Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake #1) by Rachel Caine

Thriller/Mystery, 301 pages, published in 2017

After a freak car accident revealed that her husband is a serial killer, Gina Royal has done everything she can to keep herself and her kids safe from the harassment of Internet trolls that thinks that she was an accomplice. She’s uprooted her kids many times at a seconds notice when threats get too close, but now, as Gwen Proctor, she is ready to settle down near the peaceful Stillhouse Lake, until bodies begin showing up in the lake.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Content Warnings: Murder (mentioned and threatened), descriptions of mutilated corpses, many mentions and uses of guns, sexual assault (mentioned and threatened), violence (shown, mentioned, and threatened), stalking, online harassment,

I thought the premise of this sounded really interesting, and overall, it was an interesting story.

This book definitely focuses on the affects of what people say online, when they can hide behind a screen. Much of the world thinks that Gwen helped her husband kill people, or at least that she knew about it, so they condemn her online for it. Her kids, who are ten and fourteen, I think, also get targeted, just for being the kids of a murderer. Gwen regularly goes through all these online threats to find any that will actually be acted upon, so it definitely affects her. This has made her very defensive and for good reason.

The setting of this book definitely added to why I enjoyed it. It’s set in a small town by a lake, where it is pretty rural and forested. This definitely plays a role in the climax of the book, but lakes in general can get kind of creepy.

Throughout the book, Gwen interacts with a fair number of people throughout the town, so once bodies begin showing up in the lake that mimic her ex-husband’s crimes, it definitely takes a little while to pinpoint who knows her true identity to taunt her. The flipside of this is that she actually begins developing some meaningful relationships around town. I really enjoyed seeing her finally allow herself to live a little bit.

I’m new to thrillers, but it seems like the few that I have read seem to be slow in the beginning, but action-heavy toward the end. That’s definitely how I felt about this book. It felt like it took forever for stuff to happen, but once it did, I was intrigued.

The ending definitely sets up for the next book. I don’t know how I feel about this, to be honest. I knew it was a series going in, but I expected it to be a more loosely related series, where each book follows different characters, but the next book definitely follows Gwen. The big event that happens at the end of the book seems a little on the ridiculous side to me, but I think it will make for an interesting story.

Overall, I thought this book was fun, if not a little slow and predictable. It’s definitely not a new favorite or anything, but I think I would like to eventually get to the sequel.

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One thought on “Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake #1) by Rachel Caine

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