And yet only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It's up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Watcher in the Woods is the fourth book in the Rockton series and we're back in the Yukon where there is another murder for Detective Casey Butler to solve. While that's not overly surprising, there are some really great additions to the city of Rockton that keeps the series moving and we're slowly getting some answers about questions from early books. Watcher in the Woods picks up days after This Fallen Prey, so be ready to jump right into the story.
Love the Introduction of April and Sebastian
I really, really loved that these two characters were introduced. There hasn't been much change up in characters that we should actually care about in the last book or two, so April and Sebastian both come into the series at a great time. I won't give too much away about either character, but both of them are very intriguing and I'm really excited to see how they change the dynamic of Rockton. April and Casey's relationship has a long was to go, but with the help of Kenny that gap might be closed. And while Sebastian has a minimal role in this book, I can definitely see how his role will grow later on!
Getting Some Answers
A huge surprise at the end of the novel was Petra's role in Oliver's death, which fractured her and Casey's relationship and left us wondering what Petra is really doing in Rockton. I LOVED that we weren't left hanging, but instead got answers about why this all happened. I've been a fan of Petra's since City of the Lost, so it was great to get deeper into her actual history and understand her better. Likewise, Casey is finally starting to get an inkling of understanding about how the hostiles have become so...hostile. This storyline has been on the backburner since book one and I've been dying for it to become one of the main mysteries Casey and Eric have to solve. While it's still not their main focus yet, I'm hopeful that we'll be more about this in the next book. There is a lot happening in Rockton and it looks like it might be time for us to start finding out all its secrets.
The Murders and Romance are Starting to Feel a Bit Repetitive
This is a hard one for me to fully explain how I'm feeling about the book. While the series has structured itself on the premise that the small, hidden town of Rockton continues to experience disasters involving murder and mayhem, it's also beginning to feel a bit stale. The Watcher in the Woods, like This Fallen Prey, tends to both spend a lot of time explaining what happened in previous books while also once again being about a murderer on the loose. I also love that Casey and Eric have a strong foundation, but I'd like to see their relationship develop further. At this point, there's been almost no character growth since the second (maybe third) novel. This seems like a disservice to the characters that Armstrong has created and I'd really enjoy reading about what their next step becomes (will they actually ever leave Rockton?).
Overall, this was a good addition to the Rockton series. While it sometimes felt like an "in between" book, it was also a great way to bring some new characters and plot lines to the forefront. I'm predicting that the next book in the series gives us a lot of hostile fights and hopefully more investigation into what is causing them to become this way. In the meantime, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the rest of the Rockton books or just a fan of Kelley Armstrong!
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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