Sunday, July 10, 2022

Review: The Deepest of Secrets by Kelley Armstrong

by Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: February 15, 2022
2022 Minotaur Books
Kindle Edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-1250781734
Genre: Fiction / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

It’s not always easy to live in the hidden town of Rockton, something Detective Casey Duncan knows firsthand. Tucked away in the Yukon wilderness, the community survives—and thrives—because the residents' many secrets stay just that—secret.

But what happens when these secrets start to come out? Overnight, no one is safe. It’s not a question of if your secret will come out—but when.

The threat of exposure is reaching its breaking point, and no one knows what’s going to happen next.
My Thoughts
The Deepest of Secrets is the next book in the Rockton series, and while it at first appeared to be the last book of the series, the way it ended tells a different kind of story, and I have since learned most of the characters will appear in a spin-off series, Haven's Rock. I have enjoyed the Rockton books, and while I do think this is one of the weaker books in the series, it was still fun to go back to Rockton and see how everyone would be dealing with the demise of their town.
In this one, everyone is in an uproar as a major secret has come out about one of the townspeople; this puts enormous stress on Casey and Eric to keep the town from exploding and developing a bunch of vigilantes who want justice and want all of the secrets exposed.  Casey and Eric have worked incredibly hard to create a harmonious relationship within the town, but fear has people turning on one another and even Casey and Eric don't quite know who they can trust.  In such a small community, and one that is so isolated, this last of trust can have devastating effects, and naturally, this explodes into a murder case.  
I have always wondered what would happen when that secrecy breach would happen, so I was happy to finally have a novel that dealt with the issue. The isolated community was supposed to be a haven for those who needed to leave society for a while, but wasn't supposed to house killers or murderers, everything controlled by a council; throughout the books, the council has been revealed to have another agenda, and I've been waiting for the book where the community of Rockton and the council clash, where Rockton outgrows the council and realizes it can survive on its own terms.  The realization that Rockton was really coming to an end impacted people on very different levels and I liked seeing how the author would have certain characters react to the situation.  
Personally, I couldn't imagine living in Rockton, without my technology and my link to society, but there's another part of me that wonders what I would discover about myself if I had the chance to really explore in a world without all of it.  The author definitely spends a lot of time on character development as well on plot development and as a result, I really feel a connection to most of the characters I run across in these books.  I felt Casey and Eric's desperation when they finally learned the truth about Rockton and the choices they would have to make for their future.  I did think the overall suspense of this book wasn't quite the same as the previous books simply because it was the last book of the series, and it focused more on Rockton's shut down, but there was still a lot of interesting things going on that propelled this story.  
The Deepest of Secrets was an interesting book as it revealed what would happen if secrets about community members and the council that runs the town were revealed.  I thought the ensuing chaos and fear was very well done and the transition into a new series was quite interesting.  Because of this though, I did feel some of the suspense that we experienced in previous novels was a bit lacking, but the overall mystery was interesting and I enjoyed visiting with old characters as well as learning more about older ones.  I was excited to learn many of the character will appear in her spin-off series, Haven's Rock, the first book, Murder in Haven's Rock, to be published in February 2023.