Genre: Fiction - Thriller
Characters: Gwen Proctor, Melvin Royal, Lancel Graham, Sam Cade
Gina Royal is a happy stay at home mother for her kids and is happily married to Melvin. Her life falls apart when a drunk driver wrecks their garage, exposing the heinous murders her husband had committed. She is tried as an accomplice and acquitted, while Mel is sentenced to death row. Fearing the Internet threats and the trolls, that she dubs as Sicko Patrol, Gina turns into Gwen Proctor, a fearless mom who will do anything to protect her teens . Gwen could have been her last identity change until the serial killing starts again just around her neighborhood. She continues to fear her husband's threats and doesn't know whom to trust. What length would she go to save her kids and her own sanity? Read this psychological thriller to find out.
Stillhouse Lake is fast paced and is definitely not your breezy summer read. It is intense and has twists are well placed that would keep you hooked until the last page. The reader is as confused as Gwen about people she could trust and things she should stay away from. The book talks a lot about the dark side of the Internet and it is terrifying that all the threats and abuses she and her kids have been facing are possible in today's world.
There are a few plot holes that I am trying hard not to nitpick, but the whole premise works only on those flimsy grounds. For instance, Gina had been married for ten years and she has never been into her husband's garage, where he had been hiding, raping, abusing and killing several girls. Gina trusts someone (spoiler) who had been against her from the beginning. And this baffles me: is it even possible in this real life that there are thousands of people who want to kill a family when they were not even related to the murders, especially in this self-absorbed world where we talk about any social issue only until the next one crops up?
The creepy serial killer angle works great, but no other characters are likable. Usually I like women protagonists who are stong and fight back, but Gwen did nothing of that sort, except being so predictable and stupid. The book ends with a cliffhanger which may or not work for you. Though much has been said about Stillhouse Lake ending with a cliffhanger in the book world, the book works well as the first installment in a series to come and as a standalone too. I didn't mind that some questions have not been answered.
Despite all these misgivings I was not able to put the book down until the last page. So if you are looking a fast paced thriller like The Girl on the Train this is your poison, pick it right away.
Labels: 2017, Amazon charts, fiction, hide, review, Serial Killer, Thriller