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Alone in the Wild: A Rockton Novel    by Kelley Armstrong order for
Alone in the Wild
by Kelley Armstrong
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Alone in the Wild follows Watcher in the Woods as the fifth in Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series, set in an isolated Yukon community, a haven for people running from their pasts (both victims and white-collar criminals). A mysterious Council runs Rockton, controlling its communication with the outside world. The series lead is Homicide Detective Casey Duncan, who's in a strong romantic relationship with Rockton Sheriff Eric Dalton.

In the previous episode, Casey's autistic sister April (a physician and neuroscientist) joined them, her comments injecting some comic relief. As Alone in the Wild opens, with the holidays approaching, Casey, Eric and their dogs Storm and Raoul are enjoying a two day camping trip. Casey finds a baby in the arms of a dead woman in the snow. She and Eric take responsibility for the infant (with help from others in Rockton) while seeking to find out what had happened to her and the murdered woman who had clearly tried to protect her. Was the babe from a settler family (in one of two Settlements originating from Rockton) or a child of hostiles?

Taking on the responsibility of this small girl causes Casey and Eric to examine their own feelings about parenthood - complicated by the fact that Casey's been told she's unable to have a baby. They essentially go on quest to discover the child's origins, resulting in the continuous action, conflict, surprises and red herrings that fans have grown to expect from a Kelley Armstrong tale. Along the way, they learn more about what has made the hostiles so savage. I do enjoy visiting Rockton, though I'm pretty sure I'd never want to live there. I look forward to more.

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