Hi and welcome to Series in the Spotlight! This may become a regular thing, time will tell, but for now, I just want to share my love for the Rockton series by Canadian author Kelley Armstrong. Kelley has written tons of books, some standalones, some series and I have read most of them. What they all have in common is a strong, ballsy female main character. Whether Elena the werewolf in her Otherworld series, Olivia in her Cainsville series, Chloe in her YA Dark Powers Series, or hit woman Nadia Stafford, Kelley’s characters are realistic, flawed, strong yet vulnerable women.
The Rockton books feature Casey Duncan. In a former life, Casey was a homicide detective. Then she ends up in Rockton, a teeny tiny speck in the middle of the Yukon. If you, like me before I started this series, have never heard of the Yukon: it’s a federal territory in Canada and its western border is Alaska. That should give you an idea of its climate and, most importantly, its remoteness. And that brings me to my favourite aspect of this series: its locked room trope.
Rockton is an off-the-grid safe haven for people on the run from their pasts, needing to disappear for a few years. A sort of excessive witness protection programme for some, others are on the run, hiding from an abusive partner for instance; some are not quite as benign and buy their way into Rockton, they are white-collar criminals at best. Bar a few wealthy exceptions, getting into Rockton is difficult; all residents are vetted. But once you get in, you’re in, for better or worse, and you don’t get out for a few years.
The fourth instalment came out earlier this year, and like the previous three Rockton novels, there’s been a murder, and it’s up to Casey and the Rockton sheriff and his deputy to solve the case. Because of its remote location and its limited number of residents the suspect pool is rather small, but somehow I never seem to be able to identify the culprit. I might be too distracted by Kelley’s writing, her vivid imagery of the Yukon and its wildlife and the people in and on the outskirts of Rockton to actually solve the mystery.
If the locked room trope is your thing (I’m looking at you, Inge ?) and / or you’re intrigued by living in a remote back-to-nature kind of settlement with all the ensuing intrigue, you should definitely look into these novels! Be sure to read them in the correct order though, each sequel contains lots of spoilers!
Are you a Kelley Armstrong fan too? Have you read this series? Or (ooooooh!) have you been to the Yukon? Comment below, I’d love to know!