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Reviewed by: Kelsey, grade 11

Rated: 4/5

When detective, Casey Duncan, smuggles her neuroscientist sister, April, into the secret town of Rockton to attend to a medical emergency, little does April know that she will become a suspect in a local murder. With a town this small, each inhabitant is a suspect.

Watcher in the Woods is the 4th novel in the Rockton series written by Canadian author Kelly Armstrong. The story takes place in the hidden, off the grid town called Rockton. Although the storyline refers to events that happened in previous novels and reading the previous novels would give the reader a better understanding of the characters and their town, Kelly Armstrong writes this novel in a way that the reader still understands what has happened and why.

Rockton’s inhabitants consist of criminals and victims who have fled society to seek a second chance in this small town in Yukon’s wilderness.

Casey Duncan, the town’s detective, and her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, are surprised and skeptical when they discover a U.S. Marshall watching the town in the woods one evening as they were out for a stroll. Dalton slips off one way and Casey circles around the other way. The only reason to be on the edge of town looking toward it is “If you’re watching someone inside”. Upon apprehending the Marshall, he claims that a violent and dangerous criminal, whose name he will not mention, lives in the secluded town. Not having access to the internet, Casey is unable to verify if the Marshall is legitimate. When the Marshall is shot dead, Casey and Eric face a crisis where it appears someone in town, or even Casey’s sister, may be more dangerous than they thought. Casey not only needs to determine who the murderer is but must also find out how the Marshall discovered their small town and stop any potential leaks regarding the well-kept secret of Rockton’s location.

Each inhabitant in Rockton has a different reason for being there and each tells their own story. One day Casey is able to go into the nearby town of Dawson where she can access the internet. She searches certain names on her suspect list to see if their background stories are true, only to learn that most backgrounds given by her suspects are false. Casey’s new information leads her deeper into her investigation of determining who shot the Marshall. During her investigation other incidents happen in town that draw Casey’s attention temporarily away from the case.

Watcher in the Woods is an entertaining and suspenseful novel that has some amazing twists and turns in it. This novel is a gripping, fun read which I highly recommend.

Click here to find it at the library!


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