Book Review: “Checkmate” by Kelley Armstrong

Posted August 18, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: “Checkmate” by Kelley Armstrong

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

"Checkmate" by Kelley Armstrong
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Author on August 2009
Pages: 8
Format: PDF
Source: my own shelves
Also by this author: Omens, Wild Justice, Sea of Shadows, Visions, The Masked Truth, City of the Lost, Forest of Ruin, Betrayals, A Darkness Absolute, Indigo, Rituals, The Unquiet Past, This Fallen Prey, Stolen, Rough Justice, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, Dark Screams: Volume Nine, No Humans Involved,, Waking the Witch, Portents, Missing, Alone in the Wild, Watcher in the Woods, Otherworld Secrets, Wherever She Goes, "The Case of the Half-Demon Spy", "Truth & Consequences", "Territorial", "Escape", "Adventurer", Otherworld Chills, A Stranger in Town, "Bargain", Hex on the Beach, "Recruit", "Framed", Cursed Luck, High Jinx, Bitten, Driven, "Forsaken"

A “free short story, 9.6 in the Otherworld Stories urban fantasy series and revolving around Elena and Clay Danvers on a hunt in Winnipeg, Canada.

If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Women of the Otherworld books on my website.

My Take

“Checkmate” enlarges on a mention Elena makes in Frostbitten, 10, about tracking a killer in Winnipeg.

That start was quite confusing until I got further into the story, and there is definitely a huge red herring in this . . . if only we had Clay’s nose, sigh.

It seems that Clay and Elena have a perfect partnership, at least in being the restraining hand for each other’s weaknesses. Although it seems that there’s a dichotomy about Elena’s nose.

Armstrong is using first person protagonist point-of-view from Elena’s perspective so we hear, see, and feel her side of the action. Because, yeah, there is action that’s character-driven, the bad and the good.

It’s so Elena: her being wrong ” . . . happens rarely enough that [she doesn’t] mind admitting it”.

While the story was enjoyable and Armstrong nicely describes Elena’s and Clay’s characteristics, the ending was a pain. It was too abrupt and felt unfinished.

The Story

Prostitutes are the favored victims for man-eating mutts, and it was too dangerous to continue.

It’s a hunt in Canada to find that rogue mutt . . . and take him down.

The Characters

Elena and Clay Danvers are werewolves, part of the Stonehaven Pack in upper New York state.

There’s a john and a mutt involved in this particular hunt.

The Title

If one likens this tale to a game, it is a “Checkmate”. One the murderer thinks has worked that Clay and Elena know they’ve worked.

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