Review: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Stillhouse LakeStillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A exciting, well written edge of the seat thriller that left me almost as paranoid as the main character. This is a book you won’t be able to stop reading.

“What kind of idiot did you have to be to have that going on in your house, your bed, your marriage, and not be part of it? I’m still dimly surprised anyone ever acquitted me at all. I haven’t begun to forgive Gina Royal.”


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.


Up until now I’d only come across Rachel Caine through her YA Morganville Vampire and Great Library series so I wasn’t sure what to expect from a thriller.

What I got was an edge of the seat and exciting thriller that I literally couldn’t put down. I found myself reading it late into the night, early morning and at every other possible opportunity.

I didn’t expect to like main character Gina/Gwen (I’m one of those who think the relatives of people who do evil things must know something) but Caine’ s writing is so good that after a few pages I was right behind her and more importantly I believed in her. There’s just something admirable about someone who’s so absolutely determined to protect her kids. She does come across a little bit paranoid at the start but really she’s incredibly single minded and gutsy which makes it difficult not to like her.

The story is pretty much a who dunnit, as the bodies of victims of gruesome crimes are found in the lake and the finger begins pointing in Gwen’s direction. There are however plenty of other suspects to choose from, including a number of other residents in the area as well as the online trolls who have been hunting Gina looking for payback. Gina/Gwen’s distrust of just about every one she comes in contact with seemed to rub off on me and I don’t think I trusted a single person. I think I had almost every character identified as the likely culprit at some point. I’m usually someone who’s quick to figure out the murderer (years of reading thrillers and watching cop shows) but this definitely kept me guessing, something I absolutely loved.

The success of books like this pretty much come down to the ending and in my opinion this one was suitably climactic with a couple more twists revealed right at the very end. This looks like it’s the first in a series so be warned not everything is wrapped up and there are a few loose ends which I know some readers will find frustrating. Personally I don’t mind and am really looking forward to another installment.

Definitely a book I’d recommend if you’re looking for a good suspense thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder.

I received this book free from Amazon through Kindle First.

3 thoughts on “Review: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

  1. […] I really, really liked this book. It has the feel of quite a traditional who dunnit but brought right up to date with internet trolls, social media etc. It definitely kept me guessing (which is rare with the number of murder mysteries I’ve read/watched) and I really liked main character Gwen/Gina which I did not expect. You can read my review here. […]


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