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Murder at Haven's Rock


Murder at Haven's Rock

Fans of Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series will be delighted with the publication of MURDER AT HAVEN’S ROCK, the start of a sequel series featuring many familiar characters. Those of us who read all seven Rockton books were heartbroken when the final installment came out last year with the news that Rockton, a haven for those fleeing society and threats to their safety, was shutting down. Throughout the series, we learned about the tension between those who managed the town, its inhabitants, and the sheriff, Eric Dalton, along with his wife, Casey Duncan.

"Like its Canadian counterpart, Louise Penny's Three Pines, this is a fabulous, fictional, almost fairy-tale settlement that isn’t on any map and is well-hidden from the air. Enjoy the mystery."

Now the sheriff, his detective spouse and a few others are building their own town to their own specifications. The construction workers are not told of its purpose, just that it's for "research." They have no idea that it’s where people can pay a large sum of money to disappear. Those who come to Haven’s Rock, which is buried in the remote Yukon, stay for several years until whatever the threat that caused them to run away has dissipated. They often have their own problems and are not innocent victims, but with new management more vested in doing good than making a profit, everyone hopes that this town will run more smoothly than the now-defunct Rockton.

In MURDER AT HAVEN’S ROCK, the setting continues to be almost a main character as we feel the danger in the enveloping wilderness that surrounds the town. But the most dangerous creature is, as usual, a hominid who walks on two legs, not four. It's not the grizzly bears who are the worst threat to the workers and those who venture into the forest. It's strangers, and maybe even those from the town itself.

The construction of Haven’s Rock isn't complete, but Casey and Eric are called in when two people disappear. They were seen going into the forest, thus breaking the town’s cardinal rule --- you don't go into the forest. During their investigation, the couple finds a woman's body. But, of course, all is not as it appears to be, and that's not the last corpse they come across. Will they be able to unravel the clues in time to protect the innocent from the guilty? Or will there be more casualties resulting from the avarice of someone who might be living among them?

There are twists and turns, and there are new characters who we feel will not leave with the workers when the construction is finally finished. Instead of giving Eric and Casey time to enjoy Haven’s Rock before new inhabitants are sent, the timetable has changed, and people will be arriving before the town is completely done. Which of Rockton’s prior residents will be returning? Armstrong shares a bit of that information, but we won't know it all until the next entry in the series. In the meantime, we can enjoy reading about the new setting, which clearly will be presenting its own set of challenges.

Warning: You may feel compelled to take a vacation to the Yukon to experience the bracing fresh air, the extremely long summer days, and the isolated scenery for yourself. Just don't try to find Haven's Rock. Like its Canadian counterpart, Louise Penny's Three Pines, this is a fabulous, fictional, almost fairy-tale settlement that isn’t on any map and is well-hidden from the air. Enjoy the mystery.

Reviewed by Pamela Kramer on March 10, 2023

Murder at Haven's Rock
by Kelley Armstrong

  • Publication Date: December 5, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250865433
  • ISBN-13: 9781250865434