for a tense, super twisty, novel of suspense.

The setup
Chelsea Humphrey
I would say what a pleasant surprise, but Kelley Armstrong is about as sure of a bet as you can get when it comes to reliable authors. Can't wait to continue the series and catch up with everyone else! ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Maureen Carden
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
Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 to 4 stars

Casey Duncan is a detective with a secret, in college she killed a man. The father of the man she killed is a member of the mafia and years later wants to make her pay. When Casey’s best friend Diana hears of a town where one can disappear, they both jump at the chance to escape their current lives. And luckily, the town needs a new detective to help solve a recent murder…

Kelley Armstrong is one of my all time favorite authors, I must have read at least twenty of her books over t
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
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
Madison Warner Fairbanks
City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

1st book in the Rockton series. Police procedural mystery in a minuscular remote town in the wilds of the Yukon.
Casey Duncan agrees to move to the hidden town as a detective to keep her friend Diana safe from her abusive ex. She is soon working long hours investigating missing people, murders and navigating the unique inhabitants and their idiosyncrasies.
Who can she trust? Can she trust anyone? What mysteries are out in the surrounding woods and are they re
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
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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:
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
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
Erin Beall
Jul 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF in the second chapter.

I found myself disbelieving every single sentence in chapter 1. The fact that therapists always show looks of surprise at her confession- no, they are literally trained not to show surprise. That the therapist made wild guesses at her story instead of allowing her to tell it- no, that's just not how therapy works. This and more- all in the first pages. So yeah, I was already unhappy moving into chapter 2.

Chapter 2 then introduces a flashback in which the (as yet unnam
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 go 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 interestingly with Casey and her friend Diana needing to get away, especially Diana after she once again had problems with her
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
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
This story is not as memorable as it could have been. It gets lost around personal relationships while neglecting its main focus. 4 of 10 stars
Nikki Joyce
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
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
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
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars rounded up. The premise for this story sounds unlikely but Kelley Armstrong made it work of course. I’m definitely set to enjoy the rest of the series.
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Casey Duncan is running from her past. Years ago she killed a man and she knows his relatives are mixed up in organized crime. Someday they will be coming for her. Casey's best friend, Diana, isn't fairing much better. She is in a relationship with a violent man and just can't seem to escape from him. When Diana gets beat up once again, the two women decide to disappear. There is a town, Rockton, where people can pay to disappear. No phones. No internet. No outside contact. People have to apply ...more
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
Brittany McCann
As a new series first, this one had a tiny bit of a slow start, but I was immersed before I knew what happened. Even with a busy schedule, if I had a few spare moments, I would greedily fit in as many pages as possible until my next free time. I am ready to read Book 2 right NOW! I love Kelley Armstrong and the incredible talent she has to create such powerfully human and relatable badass characters!

Anyone could be a suspect but not in the overplayed sense that so many Psych Thrillers use with
Jacob Proffitt
Jul 06, 2022 rated it really liked it
I've read other Kelley Armstrong books, but those were largely YA paranormal. This is none of that. It's contemporary mystery and one I found enjoyable.

Casey worried me at first because I really dislike guilt as a primary attribute of a character. And it doesn't help that her guilt is self-magnified to be absolute and with no redemption possible. So she holds it close to her and actively refuses any mitigating force (internal or external). This is one of those things that I feel like authors do
I'm reading this for the third, possibly fourth time, and only now writing a review, because this series is thoroughly under my skin.

Casey Duncan is a detective with a dark and violent past. But despite that past threatening to catch up with her, it's only when her best friend Diana is brutally beaten by a violent ex that Casey agrees to investigate the possibility of a town rumoured to offer sanctuary to those who need it. And luckily, they're in need of a good detective...

That's our introducti
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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

Other books in the series

Rockton/Casey Duncan (7 books)
  • A Darkness Absolute (Rockton, #2)
  • This Fallen Prey (Rockton, #3)
  • Watcher in the Woods (Rockton, #4)
  • Alone in the Wild (Rockton, #5)
  • A Stranger in Town (Rockton #6)
  • The Deepest of Secrets (Rockton, #7)

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