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Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake Series Book 1) by [Caine, Rachel]
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Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 302 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Editor

I recently read that at any given time there are between twenty-five and fifty active serial killers in the United States. Stillhouse Lake poses the question, what if one of those serial killers was your spouse? While reading this compelling thriller, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do if I discovered that for years I had been sleeping next to a monster, blithely unaware of the crimes committed right under my nose.

Gina Royal was a dutiful wife and loving mother of two wonderful children living in a comfortable house in the Midwest. I know many women like her, and maybe you do too. Her charismatic husband, Mel, was a good provider and an attentive father. They were the epitome of a perfectly average family. Until Mel’s horrid secret life was uncovered.

In the brutal aftermath, Gina becomes Gwen Proctor, the ex-wife of a serial killer, living in hiding with her traumatized children, and Mel is in prison. Even from a distance he is a threat to her, manipulating both his fans and enemies against her. In response, Gwen teaches herself how to handle weapons expertly and gets in the best physical shape of her life. She exhibits almost superhuman strength—like those fabled mothers who can lift cars off their children.

Stillhouse Lake is a story of determination and guts that illustrates the lengths to which a person will go to start again. In Gwen Proctor, master storyteller Rachel Caine has created a woman transformed by evil who is single-minded in her quest to keep her children safe. If I was in Gwen’s shoes, I hope I would also unflinchingly stare down the monster—even if that monster was once the love of my life.

- Liz Pearsons, Editor


Product description

Product Description

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.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2244 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (1 July 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MFGX5GI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'Stillhouse Lake' is an extraordinary read. It is so rare to read a book that is utterly original but the transformation of our heroine from everyday housewife to alpha mother protector with focus and unparalleled determination sets this read apart.

This is every wife’s nightmare - enjoying the simple life, a good husband, 2 great kids a comfortable home in Kansas - a normal life.... to a world who has come crushing down unexpectedly when a car smashed into her husbands workshop and revealed the shocking double life of her husband... 'Melvin Royal is a contagious, fatal disease.' - who is in fact a serial killer.

This is in fact a terrifying story. The graphic descriptions from the haters and the trolls are diabolical...
'Hope Gina and her kids get raped and ripped and hung up like meat so people can spit on them. Mutilating Mel don’t deserve a family. That one’s accompanied by a crime scene photo of someone else’s kids shot and dumped in a ditch. The callous hypocrisy is breathtaking. This troll is exploiting someone else’s personal horror to make his point about mine. He doesn’t care about children.'

As Gina reinvents herself as Gwen Proctor with a license to carry a gun and move to Stillhouse Lake, Tennessee. Running for her and her children's life, as the crazy trolls, stawlkers and fans are brutal, it's like nothing I've ever read...
'"How can we make her suffer? Suggestions? Anybody got eyes on the bitch?" On and on and on. I leave Reddit, go to Twitter, find more threats, more hate, more vitriol—just in concise, 140-character bites. Then the blogs. 8chan. The true crime message boards. The websites that are shrines to Mel’s crimes.' Just when a sense of normality 4 years later looks achievable and things appear to be settling...
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By robbie TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 June 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I honestly could not stop reading this book. I ignored my hungry dogs, snapped at my husband who kept trying to talk to me. This book is great. Absolutely recommend
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Format: Kindle Edition
Great depth in the story, loved it, Rachel Caine is an excellent story teller, and this is a great story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Full of suspense, can't wait for the next book in the series
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 1,293 reviews
424 of 440 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Story - Major Cliffhanger 6 June 2017
By Darcia Helle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rachel Caine is a gifted writer. Her storytelling evokes emotion, not just allowing me to feel the characters' emotions, but ensuring I have no choice. Her ability to weave suspense put me on edge, my muscles tense in anticipation.

I thoroughly enjoyed the originality of this story. We rarely see things from the perspective of the killer's family in the aftermath of his destruction. This is a fascinating look at human nature, both in the family's desperation to come to terms with the new reality of their lives and in the way society judges, condemns, and persecutes them.

So I should have loved this book. In fact I did, in many respects. But at the end I'm left grumbling with annoyance.

Before I get to what is, for me, the major flaw, there are two minor irritants to mention. First, the prologue is written in third person, from Gina's perspective, yet the rest of the book is written in first person. I can only assume the reasoning was to put distance between Gina before she knew about her husband, and Gina, who became Gwen, after the event. That's just my assumption, and the author could have had a completely different reason. I found it odd but not troubling. Some readers, however, might sample this book, find it's written in third person, buy it, and be irritated to find it's written in first person. I know some readers don't like first person storytelling.

Second, the entire plot relies on us believing that Gina never, not even once, stepped into her garage, which was her husband's workshop and, apparently, killing ground. I can't imagine a scenario in which I wouldn't, at some point, have the need to go ask my husband something or the desire to see what he was doing. There were also two young children who must have been well trained in leaving dad alone. This part was a bit of a leap for me, but not so much that I couldn't settle in and enjoy the story.

What killed this one for me was the ending. Or, I should say, the non-ending. This is not a stand-alone book. We're left with a major cliffhanger. The story is in no way self-contained, and to know what happens with Gina/Gwen and her kids you'll have to wait until the next book comes out. There is no mention of this being the first in a series, and so I have no idea when that next book will be released or even if the next book will resolve the cliffhanger.

I've noticed, much to my dismay, this trend of cliffhangers forcing us to read the next book, and then the next one after that. I don't know whether this is coming from the publishers or a segment of authors trying to push the purchase of followup books. Either way, I am not a fan. I love a series, but I also want the main plot to be resolved at the end. Cliffhangers feel too much like extortion - buy the next book or you'll never know what happens with these characters you're already invested in.
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy @#%€!!! 3 June 2017
By Michele Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow! This book had me hooked from line one. And to end it with such a dang cliffhanger- OMG!! How long am I going to have to wait to read the rest!!!??? I love this author's other works but this is the first suspense novel I've read that she's written and I have to say - the woman is extremely gifted.

The story tells about the backlash of a woman who had no idea her husband, the father of her two children, was a sociopathic monster. She bears the media and hate from the people that believe she knew and even assisted with her serial killing husband's devious killings.

She spends a year fighting accomplice charges and then flees, having to move and uproot her children and constantly stay on the run to avoid the threats she continues to receive on a daily basis- against her and her children. People write nasty things of what they would do to her and her children and she has no choice but to reinvent herself and remain on the move.

When she settles at Stillwater lake and buys a cabin, she thinks she may have finally found a home...but the danger follows and there are so many twists and turns and plot spins that it's impossible to put the book down. I don't want to give away any details that make the book what it is, but definitely give five stars and then some to this one. Got to go add the next in the series to my To Read list !!!
79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! 3 June 2017
By Reader of the Pack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is my pick from the Kindle First June selection. My first reaction is WOW! Great opening scene, having Gina and her two young children in the car, unable to return home because their street is blocked by emergency vehicles. The children are scared when a policeman pulls their mom out the car. She's confused because there's a car smashed into their garage and the police are treating her like the criminal. When Gina sees the naked woman hung by a wire noose inside the garage, she begins screaming and thinks she will never stop.

This is a well told story about a woman married to a serial killer who targeted and terrorized young women. He did this for years without his wife's knowledge. As his wife later said "He learned to play human well." We watch as Gina, whose name is now Gwen, does everything possible to protect her children from knowing the depth of their father's depravity and how many sick people spew their hatred at Gwen on the internet years after she had been found innocent of any wrong doing.

This is a fast paced book that is hard to put down. I read into the wee hours to see how the book ended. I will say there are a lot of twists and turns and surprises that will not disappoint you. The characters are so well developed I never noticed anything that felt out of place. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good suspense/thriller story.
125 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STILLHOUSE LAKE 2 June 2017
By SWH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my Kindle First pick for June, and it is exactly what it claims to be - a psychological thriller. Gwen (or Gina) has moved her family several times trying to escape the people (and her husband-in prison) who want to hurt them. She's gone from naive wife of a serial killer to a gun toting, over-protective mother running for her life. The story is very realistic, you can feel their fear and worry for their safety. There are a lot of twists and turns- love the suspense- love the book.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but decent 9 June 2017
By Nathan Schwinnen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you get past the completely unbelievable (to me anyway) scenario that is the basis of this story, it is a pretty good book.

The idea of the book is that Gwen (formerly Gina Royal) is the ex-wife of a serial killer who was arrested as his accomplice but was acquitted. After her acquittal, she takes her two small children and basically goes into hiding. She moves her family and changes their identities multiple times in order to avoid danger. Her current location is Stillhouse Lake, 4 years after being arrested. What dangers is she running from? She is hiding from all the internet trolls who believed she was guilty and want to do her and her children harm in retaliation for the brutal murders her husband committed. These murders were carried out in the family garage and many people find it hard to believe she did not know what was going on. I don't find that part hard to believe. The author does a nice job of depicting Gwen/Gina as an obedient housewife who was not permitted to enter the garage, which the husband had modified into a workshop. What I find completely ridiculous is the idea that they would need to run and hide from people wanting revenge for such an extended period of time. I may be naïve, but I don't think people have long enough attention spans to hunt her family down for 4 years.
Other than that flaw, I found the book to be pretty good. Gwen, with all her paranoia, is somewhat annoying as the main character. You still want her to come out on top in the end, but she does, says or thinks things that just seem to make no sense sometimes. I think the action takes a little long to develop, but once it does, the story is pretty suspenseful and you will want to keep reading to see what happens.
I have seen other reviews warn about this being a cliffhanger. I don't really agree with that. There is a development at the very end of the book that is clearly leading to a sequel, but that comes after the resolution of the issues in this story. I found this development annoying and stupid, but it didn't leave anything unresolved for me.