BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bea Reviews Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Stillhouse Lake, Rachel Caine
Series: Stillhouse Lake #1

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: Kindle copy- purchased via Kindle 1st; paperback copy - publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: July 1st, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

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.

My Thoughts:

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. GO BUY IT. NOW!

Ahem. I really liked this book. Yea, I so did. And I want book two now but sadly the release date is December of this year. Sigh.

So, what did I love? Pretty much everything. "Stillhouse Lake" has tight plotting, excellent characterization, strong storytelling, and no lack of twists and turns. Yes, I guessed at a few of the twists but there were several that took me by surprise and shook me. The ending wraps up the major threads in the book but introduces a doozy for the next book. I felt like I should have seen it coming.

The book grabbed me right from the start and didn't let go. I read it in one sitting and other than some social media breaks and necessary breaks, I didn't put it down. I kept swiping my Kindle (I didn't read the paperback), desperate to see what would happen next. It was thrilling and heart-breaking and the pace never let up. It's very much a contemporary thriller, making use of current technology and addressing the mob behavior of people online, and the ease of stalking thanks to online sites and cellular technology.

Caine also looks at the damage done when someone is arrested and tried for a crime they didn't commit. It was an honest mistake but that doesn't ameliorate the damage. The vitriol from neighbors and total strangers, the threats, the lack of police assistance are chilling and if anything, Caine downplayed them. It certainly went a long way towards explaining Gwen's actions. 

I liked Gwen. She was hard but cared passionately about her children; she was cautious but had an optimistic streak; she was smart and clever and brave and vulnerable and fierce. I didn't always agree with her choices but I usually understood them and can't really say what I'd have done in her place. Her prime directive was the safety of her children, always. It's hard to argue with that though you could argue with her methods.

It comes to me with ruthless clarity that I've been far too militant with my kids. We've finally settled in a nice place, surrounded by peace. We don't have to act like hunted animals now. There are eight broken trails between the address the troll discovered online and us. Eight. It's time to stand down from red alert, before I damage my kids irreparably.

The other characters were well-written and utterly believable. I wanted to believe the best of all of them but knew that couldn't last and sadly, I was right. I was left with conflicted opinions about some of them after their actions in this book and can't wait to see what they do in the next book.

There was one thing that bothered me but it's a style problem, not a story problem. Thomas & Mercer's house style for books calls for the names of the branches of the US military to be written lowercase i.e. army for Army, marine for Marine, etc. This is, of course, incorrect, just ask any military protocol officer. Plus, names are capitalized. This was a frustration for me, both as a freelance copy editor and proofreader, and as a proud US Air Force brat and Army sibling. It's disrespectful to the military. Nor does it make sense. "marine" means 'pertaining to the ocean' while "a Marine" is a member of the military branch known as Marines. So, if you say "He was a marine" you are saying "He was a pertaining to the ocean". It makes no damn sense. Anyway, this bothered me enough that I marked the book 4 stars instead of 5.

Don't let that stop you from reading "Stillhouse Lake". It's a powerful, fascinating, enthralling story that will excite you, grab you, and make you think.

3 comments:

  1. Love it when twists get me like that. I've been seeing this one and every time I see that awesome cover I want it lol. Love the sound of the social media emphasis too.

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  2. Oh this sounds good! You've definitely sold me!

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  3. You know, the cover of this book caught me immediately. I'm totally going to put this on my to read list!

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