My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.
Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.
I was interested in reading the book from the first time I saw it. A town for people that needs to get away. A secret town in the middle of nowhere. It sounded bloody fantastic. But, sometimes my expectations are too high, and when it came to this book did I expect a more mysterious and darker story.
Now, I don't say that the City of the Lost is a bad book, it started off interestingly with Casey and her friend Diana needing to get away, especially Diana after she once again had problems with her ex-boyfriend who beat her badly. Casey's problem is a bit more complicated, she killed a man when she was in college and have since then been waiting for the day the past would catch up with her. And, now it seems that it has happened. For them is Rockton a perfect solution, although Casey because of her past has a hard time getting approved for going to the town, in the end, is she allowed, but there are some conditions for her and one of the reasons they agree to accept her is because they need a homicide detective to solve a murder.
It's in Rockton that I felt the story started to drag now and then, it just went on and on, sometimes it felt that the investigation didn't go anywhere. I was also a bit disappointed with the town, it felt that it was just really bad people there and if you were a woman then you had to watch out (I think I had a town like the one in Pines (Wayward Pines by Blake Crouch in mind, normal but mysterious). There were some promising things with the story, the rumors about cannibals were interesting, it just never becomes much more than a rumor. Then, the obvious and expected romance occurred (I have read reviews of the books so I was prepared), and it took more time away from the investigations, but at the same time was it an important part of the story that I can't discuss since it would spoiler the book.
The ending, well it was good, perhaps not fantastically good, but Casey did solve the murder and all. She also discovered some secrets that someone close to her had kept and I loved the confrontation between Casey and this person.
So, City of the Lost did not turn out to be this fantastic book I had hoped for. It was more of a bumpy ride with both ups and downs. Would I read the next book? Yes, I would! I did enjoy more of the book than I disliked. I just hope the next book will have a less bumpy ride.