Review: Stillhouse Lake (Gwen Proctor #1) by Rachel Caine

STILL HOUSE LAKEGina 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 decided to read this book on impulse. It wasn’t on my TBR but I saw a raving review by Yvonne and knew that I had to check it out. Luckily, my NetGalley request was quickly approved. This book has one of the best prologues that I have ever read. It was so intense that I just had to know how the story would go. Needless to say, the book maintained the same pace throughout.

I really like the setting of the book. Stillhouse Lake is the kind of setting that feels like a character in itself. There is the lake and as always,  still waters hold secrets. I just knew that something would happen there. The characters added to the intrigue of the town. I don’t want to reveal much about the plot so I won’t say much about the characters. However, let me just mention that they were well-crafted. In addition, the author portrayed them in a manner that made it hard to pick out the villain(s).

The mystery in the book heightened after the discovery of a body in the lake. I just kept watching and waiting for something bad to happen. I was nervous and my mind was running wild trying to guess the killer. I mean, Gwen’s ex is in jail so who did it? At some point, everyone including the kids, the sheriffs, neighbors, and random strangers online seemed like suspects. The odd thing about this book is that I actually accurately guessed the identity of the villain(s) at some point. However, the author convinced me that I was wrong. She cleverly twisted the plot such that I started suspecting other people so I was still shocked by the reveal. I didn’t expect it when it happened and seriously thought it was perfect.

Now the ending. Good Lord! The final lines of this book had me hooked. I quickly turned the page to see if there is more but there wasn’t. I was haunted by that ending especially since it took a while before I found out that this is actually the first book in a series. I am so excited because I have only read one psychological thriller and this one is off to a great start. I hope the second book will be out soon.  I recommend this one to all fans of psychological thrillers.

22 thoughts on “Review: Stillhouse Lake (Gwen Proctor #1) by Rachel Caine

    1. This was my first book by the author and I really liked it so I will have to check out her other books. Thanks for visiting Hannah,I will come by your blog shortly 🙂

  1. Great review and happy to hear you loved it. A lot of people seem to be very annoyed about the ending and that there’s another book to come but I thought it worked really well and Caine has done the same in pretty much every other book she’s written (or at least all the ones I’ve read)

    1. Thank you.I have seen the negative comments about the ending but I loved it. I think she fully tackled the main issues in the book and the conflict was resolved. Perhaps the ending was just to prepare us for the next book though I understand why people may have hated it. I can’t wait to read the next one though and I think I need to read Caine’s other books. She is really good 🙂

  2. You’ve really me interested by saying there’s so many suspects and the ending haunted you…I love when that happens. I’m so glad I have this one and I’ll be bumping it up to the top of my tbr after your fantastic review!

  3. Glad you enjoy it that much, I agree that what you said about the ending has me curious!!! You know how much I love a good ending.

    PS Wonderful view!!

  4. Wow, I do love the sound of it, and I have to admit that Yvo reads some the most intriguing thrillers out there. A setting that feels like a character in itself also sounds super promising. Love how the author seems in extreme control of her narrative. Great review!

    1. Thank you 🙂 and yes Yvo has some really good books and her recommendations are great. If you are ever in the mood for a good thriller then I definitely recommend this one.

    1. Thanks Jackie and this one really did have a strong prologue. That doesn’t happen to me often too. I hope that you will enjoy it if you get a chance to read it 🙂

  5. Seeing your review makes me so happy! I’m glad you ended up enjoying Stillhouse Lake as much as I did… The sequel is now definitely one of my most anticipated releases. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s