Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday #Review - Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine #Mystery #Thriller

Series: Stillhouse Lake # 1
Format: E-Galley, 302 pages
Release Date: July 1, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: NetGalley/Publisher
Genre: Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological

An Amazon Charts most-read 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.

Stillhouse Lake is the first installment in author Rachel Caine's Stillhouse Lake series. 4 years ago, Gina Royal's world was shattered to pieces when a drunk driver smashed into her garage. Little did she know that she was married to a serial killer. A serial killer who used the families garage to do his savagery before dumping them into water. After being accused of being her former husband Melvin Royals, accessory, Gina, (innocent of all charges) changes her name to Gwen Procter.

Gwen has tried to keep at least 8 trails ahead of her last address, even it it means moving and changing her name several more times.  There are dangerous internet trolls who would love to see Gwen get the same thing her ex did to the women he murdered. Call her paranoid, but with good reason. Staying ahead of those pursuing her has came with high costs, but high costs are worth the price to pay to keep her kids safe. Gwen's latest home finds her in Stillhouse Lake, Tennessee. A nice change of pace and a hope that she and her kids can finally feel like they can live again. 

The kids finally have friends. She finds a connection to a man named Sam Cade who is writing a book. Gwen feel as though she can finally settle down and no longer run at the first sign of trouble. That is until a body is found floating in the lake and the first person who is on the top of the police suspects list becomes Gwen.. Why is this a problem? Because Mel used to dump his victims in the water. Because the body shows signs that this could someone with intimate knowledge of Mel's killing style. Gwen and her kids become ideal targets for those who are looking for pay back, and to send a message to Gwen that she isn't safe anywhere.

Gwen isn't the first woman in the history to not know what their spouses where doing while being married to them. But, Gwen really should have seen some signs. You can call her clueless. You can call her gullible, and you can call her innocent of the charges the police tried to bring against her. But, in the end, Gwen isn't anyone's victim. She is strong. She is brave. She is a lioness protecting her cubs from anyone who attempts to do them harm. She has no room to trust anyone, and that trust becomes an issue with everyone she meets in this community, including Sam, and the Detective who makes the wrong assumptions about Gwen. 

No matter how you look at this story, the kids are the victims. They had to come to grips with what their father did. They had to go on the run for fear of being used against their mother. They become innocent targets for those trying to impress an sociopathic killer. The other issue is internet trolls, and how absolutely dangerous they are. You've all heard of doxing. You've all heard of cyber stalking. As parents you probably have worried sick over your kids putting too much personal information online. If this story doesn't scare the bloody crap out of you, you are immune to how awful this world can really be. 

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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