Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: July 1, 2017
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 a slow burning thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire novel waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was going to rate Stillhouse Lake a solid four stars until the final few chapters. Caine’s writing and pacing is masterful in the closing chapters that I knew I had to up my rating.
The opening chapter of the novel is intriguing, but also eye roll worthy. The main character, Gina Royal, is a stereotypical housewife in that she’s aloof and kind of comes off as an airhead. Five years later, she’s reinvented herself and is no longer the same woman. I was incredibly thankful for the time jump because I couldn’t imagine reading an entire book from that perspective. Gina is the driving force of the novel. She’s had to harden herself, learn how to be independent for her children, and how to protect them at all cost. The new Gina is almost military like, so her perspective is driven and single-minded.
Stillhouse Lake is a slower paced novel. The reader is given intimate details of the past through flashbacks and internal ruminations. These key details are stretched throughout the novel, but it never feels as if the reader is missing important information to understand the motivations of the characters.
One of the aspects Caine excels at with this novel is the atmosphere and dread that no one can be trusted. From the beginning of the novel until the end, readers are left speculating whether or not certain characters are to be trusted. All of this is housed within the creepy setting of a secluded lakeside community. Caine’s descriptions paint a tranquil and beautiful lakeside community, but the unsettling nature of the reality of their lives is never far behind.
Overall, Stillhouse Lake is one thriller readers shouldn’t skip. If you’re looking for a slow paced exhilarating thriller with an explosive finale that will leave you clamoring for the sequel, Stillhouse Lake should be on the top of your TBR.
Have you read Stillhouse Lake? What did you think?