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.
Once again, this series has pulled me in and I found that I couldn’t stop once I started. This was a somewhat different storyline than many of the previous ones. In the other books, it was primarily Rockton residents who were responsible for the murder(s) that had occurred. However, this book finally allows Casey (and the reader) to gain insight into the other characters who live in the region (and aren’t necessarily friendly with Rockton residents).
This novel did a fantastic job at continuing to develop the setting and plot of the series. We finally learn more about the hostiles and how they come to exist in the form they do (sharpened teeth, carved tattoos into flesh, frostbitten body parts, incoherent state of mind, etc.). This revelation gives these characters back some form of humanity, which I think is important, because they are still human. I was also delighted to see Casey discover more about the settlements and even those who choose to live in the Yukon wilderness but aren’t “hostiles”, yet can still be hostile.
Finding a baby in the woods is bound to cause some form of disequilibrium for anyone. However, Casey and Dalton find themselves pondering over the idea of raising a child. This is one point of confusion and conflict for Casey, as she’s aware that she probably can’t have children and isn’t sure she wants to. However, it causes her to question how she may be preventing Dalton from that experience. After all of this time, these two were bound to have some lovers conflict, and while I wasn’t invested in their “baby” talk, this plot point tied in seamlessly into the storyline.
Overall, I enjoyed this latest excursion into the Yukon Territory. I’m devastated to find that book six will not be released until 2021. I can only hope I’m able to score an ARC because I cannot wait!