Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong #NGEW2019

Casey Duncan is back in this fourth installment of the Rockton saga – a series involving the secluded town and its people in the frozen Yukon of Canada.


Admittedly, Watcher in the Woods is part of my favorite series. It’s got a terrific cast of characters, all of whom are quite flawed or they wouldn’t be in the town of Rockton. Rockton, you see, is a secret, very secluded town for those who need to escape either because they are the worst in society or from the very worst in society. It makes for an eclectic and often frightening mix of personalities. In addition to the town’s people, you have a two group of renegades living (wandering/surviving) in the forest surrounding Rockton: those who are true survivalists who didn’t want to go back down south after their time in Rockton was finished and those who are simply too savage to live anywhere at all. They add an additional layer of worry and suspense to the story line.

Watcher in the Woods takes place approximately 2-3 weeks after the last book which means the characters are still reeling from a murder, a crazed woman whom they intimately trusted and a wounded man who is part of their patrol. They have been without a doctor in the town since the former doctor was killed and they desperately need to get medical help for their resident, Kenny. Secreting away in the night, Casey and the sheriff bring back help but they also bring back more than they bargain for as they are followed by a US Marshall looking for his bounty. He refuses to say who it is or why it is so important that he finds “his man” – or woman. When the Marshall is killed, it becomes imperative that Casey – the town’s only detective – discovers who the Marshall was after and why. More importantly, she has to find out how the Marshall was able to follow them and plug any leaks there might be regarding Rockton’s well kept secret location.

All of the Rockton tales are action packed and full of secrets, double backs and, yes, romance. That is what makes them so entertaining to read. This one, however, was a bit slow for me in the beginning and I suspect that it was because there was a great deal of minutia laid out for readers who might be joining here at book four rather than at the beginning. There was quite a bit of repetitiveness, who’s who, explanations about the town and how it works, which is fine if you are new to the series but by the fourth book in, it was a little tedious. Once that was past, the book was actually better than any of the previous stories. It was more complex, there was more action, an introduction of new characters, two of whom I suspect are going to be key in future books, and quite a few secrets revealed that led to some “aha” moments. All of this had me looking forward to the next book already and forgetting the tedium that had me skimming in the beginning.

If you haven’t read any of this series you should be able to read this one as a stand alone but I highly recommend that you begin at the start and work up to this one. There is a lot of back story and past history that will make it more interesting for you. Then you can join me in skimming over the mundane catch-up in this book but completely enjoying the majority of the rest. It IS a series that I highly recommend. It’s fun, entertaining, suspenseful and, generally, a quick read.

My thanks to #Netgalley, @StMartinsPress, @MinotaurBooks and Kelley Armstrong for my advanced copy of #WatcherintheWoods.



15 thoughts on “Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong #NGEW2019

    1. I think you’ll find them incredibly interesting! There is something so survivalist about this town. If it weren’t for the killers that also get housed there, I would love to live in Rockton! They are such quick reads that you could probably read them in a few days – LOL!! Let me know what you think!
      I’m trying to do more challenges this year. I did quite a few a few years ago on Goodreads and it really helped broaden my reading spectrum. I tend to get into ruts very easily. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! I liked the NGEW challenge because it really helped to get my NetGalley list under control. Now I only have three and want to keep it low. I’m not sure how many you request, but I was quite the trigger finger for a long time lol. 🤣

        I agree that it broadens our reading spectrums to do these challenges. It’s fun to experiment with new books we wouldn’t normally pick up! Good luck and happy reading! ♥️💗♥️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The answer is “too many!” Fortunately, I stay right at 80% but still, I always feel behind. The problem is that I really do love certain authors so when I see new works by them, I jump on their books. At least I’m not at 50% like I was last year. That was horrible! I’m also doing the 2019 Pop Sugar Challenge. That has me going into genres where I never would have ventured – ever.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I guess the feedback percentage isn’t that big of a deal on NG, but it would wear on me. I really want to have control this year. Guess well see lol. 😂 80 percent is nice! I’ve seen some people say they’re below 50% and it doesn’t bother them.

        That’s a neat challenge! I can’t wait to see how that goes for you. I may try it one year, but it’s a bit much for me now. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I think that is the total attraction to the series, otherwise it would just be another detective series but there, in the frozen forest, you never know they’re going run into. It’s pretty cool.


  1. I went on Goodreads to check out this series and it looks really interesting. Being Canadian, any book that is set there always interests me. Nice review Mackey. I am able to get this series at my library so it is on my list to check out when I get back home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantastic – I hope you enjoy it! Part of the main attraction for me is its setting. I’ve never books set that far north in Canada and she goes into a lot of detail about the few towns that are up there and climate etc. It’s fascination. Let me know what you think.


      1. My daughter lived in Iqaluit, Nunavut on Baffin Island for 2 years. I never went (too far north for me) but she shared a lot. The biggest issues were the isolation and the winter when it was dark almost all day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Carla – that sounds like heaven to me. I love the snow and I love being indoors. I have a sunlamp to get the proper amount of Vitamin D so I’m all set. LOL! I know, I’m a hermit crab. 😉


  2. Pingback: This Chick Read: Watcher in the Woods (Casey Duncan #4) by Kelley Armstrong – The Reading Chick

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