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Sunday, December 10, 2017

REVIEW: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine @amazonpub @rachelcaine

Stillhouse Lake
(Stillhouse Lake #1)
by Rachel Caine
Thomas & Mercer
Amazon Publishing


Huge thank you to Amazon Publishing / Thomas & Mercer for this copy!  What a thrilling read and I'm so excited to be able to dive right into book two in this series, Killman Creek.  Continue below for a synopsis of this book, my review and a blurb of book two!

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

My Review:

That prologue just immediately caught my attention and from there I could barely put the book down.  A one sit read for me and I couldn't have imagined a better Sunday - I would say relaxing but this book does NOT relax you!

Gina/Gwen and her kids have taken on new identities... again... as they have to deal with the aftermath of her husband, their father, being a serial killer who is spending life behind bars.  Families of the victims, internet trolls, fans of the killer, are after her and the kids.  They think justice still needs to be served and surely she helped him.  How could she have NOT known being married to him and sharing a bed with him every night! 

The author takes you on their journey as they try to build a life at Stillhouse Lake.  Just when they thought they'd need to run again, occurrences keep them there and now they don't know who they can trust.  As we watch Gwen berate herself for letting her guard down, we also see the stronger woman she's become since the truth of her husband has come to light.  Paranoid, standoffish and fiercely protective of her kids, she will let NOTHING come to harm them.

While the majority of the book stays on her paranoid path, it never felt redundant or made my attention waver.  I did see a couple of things coming toward the end but it never took away from the pacing of the book and kept me on the edge of my seat.  I felt myself getting extremely involved with Gwen and her kids.  The set up at the end, though not unexpected, is perfect for book two.  I'm happy to say I have a copy so that I can just go straight in and see what happens. 

It certainly makes you realize the aftermath of the innocent from the actions of the guilty.  It's not a pretty picture and certainly not so in this digital age.  I'm rooting for Gwen! (Even if she does like craft beer... ew!)


Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.

Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

You’re not safe anywhere now.

Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.

But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

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