#BookReview: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine @rachelcaine

Hi everyone, today I have a review for you for a book I came across in August last year on Joan Hall’s website, which I got around to reading, finally! >>>

About the Book:

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:



I first came across this book on a fellow author’s website in August last year and finally got around to reading it.

The opening was powerful and hooked my attention. Written in first-person and present tense, it took me a while to get used to this, but I did enjoy it. The pace keeps up throughout the book, and the identity of the killer kept me guessing until very near the end. On the whole, I could relate to the characters and cared what happened to them.

Originally, I was going to rate this a five-star read, but the dop-off-a-cliff ending let it down immensely for me. While many of the threads woven through this story got tied off, the book ends on a hell of a cliffhanger, which I didn’t like at all. I’m in two minds as to whether or not I’ll look out for the next book in the series because of this.

One line that stood out for me: ‘… a gun can’t protect you unless you protect yourself mentally, emotionally, and logicaly. It’s the punctuation at the end, not the paragraph.’

All in all, an enjoyable read that gets a solid 4 stars from me.


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

Amazon Links if you’re interested: UK and US.


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©Harmony Kent 2020

12 Comments on “#BookReview: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine @rachelcaine

  1. I am a HUGE fan of Rachel Caine’s work. Her Weather Wardens series was wonderful, and her more recent Great Library series (an alternate history of the great library of Alexandria) is one of my favorite series of all time. But I knew from the blurbs that the Stillhouse Lake books were likely not for me, so I haven’t read them. Your review makes me think that was the right choice for me.

    While I love a book that sets up the next in the series, I think that’s very different from an actual cliffhanger, which, to my mind, leaves something major unresolved at a critical or dramatic point. It’s tricky to do well without upsetting readers, and it sounds like this book didn’t manage to pull it off. Enjoyed seeing what you thought of this, Harmony. You might check out some of her other work, though, particularly the Great Library books. She’s done some excellent stuff.

    • That’s good to know. I might not have looked, otherwise, as this is my first book of hers (at least that I recall!). I’ll be sure to check out the series that you’ve mentioned. Thank you, Marcia 🙂

  2. I had a huge problem with one of the key plot points in this one. In addition, it was a bit too graphic for me, and that open ending left me a bit annoyed. I don’t plan to read any more in the series. It was “okay” but I wasn’t crazy about it.

    • Yeah, there are lead-ins to the next book and then drop-offs a blatant as this. Thanks, Mae 🙂

  3. This is not an inconceivable idea, Harmony – the idea of a husband and father also being a serial killer. It is rather a dreadful and frightening one though.

    • It sure is. And I learned early in life that you can only ever know of others what they show you. Scary thought. Thanks, Robbie 🙂

  4. I really liked the book until the cliffhanger ending. Haven’t read any of the others in the series yet and not sure if I will. But overall it was an enjoyable read.