Review: This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong

This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong (Casey Duncan #3)

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: Doubleday Canada on January 30, 2018

Source: ARC, borrowed

When Casey Duncan first arrived at Rockton, the off-the-grid, isolated community built as a haven for people running from their pasts, she had no idea what to expect.

  

Former homicide detective Casey Duncan left everything behind when she and her oldest friend Diana fled to an off-the-grid community called Rockton. Hidden from the government, law enforcement, and civilians alike, Rockton is the sort of place where people go to get lost…and some of those people are hiding from justice.

A mixture of people fleeing danger and those fleeing consequences for their criminal behaviour, Rockton has a unique population of a few hundred people. While Casey and her lover, Sheriff Eric Dalton, aren’t aware of every dangerous criminal living in town, they do have a solid handle on things. At least, until the Council gets involved. Without informing the town’s police force, the shadowy group drops a sadistic serial killer named Oliver Brady in their midst.

The challenge? Keep him alive – and contained – for six months. The group barely manages six days before Oliver is sprung from his cell, abducts a hostage, and goes on a killing spree through the tundra.But is Oliver really responsible for the killings? And was he even involved in the serial murders that resulted in his arrival in town? With the Council keeping mum, a distinct lack of forensic technology, and Oliver in the wind, Casey and her friends are hard-pressed to uncover the truth. And I’m not going to lie, I struggled to figure out exactly what was going on too!

As always, Armstrong does an excellent job portraying the harshness and stark beauty of life in the Canadian wilderness. In THIS FALLEN PREY, Casey, Eric, and Will spend less time in town than they have in previous books, journeying through the forests and the tundra to find their escaped prisoner (and his hostage). They encounter mountain lions, perilously fast-flowing rivers, and myriad other natural dangers out in the wilderness, but it’s the human dangers that are the most dangerous…

Armstrong is clearly building up to a big reveal about the Settlers, and especially those few among them who’ve left certain standards of human behaviour behind. In a place like Rockton, conspiracies abound — but is it really possible that the Council responsible for running the remote town is also responsible for turning these people into monsters? In my humble opinion, it’s more than possible: it’s highly likely. I’m looking forward to learning more about the deceptively sophisticated Settler culture, the nomadic loners like Eric’s brother Jacob, and the explanation for the unbalanced individuals living rough in the wilderness beyond Rockton’s borders.

Twists and turns abound in THIS FALLEN PREY, with Casey and company scrambling to uncover who’s involved in the killings and anticipate what it is that they’ll do next. I actually think there were a few too many twists and “big reveals,” since there was barely any time to absorb the impact of one shocking discovery before we were on to the next. I think that THIS FALLEN PREY could’ve benefitted from a few more moments of calm, as the non-stop action felt more frenetic than anything else. I was hoping for a stronger emphasis on character, especially now that Armstrong has delved deeper into the pasts of That isn’t to say that the twists aren’t good — far from it. Fans of the series, be forewarned: THIS FALLEN PREY ends on something of a cliffhanger. If you’re anything like me, your jaw will practically need to be scraped off the floor by the final page.

THIS FALLEN PREY is another atmospheric, unsettling, pulse-pounding read in the Casey Duncan series. Despite thinking that it was a bit all over the place at times, I really liked it and I’m excited to see where Armstrong takes things next.

Have you read any of the Rockton books? What are some of your favourite mysteries and thrillers? Let me know in the comments!

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36 thoughts on “Review: This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong

  1. Ooh this is the first review I’ve seen for this! I love this series so much, this is one of my top anticipated reads of 2018 and it’s out this week! *fist pump* lol Glad to hear this was good, even if it’s a bit all over the place like you said. and a cliffhanger? Oh oh hate those. Although that indicates there’s a book four so I guess I can live with that. 🙂

    I love the idea of them spending mor time outside of town (yay wilderness) and more on the settlers too. I keep waiting to see if she introduces a paranormal element, but even if she doesn’t Im good.

    I’m kinda curious too if Tyrone Cypher (do I have that name right?) shows up again. He was kind of a jerk but I think him and Casey woulds make an excellent team. Not that I don’t like Dalton… 🙂

    1. Yay, I’m so glad you’re still loving this series like I am Greg! I honestly think this project is some of Armstrong’s best work to date. The cliffhanger was unreal…I’m still reeling. But yes, there must be a fourth book after that so I’ll let it slide. 😉

      The wilderness exploration and increased contact with the Settlers was sooo well done, you’re going to love it. I won’t say anything about Cypher except that you should read this and find out…I think you’ll be pleased. I love Dalton too, but Cypher is such a wild card!

      1. Cypher is AMAZING, and I like that she doesn’t have him save the day or show up TOO much, he shows up just enough to be hilarious. I just finished and it might be my favorite yet. Sooo good…I could live in that series…

    1. Oooh, Cainsville! I do love that series, but I’ll warn you it takes a bit to get going. If you’re looking to try Kelley Armstrong’s work and want something that’s intense right off the bat, then this series (book 1: City of the Lost) is a great bet!

  2. This series is my March binge-read series. I’m so excited because all I hear is rave. This sounds fantastic. I can definitely understand wanting moments of calm in between all the twists though. It sounds like I’m going to need something to help calm me down while I read these books!

    1. YESSSSS NICK. I am so pumped to hear what you think about this series. I will warn ya that there’s a lot of violence and violence against women, but I think Armstrong handles it well (unlike a lot of other people writing thrillers). The first book is absolutely nuts, can’t wait to see what you make of it!

  3. I’ve heard about this series. It has such an interesting premise, and it sounds like it’s getting more twisty as it goes! Although too much action can be kind of exhausting. Glad this was still good though!

    1. I still think that the first book is the strongest in the series, but I’m impressed that Armstrong can still surprise me with all the crazy twists and turns. Here’s hoping that the action calms down juuuuust a tad in the next book!

  4. Wow! This installment sounds incredible. This series is on my tbr but since I’ve yet to finish Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, I haven’t started this one. *sigh* I love Armstrong’s writing though – I have actually finished her YA series…well, one of them anyway. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get to this series sooner than later.

    1. Definitely, this is a really strong book in the series! Oh my gosh, Women of the Otherworld! Love that series, but it certainly requires a time investment hahaha. Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors; I can always count on her to deliver a solid adventure with likeable characters.

  5. Love, love, LOVE this series (and your review!). I think we both will insta-buy any of Kelley’s books. So I’m happy you generally liked the story. I wasn’t sure if the momentum will continue, but it sounds like it has, so I’m glad for that!

    I’m also liking some of her mystery and thriller stand alones as well.

    I’m just waiting for my copy from Indigo. This shipping delay is killing me right now.

    1. Hooray, glad you liked the review Siobhan! Yep, Kelley Armstrong is my #1 auto-buy author, no matter what she writes, I’m there. Can’t wait to hear what you think of this one, I hope you like it as much as I did!

  6. You know, I am so torn about this series. There are some elements that I am like GIMME, but I am finding it hard tog et over how much I didn’t like some of her work when she first moved into this genre. That said though. I think she’s clearly evolving and growing more comfy in the genre, looking at all the great reviews this has gotten…. and what that comes down to? I need to get over myself!!

    1. I think you’ll know right away whether this series is for you! I will warn ya that it’s on the violent side and there’s a lot of violence against women, but I think it’s handled with compassion (which isn’t always the case!). And the setting, goodness! It’s so dang good.

      Oh, do you mean the Nadia Stafford books? I haven’t read those but I’ve heard very mixed things about the series!

      1. Yup, that’s the series that didn’t leave a good impression on me. It’s an interesting point you made about the violence against women — I didn’t expect that from her, though it makes sense given the premise behind this.

  7. I haven’t read any of these and at the moment I think I’m shutting up shot to new series – until I knock some off my list that is. Glad that these are working for you though.
    Lynn 😀

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