Stillhouse Lake, Book #1
By Rachel Caine
Author’s Website: http://www.rachelcaine.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
Gina Royal had the perfect marriage to Mel and had two wonderful kids. They lived in a nice suburban home in Kansas and were living the dream … until it all came crashing down around them.
Gina was on her way home from picking her kids up from school when she noticed a traffic accident up ahead, a drunk driver had crashed into their garage, Mel’s workshop, and revealed his dark dirty secret. His workshop wasn’t just a place for him to fiddle with woodworking, but is where he took the women he kidnapped. He raped, tortured, and killed women just feet away from his family and they never even suspected a thing. Nobody could believe his wife knew nothing about his depravities and she was tried as an accessory. She was later acquitted, but most people felt she was guilty and got away with it. Gina had to go on the run with her kids to protect them from those wanting to carry out their own form of justice. She had to toughen up and leave Gina dead in the past, she will never be that naïve victim again.
Their latest home is on Stillhouse Lake, once a gated community for the rich, but the wealthy have moved on, most of the houses being foreclosed on. In fact, Gwen (Gina’s latest name) bought this house at such an auction and fixed it up to make it livable. Gwen sees the damage that living on the run for the past several years has had on her children. And, for once she’s tempted to stay put so her kids can finally put down some roots and heal. But then a body is found floating in the lake, very similar to Mel’s victims. Once her identity is revealed all eyes point to her and then Mel’s followers and those with vigilante justice on their minds learn where they are. Gwen and her kids are in more danger now than they’ve ever been in. Even those people Gwen thought she could trust, prove otherwise. However, she won’t go down without a fight and will do whatever it takes to protect her children.
Wow! That’s all I can really say, this book left me speechless! I absolutely loved it! I am happy to see it’s the beginning of a series so we’ll get to see more from this incredible family and amazing author!
Gina was once a naïve housewife that we got to see develop into a strong take no-prisoners kind of woman. We saw Gina when the horror of her husband’s life was revealed to her and my heart truly went out to her. You can see how people wouldn’t believe she wasn’t involved, but as we learn, Mel really is a master manipulator and he’s not done with her yet!
The kids were the real victims in this story, and they had to grow up long before they should have had to. They were kids, each with their own problems that they struggled with, from constantly having to move and having to deal with their mom’s paranoia. But considering everything they have been through they were two really great kids!
There were several suspects for whom was behind the murders and working with/for Mel. I was able to figure out the townie that was involved, but I never suspected the betrayal of another long-time confidant of Gwen’s. That one actually stunned me quite a bit.
This is one of those books that leaves you in stunned silence when it’s all over and done with. There is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end and I for one can’t wait for December when the next installment is set to be released! Maybe there might even be a romance in Gwen’s future! I will definitely be reading more from this talented author! If you love a good suspenseful mystery where the bad guy truly is a complete psychopath, you should definitely check out Stillhouse Lake!