Ciao, SEers. It’s time for a Friday book share. Today, I’m going to talk about a book from the psychological thriller genre, Stillhouse Lake by Rachael Caine. (If you read my personal blog, you already saw my review of this plus the rest of the series. If you don’t follow me but are interested in all three reviews, you can find them here.)
What first drew me to this book was the cover. I tend to gravitate to earth tones and not so much cool colors, but this one really sucked me in. Maybe it’s the color of her name (orange is my favorite color), maybe it’s the monochromatic look of the rest of the cover (I love a monochromatic palette), maybe it was the mood it evoked… I don’t know. But I couldn’t stop admiring it. Then I read the blurb.
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.
I have to admit, I went from admiring the cover to being compelled to read the book. And I’m glad I did.
Here’s my five-star review:
I enjoy reading many genres, but maybe none more so than psychological thrillers. When I saw a book promising to focus on the family of the serial killer rather than the killer, the hunted, or the cops investigating the crimes, I was intrigued. A few paragraphs in, I was hooked.
The author now has a new fan.
Rachel Caine already has a huge following, and I can see why. This book is written in first person, which I always say I don’t prefer. But the premise of the story made me willing to risk it. And now, I can’t imagine a different perspective. I was completely drawn into the main character’s inner turmoil. I am a proud mother, so I understand the character’s Mama Bear desperation to protect her kids. I am not, however, in a situation remotely similar to hers. Yet I feel like I was. My heart pounded right along with hers, my stomach lurched when hers did. Such a vibrant rendering of a character is difficult to do, and Caine made it look effortless.
The pace was fast but easy to follow. The setting, at times serene and at times frightening, became another character and advanced the plot. The supporting cast was every bit as nuanced as the main characters. The way all the threads came together while the villains’ plans unraveled was a joy to witness. Authors don’t often surprise me, but I have to admit it took me longer to guess who the true adversaries were than usual. And I loved that.
I read this book in one day, and I’ve already downloaded other Caine titles. This was an easy five-star recommendation from me.
So, there you have it. My two cents on a book that introduced me to a now-favorite author. If you like psychological thrillers, you should check out her work.
Have you read anything by Rachel Caine? Do you have another psychological thriller author you’d like to recommend? Let’s talk about it. Share your thoughts in the comments.