It’s that time of year when Goodreads releases their list for the Goodreads Choice Awards and I begin my frantic need to read all of the nominees! Luckily for me, I chose to start with Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. How did I spend the entire year without this book in my life?? IT WAS FANTASTIC.
The novel surrounds Gwen Proctor, formally Gina Royal, who has worked hard to create a new identity for herself and her children after her husband is arrested and put on death row for the brutal murder and torture of several women. After being on the run for several years, trying her best to keep her children safe and avoid vigilantes who would like to punish her for her husband’s wrongdoings, the family has settled in Stillhouse Lake, a small town in Tennessee. However, when the bodies of young women are found in the lake outside Gwen’s home, looking eerily similar to her ex-husband’s handy work, Gwen finds herself in harm’s way.
This book was truly on the edge of your seat thrilling from beginning to end. Not your run of the mill serial killer thriller, this one was full of psychological suspense and paranoia. I loved seeing this new perspective in a novel. It is rare to read about the aftermath of a psychopath through the eyes of the people close to them. In fact, the crimes themselves took a backseat. I loved this spin
Told in entirely her perspective, Gwen was an amazing character as she moves from sweet, naïve, Mid-Western housewife into a kick-ass, gun wheeling super mom who would kill for her children’s safety. I absolutely loved watching her transformation throughout the novel.
From the suspenseful moments to the addictive writing style, I was completely compelled from the moments I turned the first pages.
5/5 stars from me. I cannot wait to dive into Book Two!!
Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
This book was also a #cjsreads pick. Want to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one? Keep reading to find out!
What Jessica Thought:
What Chandra Thought:
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!)