My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One of my most anticipated reads, the sequel to Stillhouse Lake didn’t let me down. It’s a fast paced and gripping story that still has a few surprises in store.
Spoiler Alert: as Killman Creek is a sequel both the blurb and my review contain spoilers for Stillhouse Lake.
Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.
Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…
You’re not safe anywhere now.
Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.
But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.
I was blown away by Stillhouse Lake when I read it a few months ago so I was beyond excited to finally get my hands on a copy of sequel Killman Creek from NetGalley and while my expectations were ridiculously high, Caine didn’t let me down.
Whereas Stillhouse Lake was a good old fashioned who dunnit which kept you guessing till the very end this is a much different type of thriller. Unlike the first book where Gwen was very much on the defensive this time she’s going on the attack. Her serial killer ex-husband is still on the loose and with help from hacker Absolom he seems to be able to find her and her children everywhere they go. She’s fed up of running and hiding though so she stashes the children Lanny and Connor somewhere safe while she and Sam go hunting.
Due to the nature of the story there’s a lot less mystery this time around, it’s more a game of cat and mouse, but that’s not to say there isn’t the odd unexpected twist and there are still a lot of questions over who can be trusted. It’s a fast paced and gripping story that does somehow make you question everything you previously thought was true.
Rather than being told solely from Gwen’s point of view, Killman Creek is told from multiple pov’s, something that took a little bit of getting used to. As well as Gwen, there are also chapters from Sam, Lanny and Connor’s points of view and while I liked some more than others it did add a new and interesting perspective to the story and let us get to know the other characters a bit better.
I have to say I do love Gwen/Gina. She does get put through the wringer time after time but no one can say she isn’t a fighter and I love how she always puts her kids first. Sam is quite an intriguing character, brother to one of Gwen’s ex-husband’s victims, he’s out for vengeance but is very confused about his feelings towards Gwen. It was great to see them spending so much time alone together this time around. The way the dynamic between them shifts and changes makes for some brilliant reading.
As for Lanny and Connor, gah!!! I know they’re young but really? Did they have to do everything they weren’t supposed to do? So frustrating but you just know they’re going to do the stupid thing that lands everyone in danger.
There aren’t very many new characters, and the ones there are come and go fairly quickly with only one or two making much of an impression, but really this is all about the relationships between those we know, so who cares.
This is pretty much non stop action and suspense from beginning to end and the final explosive showdown makes it all worthwhile. Caine’s writing is as always brilliant, creating just the right balance of tension, action and the more emotional scenes which keep you connected to and rooting for the characters.
Overall I thought this was a great conclusion to the story and definitely one I’d recommend.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an ARC. As always all views are my own.
Killman Creek will be published on the 12th December