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Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake Series) Paperback – July 1, 2017
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“In this rapid-fire thriller…Caine spins a powerful story of maternal love and individual self-realization.” —Publishers Weekly
“Amazing.” —Night Owl Reviews (Top Pick)
“A chilling thriller…Stillhouse Lake is a great summer read.” —Criminal Element
“Stillhouse Lake is a true nail-biter right up to the end.” —Fresh Fiction
“Highly entertaining and super intense!” —Novel Gossip
“What a fantastic book!” —Seattle Book Review
About the Author
Rachel Caine is the #1 internationally bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Morganville Vampires and The Great Library young adult series. She’s written suspense, mystery, paranormal suspense, urban fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal young adult fiction. Caine and her husband, award-winning artist, comic historian, and actor R. Cat Conrad, live in Fort Worth, Texas.
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I thoroughly enjoyed the originality of this story. We rarely see things from the perspective of the killer's family in the aftermath of his destruction. This is a fascinating look at human nature, both in the family's desperation to come to terms with the new reality of their lives and in the way society judges, condemns, and persecutes them.
So I should have loved this book. In fact I did, in many respects. But at the end I'm left grumbling with annoyance.
Before I get to what is, for me, the major flaw, there are two minor irritants to mention. First, the prologue is written in third person, from Gina's perspective, yet the rest of the book is written in first person. I can only assume the reasoning was to put distance between Gina before she knew about her husband, and Gina, who became Gwen, after the event. That's just my assumption, and the author could have had a completely different reason. I found it odd but not troubling. Some readers, however, might sample this book, find it's written in third person, buy it, and be irritated to find it's written in first person. I know some readers don't like first person storytelling.
Second, the entire plot relies on us believing that Gina never, not even once, stepped into her garage, which was her husband's workshop and, apparently, killing ground. I can't imagine a scenario in which I wouldn't, at some point, have the need to go ask my husband something or the desire to see what he was doing. There were also two young children who must have been well trained in leaving dad alone. This part was a bit of a leap for me, but not so much that I couldn't settle in and enjoy the story.
What killed this one for me was the ending. Or, I should say, the non-ending. This is not a stand-alone book. We're left with a major cliffhanger. The story is in no way self-contained, and to know what happens with Gina/Gwen and her kids you'll have to wait until the next book comes out. There is no mention of this being the first in a series, and so I have no idea when that next book will be released or even if the next book will resolve the cliffhanger.
I've noticed, much to my dismay, this trend of cliffhangers forcing us to read the next book, and then the next one after that. I don't know whether this is coming from the publishers or a segment of authors trying to push the purchase of followup books. Either way, I am not a fan. I love a series, but I also want the main plot to be resolved at the end. Cliffhangers feel too much like extortion - buy the next book or you'll never know what happens with these characters you're already invested in.
The story tells about the backlash of a woman who had no idea her husband, the father of her two children, was a sociopathic monster. She bears the media and hate from the people that believe she knew and even assisted with her serial killing husband's devious killings.
She spends a year fighting accomplice charges and then flees, having to move and uproot her children and constantly stay on the run to avoid the threats she continues to receive on a daily basis- against her and her children. People write nasty things of what they would do to her and her children and she has no choice but to reinvent herself and remain on the move.
When she settles at Stillwater lake and buys a cabin, she thinks she may have finally found a home...but the danger follows and there are so many twists and turns and plot spins that it's impossible to put the book down. I don't want to give away any details that make the book what it is, but definitely give five stars and then some to this one. Got to go add the next in the series to my To Read list !!!
This is a well told story about a woman married to a serial killer who targeted and terrorized young women. He did this for years without his wife's knowledge. As his wife later said "He learned to play human well." We watch as Gina, whose name is now Gwen, does everything possible to protect her children from knowing the depth of their father's depravity and how many sick people spew their hatred at Gwen on the internet years after she had been found innocent of any wrong doing.
This is a fast paced book that is hard to put down. I read into the wee hours to see how the book ended. I will say there are a lot of twists and turns and surprises that will not disappoint you. The characters are so well developed I never noticed anything that felt out of place. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good suspense/thriller story.