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This Fallen Prey: A Rockton Novel (Casey…
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This Fallen Prey: A Rockton Novel (Casey Duncan Novels) (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Kelley Armstrong (Author)

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7611158,327 (4)4
Member:caderholdt
Title:This Fallen Prey: A Rockton Novel (Casey Duncan Novels)
Authors:Kelley Armstrong (Author)
Info:Minotaur Books (2018), 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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This Fallen Prey: A Rockton Novel (Casey Duncan Novels) by Kelley Armstrong (2018)

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This Fallen Prey is the second book in Kelley Armstrong's police procedural mystery series. There's nothing paranormal in it, just a solid mystery with plenty to keep the reader guessing. Casey Butler (real surname, Duncan), homicide detective for an off-the-grid town (village, really) in the Yukon, is our heroine. Our hero is her lover, Rockton sheriff Eric Dalton.

Rockton is a secret for the safety of its residents and the profits of its absentee council. In the first book, City of the Lost, we learned that some of those who have bought refuge here really belong in jail. Others technically should be in jail, but there were extenuating circumstances. Casey herself and Deputy Will Anders fall in that second category.

The living conditions are more rural 19th Century than 21st. The town is made of wood. Candles and kerosene lamps provide light. Fireplaces provide heat. There's a lumber house and an ice house. Top tier residents get their own house. (Casey and Eric are top tier). Middle tier residents get one floor of a house. The rest get bachelor apartments. The women are very much outnumbered by the men, but there is a brothel staffed by volunteers. No pets are allowed, but Casey has a puppy being trained as a tracking and cadaver dog.

Rockton residents' nearest neighbors are settlers and hostiles, and the settlers aren't that friendly. There are dangerous wild animals around, too. Residents are not supposed to walk in the forest whenever they feel like it.

Rockton's council accepts plenty of money to allow a young serial killer six months' residence. The story is that the killer's stepfather is hoping Rockton will make Oliver Brady willing to be exiled to an island. What warning do Casey and Eric receive? Brady is dropped off, bound and gagged, with a letter listing his crimes, and some coffee.

Of course Brady claims he's innocent and his stepfather wants him dead. Before we find out the truth more than half-a-dozen men and women will die, not all of them cannon fodder characters.

NOTES:

Chapter 1:

a. Aside from Sharon, the heart attack victim, see book two, A Darkness Absolute, for how the women being buried died.

b. Mentions: Bay Street, Dawson City, and sour toe cocktail

Chapter 3:

a. See book one, City of the Lost, for more details about what happened to Casey when she was 19.

b. Oliver Brady is 27. We learn a little about his alleged crimes.

c. Isabel Radcliffe has managed to stay in Rockton for more than five years, the usual maximum stay. Casey tells us why the former counseling psychologist has power in Rockton that's second only to the Sheriff's.

d. Mentions: Harvard, Monopoly, Park Place, and Boardwalk

Chapter 4: Casey holds a 'press conference' about Oliver Brady.

Chapter 5: Mentions: Newfoundland and, Tinder

Chapter 6 Mentions: Monte Carlo, Young Republicans, and Greenpeace

Chapter 7:

a. Look here for Mathias interviewing Oliver Brady (heh).

b. Mentions: San Jose and Alaska

Chapter 8: The 'honey and vinegar' Val Zapata talks about is the old saying that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Chapter 11: We meet Freckles, the nursing mother wolf-dog.

Chapter 14:

a. Casey explains how she's become a Victorian-era detective as she processes fingerprints.

b. Will (Army) and Sam (Navy) are the only two residents known to have prior military experience. Casey explains why Kenny's experience doesn't count.

c. Mentions: Air Cadets, the Canadian Navy, and Georgia, USA

Chapter 15:

a. Petra was a comic book artist before she came to Rockton.

b. Casey is still trying to train that raven.

c. The population of Rockton is 200 if 50 names on a petition counts as one-quarter of them.

Chapter 16: Here is where new resident Roy makes trouble at the police station.

Chapter 20:

a. Dalton has seen water hemlock only once or twice, but false hellebore is easier to find in forest.

b. We learn about the bell that was installed in Rockton and what happened to the first person to ring it for a joke.

c. There's a fire in town.

d, Mentions: Australia and Whitehorse

Chapter 24:

a. Here's where one of Freckles' wolf-dog cubs is found in the brush.

b. Casey shoots a Sig Sauer P226 (uses nine millimeter bullets), Dalton a .357 Smith & Wesson, and Anders a Ruger Alaskan . 454.

Chapter 25:

a. Casey talks about the way she used to learn things, such as forensic anthropology, just because she wanted to know. (She calls herself a Jack-of-all-trades, but she's really a Jill-of-all-trades. I think we women should insist on the feminine form in order to show we don't feel inferior about being women no matter how some men feel about it.)

b. Storm the Newfoundland puppy, is eight months old.

Chapter 26: Casey and Duncan visit Brent the cave dweller. Brent has a gift for Casey.

Chapter 27: Brent played for the Canadiens ice hockey team 50 years ago.

Chapter 28: Casey and Dalton meet with Ty Cypher.

Chapter 29:

a. That study about silver foxes in Siberia is real. I remember watching an item about it on TV or Youtube.

b. Casey talks about the effect Cypher had on Dalton when he was a boy.

c. There's an encounter with a black bear.

d. Mention: Siberia

Chapter 30: Casey meets a cougar. Since this series isn't set in Ms. Armstrong's Otherworld, we needn't wonder if it's a skin-walker.

Chapter 31:

a. Casey tells us how she got the tiny scar on her jawbone and her mother's reaction.

b. Mention: roller blades

Chapter 32: Storm makes an unpleasant discovery.

Chapter 34: Mathias has a suggestion about the rescued wolf-dog cub, which he says is part Australian shepherd.

Chapter 36:

a. Casey and Duncan encounter some settlers. One of them recognizes Dalton as Steve Dalton's son and Jacob's brother.

b. Casey claims she's Eric's wife because of the way the younger male settler is eyeing her.

Chapter 37:

a. Casey and Dalton talk about a possible vacation.

b. Mention: Vancouver

Chapter 39: We learn that the older woman of the settler hunting party is the grandmother of the girl, Harper, as the settlers are encountered again..

Chapter 42:

a. Casey tells a joke about Whitehorse.

b. Rockton has two visitors.

c. Isabel invited Casey to a poker game.

Chapter 43: Isabel has to remind resident Artie about the Roc's new rule regarding approaching women.

Chapter 44:

a. Casey talks about the three levels of occupancy in Rockton in the first paragraph.

b/ Once again Ms. Armstrong annoys me by using the myth about losing one's scent in water that was thoroughly busted on 'Mythbusters', although those two episodes did involve a bloodhound, not a Newfoundland.

c. Dalton has an argument with Phil the council member. He brings up Harry Powys and Abbygail from book one.

Chapter 46: Casey and Dalton visit the First Settlement.

Chapter 48: Casey talks with the head of the First Settlement, Edwin, in Mandarin. (She says her Mandarin is the equivalent of a four-year-old's.

Chapter 50: Loved Casey's crack about a company's 'new & improved' version of one of their products.

Chapter 53: There's an encounter with Maryanne, a former Rockton resident.

Chapter 55: Dalton talks about his birth parents. We also learn if he's ever killed someone before.

Chapter 57: The sniper hits someone.

Chapter 60

a. We hear a story about Val's past.

b. Mention: Les Miserables

Chapter 61: We meet Harper again.

Chapter 62: Casey mentions her neuroscientist/neurosurgeon sister, April.

There are so many lies and half-truths being told, not to mention new things to learn about supporting characters, that this book gets to keep readers guessing. Kelley Armstrong is just as good with a straight mystery novel as she is with adult and juvenile urban fantasy.

Cat lovers: there's a cougar.

Dog lovers: Besides Storm the Newfoundland, there are a couple of wolf-dogs.

Horse lovers: Cricket and Blaze appear. ( )
  JalenV | Apr 18, 2018 |
Another excellent thriller by one of my favourite authors. This is the third time we visit the hidden town of Rockton and this time the Counsel has sent Dalton and Casey a resident that they are unprepared, and unequipped, to deal with.

It's been many years since a book store employee pointed to a large display and asked me if I'd ever heard of Kelley Armstrong. I picked up Bitten and became addicted to all things Kelley Armstrong! ( )
  ChelleBearss | Apr 4, 2018 |
Note: Slight spoilers for previous books in this series.

Casey Duncan, 30, is a detective in the town of Rockton, a hidden place in the Yukon that takes in people on the run. Twelve years earlier she killed her former boyfriend - not that she went to meet him intending to kill him, and not that he didn’t deserve it, but it happened, and it haunts her. It also made her “eligible” for life in this town, especially because the sheriff there, Eric Dalton, needed a detective. Rockton only has around 200 residents, but they are people, as Casey understands, who have “either done bad shit or have got serious baggage.”

Since the series began, Casey and Eric have entered into a close personal relationship, as well as being partners on the job. This makes them vulnerable in a way, since when danger comes, they are more apt to protect one another than to do what needs to be done.

Moreover, they are now training a young Newfoundland dog, Storm, to be a tracker, and they both feel protective about her as well.

In this “episode,” a plane arrives in Rockton (a rare event), with the pilot delivering a prisoner to them. A note explains that the Town Council in charge of Rockton has agreed to let this prisoner, Oliver Brady, 27, stay in Rockton for six months, for a large fee attractive to the Council.

The Council also tells them this arrangement is being paid for by Brady’s stepfather, Gregory Wallace, who has done this to protect Brady’s mother. Brady’s alleged crime? He’s a “thrill killer,” the note says. He tortures and kills because he enjoys it.

Brady maintains he is being set up by his stepfather, who wants Oliver’s inheritance due to him in a year when he turns 28. Unfortunately, in Rockton, there is no way for Casey and Eric to check the veracity of his story - they have no access to phones, internet, mail, or any way at all to contact anyone but the Council. They can’t even get in or out of Rockton without the Council’s approval. But they also don’t have adequate facilities to serve as a prison for Brady. In a short time, he escapes. Before long, their Council contact Phil shows up with Gregory Wallace, who wants to make sure they are able to recapture Brady.

When Casey, Eric, and the “militia” from the town go out to look for Brady, they run into lethal obstacles. Not only do they find bodies along the way, but a sniper is following them and periodically attacks. They have no idea what is going on: is Brady guilty or is his stepfather lying? Who from Rockton is aiding Brady? And who is the sniper trying to kill them all?

Evaluation: Armstrong had me guessing until the denouement, which followed a tense run-up with everyone in danger, including the dog. The ending made clear that while this particular incident wrapped up, the story isn’t over yet. It’s not my favorite series by Armstrong, but she is one of my favorite authors, and I enjoy all of her work. ( )
  nbmars | Mar 23, 2018 |
This is the third book in the Rockton series and was another excellent book in the Rockton series. This would have been 5 stars for me but the ending knocked it down to 4 stars. The ending just felt very rushed, incomplete, and contrived. There were so many twists and turns that the whole thing didn't make much sense and felt unfinished.

Casey and Eric are thrown a new loop by the council when the council sends them a serial killer, Oliver Brady, to watch. They really aren’t equipped for this type of activity. They don’t want to panic the town by telling them about the awful things Oliver Brady has done. However, they don’t want the town to be sympathetic to the harsh treatment Brady is receiving either. It is a tough line to balance.

When other mysterious incidents start happening around town, the situation with Brady gets even more complicated. Especially when the natives outside of Rockton get involved in things.

This remains a very engaging series. I love all the survival elements of Rockton combined with the thriller and mystery elements. The natives outside of Rockton are getting more and more involved in things and the council is taking too many liberties with the safety of Rockton’s residents. Rockton is basically a pot that’s about to boil over and I am so curious to see what happens when it does.

My only complaint about this book is that the ending felt really contrived and forced. There were too many twists and turns sandwiched together and the story ended up feeling very unfinished; not at all like previous books. This knocked the rating down on this book a bit for me.

Overall a wonderful continuation of the Rockton series. I love the blend of mystery, thriller, psychological, and survival elements here. I would definitely recommend this series; it is fast-paced and very engaging. ( )
  krau0098 | Feb 28, 2018 |
This series continues to deliver!

Considering that the premise of the story is a 'locked room' mystery, Armstrong continues to find new ways to create a mystery and involve various people from the town. I highly recommend this series but this is not the book to start with - you need to start with book #1 "The Lost City" in order to truly understand the characters and the setting. ( )
  mfbarry | Feb 19, 2018 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kelley Armstrongprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bloom, KeithCover photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollinrake, KathrynAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirilyuk, OlyaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jeff
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The season may have officially started two months ago, but it isn't truly spring in Rockton until we bury our winter dead.
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[Eric has read the letter about prisoner Oliver Brady, who lunges when Anders looks.]
'If you're waiting for us to get distracted and let you run, you'll be waiting a long time,' Anders says.
'It wouldn't help anyway,' I say. 'You're hundreds of miles from the nearest community. Gagged. Bound. Your legs chained.' I turn to the guys. 'Can we let him go? Please? Lay bets on how far he gets?'
'Nah,' Anders says. 'Lay bets on what kills him. I vote grizzly.'
'Cougar,' I say.
'Exposure,' Dalton says.
I look at Dalton. 'Boring.'
'Fine, rabbits.'
'But the rabbits haven't killed anyone.'
"Yet.' (chapter two)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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