Alone in the Wild

Alone in the Wild

Large Print - 2020 | Large print edition
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Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that's what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there's always something to worry about. While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms. A town that doesn't let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from - and whether she's better off where she is.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Wheeler Publishing, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2020
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781432878498
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 519 pages ; 23 cm
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Sep 12, 2020

I read this book without reading the preceding ones in the series. I disregarded the very unusual backgrounds of the characters and found the references to their past life in the city "down south" to be jarring. The author has created her own "fantasy world" for this series in the wilds of Yukon peopled with First Settlement, Second Settlement, and wild communities alongside the more normal village of Rockton. The author has an intriguing introduction which captured my attention and the need to complete the book just to find out what happened to the baby. Thus I flipped the pages just to follow the plot line. The author's writing style isn't my cup of tea.

Sep 02, 2020

I really enjoyed this suspenseful story. I picked it up not realizing it was part of a series but you can read it as a stand alone book. I’m looking forward to reading the first in the series to see how it all started.

Aug 26, 2020

The fifth installment in a suspenseful murder mystery series with a unique premise where everything and everyone is at the extreme far end of the spectrum of what we consider normal/civilized. The setting in the wilderness of the Yukon allows the author to remove all forms of high tech/CSI from the equation and Detective Casey Butler has to solve her murder mysteries sleuthing the old fashion way using her brain and guts alone. I don’t believe you can jump into this series midway and I highly recommend to start from the first book in the series.

I have enjoyed the more ‘relaxed’ pace of this installment compared to the last few.
Here we are 6 month after Watcher in the Woods which is a relief after the back to back intense stories in the previous 3 books that made me wonder if anyone or any relationship can survive such intense non stop stress levels, betrayals and body count in such short timeframe (mere days between books/story lines)!
Here Casey and Eric are comfortable and settled into their relationship but are also forced to face uncomfortable questions about its future when fate throws a baby in their path and they struggle with what they want. The relationship continues to be an essential element of my attraction to this series but it doesn’t overshadow at all the intricacies of the mystery at hand.
There is of course a murder that they want to solve although that is not their first goal. I welcomed that it wasn’t another Sword of Damocles situation as with previous murders.
There are many new characters and surprises about settlers and hostiles and less focus on Rockton and its usual characters. So again that was a welcome change of pace.
Although I claimed a ‘relaxed’ pace in reality the story offers plenty of twists and turns and the mystery doesn’t disappoint when revealed.
What I didn’t like (or buy as a premise) are the unrealistic moral positions for some of the characters regarding bias, prejudice, toxic masculinity, etc. Tyrone for example coming off as a teddy bear with a strong feminist streak rather than an a-hole assassin as before.
Some elements of the story were quite preachy which is weird considering that pretty much everyone in this series, except Eric, is a criminal and many are murderers! The morality bar is so low with this cast of characters that it is really jarring to have such a Politically Correct vein run through this story!
I also hoped for more development or further explanation around April’s continued involvement in Rockton. As jarring as her presence was weaved into the story, here it is treated as a non issue and as if she rightfully belongs.
Overall, I enjoyed the change in pace and context.
Kelley Armstrong is my favorite author, I would recommend all her books in general (Elena and Clayton are a must read) and this series in particular.

Jul 30, 2020

This might have been a 5 star read if I could've had a recap of the previous books in the series. *sigh* Instead, I kept getting Jen and Diana mixed up, and I still can't remember what happened to her.

But it's not the book's fault I have memory problems! This book itself was very good, although I will say that the plot is an abandoned baby. Yes, there is still a murder to be solved, but the baby is The Plot. I didn't get that at first and kept waiting for something else to happen and the plot to kick in, but once I realized the baby was it, I mentally readjusted and it was fine. But maybe this did earn a 4.5 instead of a 5 with that after all ...

Jul 28, 2020

In this fifth book about the tiny town deep in the Yukon which has those running from their pasts, the investigation takes an unusual turn when Casey finds a dead woman cradling a tiny baby deep in the woods.

In the search for the baby's mother Casey and Sheriff Eric Dalton discover more about the other settlers who have eschewed Rockton to live an even more basic life. Looking after a baby raises more questions for Casey and Eric and their relationship. Can Casey give the baby back to its parents, and what if the parents don't deserve to keep the baby?

As always, the truth uncovered is twisty, turny and very dark. Loved it.

Mar 06, 2020

There are three stars in the Rockton series, the impossible non-existing town of Rockton, the irascible (such a mild term) Sheriff Eric Dalton and his detective Casey Duncan, and the Yukon forest surrounding Rockton. All are always present in the series, but in Alone in the Wild the Yukon forest takes center stage
Rockton is the very small, extremely off the grid little town somewhere in the Yukon. It is protected from detection by advanced technology and from the impossibility that it actually exists. It was started over sixty years ago to provide sanctuary from those wrong accused, convicted, or pursued by government gone crazy. It then morphed into a sanctuary for other victims. Recently the ruling outside council realized it could make some big bucks by accepting white collar criminals; and then a few serious crazies with very big bucks.
Life in Rockton is fairly primitive, but somewhat sophisticated too. It’s also a place where people can reinvent themselves. The 90 pound weakling is now a hunky carpenter. The demure grade school teacher is now a foul-mouthed witch; and the respected psychologist has turned madam. But she still accepts an occasional patient.
Then there is the Yukon boreal forest. Life in the forest is mad, bad and dangerous; also extremely gorgeous and rewarding if you pay attention.
In Rockton there are certain immutable laws. Do not ever leave the confines of Rockton unless you are in a guided group. If you are in the forest always treat the settlers with respect and do not purposely trespass on their hunting grounds. Avoid any contact with the hostiles and good luck surviving if contact is made. They kill first, eat later. Okay that last was only a nasty, probably unfounded rumor.
Another rule, no one under eighteen is allowed in Rockton. Eric has been the only exception in almost 70 years as a well meaning Rockton couple kidnapped/rescued him from the forest. A serious matter of perspective still having repercussions.
On a quick camping trip for some down time and for training the young dogs Storm and Raoul, Casey discovers the body of a murdered woman and a baby sheltered by the woman’s body.
Eric and Casey's puppy Storm reigns supreme in Rockton. Imagine how a newborn electrifies Rockton; with most of its residents not having seen a baby in years. The baby also results in Eric and Casey confronting some difficult issues in their deepening relationship.
All those rules I mentioned earlier, Eric, Casey and Will are the only ones who can usually safely break them as they forced to do in their search for the woman’s killer and the baby’s parents. Eric and Casey are forced deeper into the woods with more and more contact with settlers, hostiles, and the nomads who survive in the world between. Their contact with these inhabitants has been a fascinating study of the realpolitik of the world in a virtually unknown world.
I have been fascinated by intricate, fascinating Rockton world building from the very first book, City of the Lost. Alone in the Wild has continued tradition, this time encompassing the forest, the settlers, and providing some unexpected answers concerning the hostiles.
The problem with the forest taking center stage, there is not near enough time spent in Rockton or with the people who live there.
As always in a Rockton book there is the fine writing, inventive story-lines, characters you want to invite into your life. There is also that lovely mysterious world, the impossible non-existing small town set in one of the most stunning hostile environments on earth. Most of all there is the compassion and tenderness underlying it all. This is what will stay with the reader the longest.

Feb 08, 2020

This is my favorite book of this series. The main characters are showing growth as human beings. I cared about what was going to happen in the story. There were several twists and turns until the conclusion. I will be waiting for the next in the series!

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