Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

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When a car accidentally crashes into the house Gina shares with her husband and two children, the aftermath is worse than she could have ever imagined. Because of the car crash, it’s revealed that her husband was actually a serial killer, and Gina had no idea. Now, she spends her time moving from place to place and changing her name as well as her kids names, in order to avoid the threats she gets from the people who think she knew about her husband’s recreational activities. Although her (now ex) husband is in prison, she doesn’t feel safe.

When Gina, now going by Gwen, ends up in Stillhouse Lake, she feels like she can finally settle down and make a home for her family. Unfortunately for Gwen, that may not be possible. When a body is discovered in the lake behind her house, killed in much the same way that her husband murdered his victims, the police start asking questions that she can’t answer. In addition to the body, threatening letters start showing up from her ex-husband…how does he know where she’s living, and how are the letters getting past prison security? Gwen will do whatever it takes to keep her children safe, even if it means revealing her true identity in the town she thought she’d finally settled down in.

I really liked the premise of this story – I’m a big fan of stories where the protagonist is being stalked in some form or another, especially if they don’t know how it’s happening. There’s something extra terrifying about knowing you can’t outrun whoever is trying to harm you. That said, I wish there was more of that in the book. I feel like it started heading in that direction, but took a detour into the relationships between the character, including Gwen’s relationship with her neighbor, and her relationship with her children. While I did appreciate those aspects, it made the middle of the book feel slower than I would have liked.

I also have mixed feelings about the end of the book. On one hand, there were a few twists I didn’t see coming, but on the other hand, I felt like quite a bit of it was too far-fetched for it to be believable. I won’t give anything away, but the end left me a little disappointed because I couldn’t quite make myself believe that all of the events that took place were actually possible and came together with no hiccups.

All in all, this was a quite read, and I liked it, though I didn’t love it. I rated this one 3.5 stars. There is a sequel to this book too, and while I’m intrigued about the possibilities the sequel may have, I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not. I feel like everything could have been wrapped up in the first book, especially given how short it was.

**How do you feel about thrillers that have elements that don’t seem realistic? Are you able to suspend disbelief for the sake of the story, or does it remove you from the book and make it hard for you to enjoy?** 

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