Casey Duncan once killed a man and got away with it. Since then she’s become a talented police detective, tethered only to her job, her best friend, Diana, and the occasional evening with her sexy, no-strings-attached ex-con lover, Kurt. But then Diana's abusive ex finds her again, despite all Casey has done to help her disappear. And Casey’s own dark past begins to catch up with her. The two women need to run—and Diana’s heard of a place where they won’t be found, a town especially for people like them…
What I liked: My favorite thing about City of the Lost is it’s totally unique from anything I’ve been reading. Just imagine a settlement off the grid, filled with people running from something, and run by a council who doesn’t even live within the settlement. See, completely different.
I’ve read many of Ms Armstrong’s novels and I believe this is one of my favorites. I love the characters and indeed, City of the Lost is in my opinion, character driven. The lead female is Detective Casey Duncan. She’s hiding a huge secret and only one of her friends (not that she has many) knows the full story. Her friend, Diana, has been in an abusive relationship and Casey helps her get away from the explosive situation. That all comes to an end when the ex finds and starts abusing Diana all over again. Diana has heard of this place where people go to disappear but there are some steps involved.
Casey and Diana go to their “interview” and while Casey is being interviewed by the settlement’s sheriff, it becomes clear he doesn’t want Casey to be a part of their group but for some reason, the settlement needs Casey’s skills. It seems they have a killer within and the current sheriff and deputy are not qualified to run the investigation. Casey and Sheriff Eric Dalton don’t exactly hit it off but he needs her to help find the killer.
So, you have a settlement and I mean that in the worse possible way. No internet, no television, no cars and supplies are flown in. The problem…. each and every individual is hiding or running from something or some are even hiding their pasts. Think about it in the terms of the council who are basically a brokerage firm. The members pay a fee to get admitted to the settlement after the council approves them. The background checks aren’t always on the up and up. In other words, you give the council enough money and you’re in. There are, however some mostly good individuals who really do need to hide in order to live.
I thoroughly enjoy Ms Armstrong’s writing style. There’s even a bit of humor added in here and there. I love Sheriff Dalton. He doesn’t have a lot to say but you can tell there is a lot more to his character and I just overall like him. Casey is okay for me at this point. I hope her character grows a bit more as the series progresses. She is smart but she seems to have a blind spot where her friend Diana is involved.
What I didn’t like: The beginning is a bit slow and I wasn’t sure how much that was due to the setup Ms Armstrong was developing. Hang in there though, it does start moving much faster after the girls arrive at the settlement.
I had absolutely no idea The City of the Lost was originally a serial. I don’t do serials; I always wait to get the whole story. While not a pure five star read, I did enjoy the characters more than the suspense/mystery. The romance is very low key. There were a few surprises near the end I didn’t see coming.
And here is my pet peeve again and maybe I'm just so old, I remember when books were more affordable. The Kindle edition is $12.99 and the hardcover is $17.76. I would say, if you can afford it, buy the hardcover. If you have a tight book budget borrow it from a friend or the library.