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review 2017-11-02 22:20
Stillhouse Lake
Stillhouse Lake - Rachel Caine

Stillhouse Lake Series #1

By: Rachel Caine

ISBN: 978-1477848661

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 7/1/2017 

Format: Kindle

My Rating: 5 Stars


WOW! STILLHOUSE LAKE by Rachel Caine is A riveting heart-pounding psychological thriller . . . My first book by the author and anxiously awaiting #2! What an incredible writer - an addictive, deliciously evil new series. I can see this playing out on Amazon Video. 

Meet Gina Royal from Wichita, Kansas. 

Gina never asked about the garage. That thought would keep her awake every night for years. “I should have asked. Should have known. But she had never asked. She didn’t know. In the end, that was what destroyed her.

Her husband, Mel was charming. Their children Brady and Lily. That day, her husband called with an emergency. She needed to pick up the kids. Mel loved their family life. His second-favorite thing: wood-working in his shop. More than wood-working going down in the garage. 

“Normal life. Comfortable life. Not perfect, of course. Nobody had a perfect marriage, did they? But Gina was satisfied at least most of the time.”

However, that day when she arrived home there were police cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck. Their mailbox. Their lawn. Their house. 

An SUV had crashed into their garage. (Mel’s workshop). Before she knew what was happening Detective Salazar was arresting her. 

They were victims. Someone had crashed into their home. Why were the cops mistreating her in front of her own children? This had to be a mistake. Embarrassing. The neighbors were taking videos. They would be uploaded to the internet.

Handcuffs. This could not be happening. She could not understand why someone was driving drunk and now she is being arrested.

The garage. The cops wondered if she knew about the garage. She does not park in the garage. Her husband was going to be upset.

However, the detective wants her to explain the life-size naked doll hanging from a hook in the center of the garage. Except, it was not a doll. It was real.

The day her life changed forever. Her husband was a serial killer.

Fast forward four years later. 

Gwen Proctor and her children are living at Stillhouse Lake in Tennessee. Since leaving Wichita, they have changed their identity four times. The weak creature she had left behind. One who had aided and abetted; however, unconsciously. That woman is long dead and she does not mourn her.

Her kids are now Connor and Atlanta (Lanny for short). She has tried to keep them safe from predators and all the hate mail. Their father was a monster. The “good” father with a mask. 

If it had not been for the drunk driver, their lives would have gone on the same. It was her fault his true depth of evil had been finally unmasked. He had taken out a storage locker in the name of her long-dead brother. The journal. Each victim had a section.

From abduction, torture, murder. The man will kill again. 

There had been a trial. All the women. Mel had infected her like a virus. Then there was the hacker which goes by the name of Absalom. But he helped with the false identities. Finding them safe havens. He controls the online harassment. Strictly business. She pays him. 

Ugly, cruel things about her and her children online. Like they had known was a monster Mel was. She keeps a gun. She will not let anyone hurt her kids or her ever again. Alarms, computers, security systems, burner phones. Their lives are spent looking over their shoulders. She is committed to their survival. 

Absalom communicates with them (computer guy). Her husband writes letters. There is a mailing address elsewhere. How does he know where she is?

He writes from prison. He describes what he will do to her if given the chance. He’s inventive. Descriptive. Repellently direct. Mel is a contagious, fatal disease.

People think she is guilty. His hobby. The garage. Little did she know what he was doing in the garage and what he was hiding. She knew he used bleach, but it was always a logical reason. She had believed every word. 

Then there is a murder at Stillhouse Lake. 

The rustic retreat. Upper-middle-class families. Second homes. A woman weighed down. The description sounds familiar to Mel’s victims. Does it have anything to do with Mel’s crimes? Murder practically at her front door? 

She owes her children a stable upbringing and safety. From trading cars to houses, always on the move. 


Mel had liked his stupid games. “Breath Play.” Cords around her neck. She hated it. She had seen something dark. She had refused. He had never choked her hard enough to pass out, but close. Little did she know while he was starving her for oxygen during sex, he was imagining his women in the garage, fighting the noose as he raised and lowered them off the ground. 

He was using her to play out his murders. Chilling and sickening. 

Now she had to protect her family with more than a gun. Mentally, emotionally, and logically. She cannot trust anyone. She must break the trail. 

Sam Cade. He is new to town. He is supposed to do some work on the house. They both have secrets.

She has money that was Mel’s escape money. The inheritance from his parents’ estate; in the storage shed. It had been a year before she was acquitted. She had spent it on their safety, shelter, and identities before Stillhouse Lake. For their new life. 

Slowly she learns to trust Sam Cade and her son likes him. Even Lanny (with her goth and edge). Her son wants to be an architect so he and Sam hit it off. She wants to fall for this guy, but she is cautious. However, does he have a hidden agenda? 

Gina has a mailing service. Mel writes her. He has seen her and Sam at the lake house. How is this possible?

She must go to the prison and confront the monster. 

From Javier, Sam, Absalom, Lance Graham, Detective Prester— who can she trust? Enemy or ally? 

“Mel is worse than a monster. He’s a smart monster. Mel disposed of women in the water. Now, one trusts her. 

Another dead girl found floating in the lake.

People are learning about her past. She will be arrested and she will lose her kids. Her murdering ex-husband. Who is doing this? Who else is keeping secrets? Does Gwen (Gina) have a stalker?Has she fallen for a serial killer twice? 

Now there are horrible words on their windows. A life she cannot escape. She has to fix it. But how. The safe room. Threats. Has Mel broken out of death row and someone made his way to Stillhouse Lake without a soul seeing him? 

Someone has her kids. . . She needs help, but who can she trust? 


The suspense is riveting! Nerve-racking, heart-pounding! Does Mel have followers? (Mel reminds me of Joe Carroll - The Following - when watching I have to keep one eye closed)

Highly recommend the audiobook narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith (Narrator) for an outstanding and entertaining performance. I purchased the book and audio version.

I can see why STILLHOUSE LAKE has received rave reviews and included in the Goodreads Opening Round of Best Mystery and Thriller as well as climbing the Amazon charts.

So excited to receive an ARC of #2 Stillhouse Lake, Killman Creek (currently reading), coming Dec 12, 2017. For fans of psychological thrillers—compelling, well-written, and twisty plots. Love the covers and titles. 

With #2, we catch up with Gwen. Mel has escaped from prison with the warning: “You’re not safe anywhere now.”






Stillhouse Lake Series #2

By: Rachel Caine

ISBN:  1542046416

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 12/12/2017 

Format:  Hardcover

My Rating: Currently Reading (ARC)

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.

Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…


You’re not safe anywhere now.


Pre-Order Now 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/06/01/Stillhouse-Lake
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review 2017-09-13 22:54
Giveaway – Detective Madison Knight Series by Carolyn Arnold @Carolyn_Arnold @GoddessFish
In the Line of Duty (Detective Madison Knight) - Carolyn Arnold


Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Goodreads


Because In The Line of Duty is front and center, I chose to review it first, but I do plan on continuing with the rest of the series.




In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold may not be the action packed, in your face suspense and danger that I love so much, but I do enjoy learning about the step by step procedures of a murder investigation, especially when it is one of their own…and the impact it has on the characters personal lives.


Carolyn Arnold has done her research, including the impact the media has on an investigation. I, too, think they dwell too much on the bad, never telling the whole story.


Madison is a detective with the Stiles Police Department and Troy, her boyfriend, is a member of their SWAT team. Their relationship takes a direct hit. Both of them were friends of the murdered officer, but Troy had grown up with him, been his best man and was the godfather of his children.


Troy’s nickname for Madison is Bulldog. She is tenacious, aggressive and determined, sometimes forgetting to eat and sleep. She’s like the energizer bunny, she doesn’t stop. Just the type of person you would want working your case, if you had one.


It takes a real knack to figure out who’s lying, who’s telling the truth, getting the information they need from uncooperative suspects and witnesses and Madison is like a dog with a bone, her mind putting the puzzle together, piece by piece.


I think their situation could actually be a benefit to their relationship if they could let the old baggage go, knock down some walls, and use the knowledge of the nature of the beast, their work, to overcome some of the bumps in the road sure to come their way.


Imagine if you were the other half and not a police officer…their late nights, not knowing where they are and what they are doing, and the danger, never knowing if the car they pull over will have a criminal that will blow them away rather than be taken.


I became invested in the characters, even the most peripheral, because they all had their place in the story. Some were good, some were bad, but they all have a ring of truth to them. The police kept their cool, when they could have gunned down the suspects and got away with it. The bad guys did what bad guys do, lie and muddle the investigation.


I do like some humor with my danger and Carolyn Arnold supplied it. Madison and her partner Terry are quite a team and I look forward to more adventures with them


In The Line Of Duty by Carolyn Arnold rings of truth and realism, the slow and steady investigation into the murder of one of their own. I loved following each thread of the mystery, unraveling it a strand at a time, veering this way and that, eliminating one thread only to find another.


I only figured it out right before she told and I LOVE IT! Carolyn Arnold had to break it down for me. That is so rare, that I can only bow down and say I’m not worthy.


I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars


Enter the giveaway here.


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Source: www.fundinmental.com/giveaway-detective-madison-knight-series-by-carolyn-arnold-carolyn_arnold-goddessfish
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