First Sentence: We’ve been tracking Shawn Sutherland for almost two hours when the blizzard strikes.
The Yukon Canadian town of Rockton is completely off the grid and its residents, those running from their past/past crimes, are controlled by a remote town council. The unapproved departure of one of those residents leads to the discovery of a woman who has been held captive in a cave for over a year, as well as the bodies of two other women. The town’s sheriff, Eric Dalton, and homicide detective, Casey Duncan, need to find the person responsible.
No easy, gentle opening here. Instead, the story begins with a strike to the senses and continues on to the end with a story that keeps you totally off balance.
The town of Rockton is as unique as its residents. Each has a history of which only parts are revealed as the story progresses. And as with any small town, there are rivalries, jealousy, and mistrust, heightened in Rockton by the resident’s pasts. Then there are the “outsiders,” those who don’t live in the town, but with whom some of the residents have contact; and the “hostiles,” with whom no one deals. The relationship between these characters, as well as the characters who live with Rockton, is what gives humanity and dimension to the story.
There is an interesting analysis of a serial kidnapper/rapist. In fact, although much of the book focuses on action and suspense, there is a fair amount of psychology included, along with an appropriate reference to “Lord of the Flies,” as well as a line that can make one smile—“Do you ever look back on your younger self and just want to slap her?”.
“A Darkness Absolute” is a fascinating book dealing with the complexities of what are considered we humans. It’s also highly suspenseful and very well done.
A DARKNESS ABSOLUTE (Susp-Casey Duncan-Canada-Cont) – VG
Armstrong, Kelley – 2nd in series
Minotaur Books– February, 2017