Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake, #1)by Rachel Caine Published 01 Jul 2017
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|Publisher||Thomas & Mercer|
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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 (Stillhouse Lake, #1)" Reviews
Two warnings before you begin this taut thriller: It ends on a cliffhanger (book two is available and there is a third book not yet out), and there is a degree of graphic detail about women who are tortured before they are killed.
Gina Royal thinks she’s living a wonderful, suburban life with a loving husband and two great kids. Then she comes home one day to a street clogged with police cars and ambulances. A car accident has revealed that her husband’s hobby in the garage—one she never inquired about—was gruesome—he’s a serial killer.
The public thinks she was his helper. So while he’s sentenced to actual prison, Gina is on the run from public opinion which is not always confined to horrific online messages. Gina transforms herself into Gwen and for the next four years she and her kids are in hiding with new identities, never knowing who they can trust. When more bodies start showing up, the police think this is proof that Gina/Gwen was in fact in on her husband’s grotesque and unimaginably cruel activities. For her safety and the safety of her children, Gwen needs to figure out who she can trust—and who has betrayed her in the remote area where she’s been hiding out, Stillhouse Lake.
I enjoyed this fast-paced novel and am looking forward to the next two books in the series.
For more of my reviews, please visit: http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
Chilling, Thrilling and Wholly Satisfying.
Imagine waking up one day to find out that you don’t know the man you are married to. Worse yet, that he is a monster. And what’s even more horrifying? That you will never be safe after what he has done. This is the story of “Stillhouse Lake” - and boy is it one helluva ride.
On the day that Gina Royal comes home to find that a car has smashed into the garage, her life literally comes crashing down before her. Turns out her husband Melvin Royal, has been using the garage as a private workshop, to mutilate and murder women. He is a psychopath and a serial killer. And Gina had no idea. He claimed to use the garage as a woodshop and would produce a bench or a table every once in a while. He kept it dead bolted, but she never thought much of it. Silly Gina. Melvin Royal went to trial for his crimes and is now incarcerated - which he blames on his wife and he wants revenge.
After years on the run, living under various aliases, Gina is a new woman. She is now Gwen Proctor and her children are now known as Lanny and Connor, living in “Stillhouse Lake”, where they keep to themselves. Gwen is now a fierce woman who has become a sharp-shooter and has had their home outfitted with a panic room and a security system. Every day Gina Royal gets death threats via the internet and has people trying to find her. It’s a game of Eney Meeny Miny Moe and “Gwen” tries to stay one step ahead.
Then a murder happens in Stillhouse Lake and it is similar to the type of murders that Melvin Royal did. Though no one knows who they are, Gwen is worried. It’s only a matter of time. Slowly things begin to unravel for Gwen, Lanny and Connor as life takes a terrifying turn yet again.
“Stillhouse Lake” scared the heck out of me and I have a feeling that it’ll have you on the edge of your seat as well. Rachel Caine nailed it and I can’t wait to check out the sequel.
Published on Goodreads, Amazon and Twitter on 1.15.17.
Gina never asked about the garage.
That thought would keep her awake every night for years after, pulsing hot against her eyelids. I should have asked. Should have known. But she'd never asked, she didn't know, and in the end, that was what destroyed her.
There were some things that I didn't totally like in the book, but for the most part it was really good!
It's been a few years now and Gina is now Gwen and she is living in Stillhouse Lake, TN <-- I live in TN =) Gwen is living in a cabin on the lake with her two kids, Atlanta and Connor. They changed their names too. Actually, they have been different people a few times with a few different moves. But this time, Gwen is hoping they can actually have a home and stay there.
Gwen has a mysterious hacker that she pays to keep out the evil people and he lets her know when they are on her trail so she can move again. It's pretty bad. Her husband was a serial killer that tortured and killed many women. RIGHT THERE IN THEIR GARAGE. I find it really odd that Gwen never asked to go into the remade garage. You could only get in through a door on the side of the house after her husband Mel had it redone. He just said it was his workshop. Seriously, you never go to check this out. But then again we wouldn't have a book.
Unfortunately for Gwen and the kids the police don't believe her either. I can't say that I blame them but it gets really bad for them. Gwen goes to jail for a bit and her mom watches the kids and tries to keep them hidden. When Gwen gets out, she gets the kids and they are on the run. The reason they have to run is because all of the haters that believe she was in on it are threatening her and the kids. I mean these people are saying some horrific things they want to do to Gwen and the kids. I mean the kids too? It's just unreal and sadistic. Even if you think she had something to do with it you don't mess with the kids!
Everything is finally going good at the lake house. The kids are making friends after a rocky start. Gwen does online work so they have money. They meet a friend neighbor, Sam, who helps them fix up the house. Gwen takes shooting practice at the local range and made a friend there. It's all looking up until . . .
letters start to arrive from her husband in jail. A dead woman is found in the lake, killed the same way her husband killed his women. Gwen can't win for losing. She pays a visit to Mel in jail and threatens him. Of course that doesn't help and Gwen is taken in for questioning about the body. Everyone finds out who her and the kids are and they get people trying to kill them.
Then the kids get kidnapped by a psycho fan of her husband. Lets just leave it at that.
Gwen does get the kids back with the help of a friend and a cop. Then the wonderful news at the end and I'm not going to tell you what it is, but it isn't good. But I think Gwen will be able to handle it.
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
4.5, PSA: if your partner has a “secret room” burn it TO THE GROUND stars!!!
Full review featured on my blog Recipe and a Read!!!
Gina Royal is a good wife. She is an exceptional mother. She takes care of house and home like a juggernaut – doing what society, and her husband has told her is her most important job, to the detriment of her own well-being. She loves her children with everything she has, and while her marriage has its hiccups and that proverbial “spark” may be gone, Mel is a good father, a good husband and a good man – right?
And that’s when she had one single, awful realization. It’s not a doll. And against all her best intentions, she began to scream and couldn’t stop.
When a drunk driver crashes his car into the Royal’s garage – no one, especially Gina Royal has any idea that in doing so Pandora’s box is about to be opened and all of her husbands monstrous acts of murder and torture are about to be set free for all the public to see, condemn and judge. After being tried and acquitted as an accomplice to her husband’s murders Gina (now Gwen Proctor) and her children have been on the run from internet trolls and her husbands long shadow in attempt to return to a life that resembles normal.
But I’ve kept them safe from the wolves, at least: the most basic and important job of a parent, to keep her offspring from being eaten by predators. Even the ones I can’t see.
Finally, after a trial and immense struggles Gwen and her family have found the lovely lakeside town of Stillhouse to settle. She’s purchased a house and she finally feels she may have found a home here. Then, a body turns up right outside their back door – the signature the same as her now incarcerated husband and Gwen’s carefully constructed secrecy comes crashing down.
This read had me utterly gripped from start to finish. When I read the first line of the book “I should’ve checked the garage.” I was honestly, immediately turned off. I found myself incredulous as to how someone could let an entire section of their house be prohibited to them. However, this is where Caine’s incredible skill shines. She develops this story and it’s character with a level of detail that left me in awe. As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of thrillers rely on entertaining versus likable characters and I’m pleased to say Stillhouse Lake falls in the latter category.
Ultimately this ends up being rounded down because I was left a bit disappointed by the development into the final twist(s) and the motives behind who ended up committing the final crimes. While Caine did a phenomenal job developing the base of the story and it’s characters the ending felt a bit haphazard to me. However, overall I thoroughly enjoyed this read and will be picking up the second installment ASAP!
I read this as a Traveling Friends read and it’s an excellent one to discuss with others, there are lots of areas for speculation and red herrings flying every which way!
This was exciting from beginning to end! I love this spin on the typical serial killer thriller; here, we see the focus on the family the monster left behind. My nerves constantly ramped up as the tension grew; this was compulsive reading at its finest and I'm so glad I was able to snag this with my Kindle Unlimited membership. I was a bit surprised to see so many typos and formatting issues though; I don't read enough finished ebook copies to know if maybe this is normal? Anyway, it wasn't enough to deter me from devouring the book and I am eagerly anticipating book 2 in December!
My reviews can also be found at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...
I’ve been trying to stay away from reading any new series until I finish the ones I’ve already started. However, I’ve been seeing “Stillhouse Lake” pop up everywhere lately, and after reading the description and a few reviews, I had to admit, I was intrigued. I decided I had to read it... and I’m really glad I did.
Normally, Gina Royal is home at three in the afternoon, but her husband, Mel, has called and asked her to pick up the children as he has a work emergency. He was sorry to have disturbed her routine. He was kind that way, the “best, most charming man”. A great father to seven-year-old, Brady and ten-year-old, Lily.
“Normal life. Comfortable life. Not perfect, of course. Nobody had a perfect marriage, did they? But Gina was satisfied, at least most of the time.”
She’s looking forward to watching a movie with Mel and the kids that evening. Family time is one of Mel’s favorite things. His other favorite thing is spending time in his workshop, working on his projects. Gina never asks what he’s working on.
When Gina gets back with the children, the street is filled with police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks. She sees that her bushes are flattened, as well as her mailbox. Then she sees the SUV embedded halfway into the garage—Mel’s workshop.
Now Gina’s life is about to come crashing down around her.
When she gives her name to the police their attitude towards her becomes aggressive. She thinks they must have her mixed up with someone else. She is read her rights and she feels like she’s in a nightmare….this can’t be happening. Then the police officer shows her the garage…and what Mel was really doing in his workshop….and she starts to scream.
Four years later…..
New Names, new state, new home, and a new life. They are definitely not in Kansas anymore.
Gina Royal no longer exists…she’s now Gwen Proctor. And there are a LOT of differences between the two. Where Gina was weak and submissive, Gwen is strong and dominant.
Gwen wants to set down some roots, give the kids a sense of stability and safety. She wants to leave Gina and everything else behind…The accident. The arrests. The trials. THE EVENT. However, there are people who just won’t let that happen. People who believe that she really was “ Melvin’s Little Helper ”.
“ The Sicko Patrol ” is what they call Gwen’s daily internet searches. She needs to keep an eye on what’s being said about her and her children, in case the trolls aren’t just blowing off steam. She forces herself to read just how much people hate her and the vile things they say.
“On and on and on. I leave Reddit, go to Twitter, find more threats, more hate, more vitriol—just in concise, 140-character bites.”
But some are more dangerous than others….
“The ones who are more interested in us, in Melvin Royal’s missing family…those are the ones who are dangerous.”
All she wants to do is survive and keep her kids safe. She runs crisis drills. They have an escape plan. They have an alarm set at all times, and Gwen is armed to the teeth!
Melvin is in jail but why does Gwen feel like things aren’t done?
And then the police come knocking…
“Something very bad has just begun”
Well, this was quite a read! I’m surprised at how quickly I flew through this novel. I devoured it in just two days. There is some violence; I did have to skim a few parts, but not enough to spoil the book for me.
“Stillhouse Lake” is an intense and action-packed thriller. A dark and twisted story of betrayal and murder. The ending had me rushing to find book two of the series as I was desperate to find out what was going to happen next.
A killer read!