Killman CreekKillman Creek (Stillhouse Lake, #2) by Rachel Caine
Series: Stillhouse Lake #2
on December 12, 2017
Purchase From: AmazonBarnes & Noble, or The Book Depository

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.

Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.

But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

Please Note: This book may not be suitable for younger readers. It contains depictions of violence and violence against women, which may include sexual assault and/or rape. Read it at your own discretion.

Note: Killman Creek is the second in the Stillhouse Lake series – while it can be read standalone, I would recommend reading the first in the series.

Gwen Proctor and her children are safe – for now – but Gwen knows it won’t last now that her serial killer psychopath ex is on the run and determined to find her. Gwen finds herself not knowing who she can trust, and tired of the constant hiding. Leaving her children with two of the only people she believes will be able to keep them safe, she decides to go on the offensive – finding Melvin Royal before he can hurt her or her kids.

When Gwen is, once again, implicated in Melvin’s horrific crimes and everyone turns against her, she has to dig deep to continue fighting to protect her family.

My Thoughts

What a ride! Killman Creek was a wonderful continuation of Gwen’s story.  Better, in fact. We expect to go into a continuation of Stillhouse Lake, with a lot of cat-and-mouse. But it’s not. It’s deeper, it’s darker, and at times, it’s utterly disturbing.Ms. Caine takes us deep into the utter horror of the dark web – child abuse, murder, torture, snuff films – and highlights the lengths people will go to in order to cater to their sickness.

This time, the story is told not just in Gwen’s voice, but the voices of those closest to her – her children, Lanny and Connor, and Sam, the neighbor and brother of Melvin’s last victim.  This adds a level of complexity and perspective to the book that is definitely appreciated and extremely well done. We get to see inside the minds of two children who had had their lives torn apart and had spent five years running, not just from their father’s crimes, but from the online trolls and crazies who believed that they weren’t innocent, and the mind of the man who had started out wanting to make Melvin Royal’s wife pay for what he believed was her involvement in the death of his sister. When I say it’s well done, it is. At times, the extra voices can be irritating, especially the kids, but even as you’re shaking your head (and wanting to shake them!), you recognize the authenticity of their thought processes and actions.

More so than the first in the series, Killman Creek also contains a lot more meat – both literally and figuratively! I wasn’t kidding when I said it was darker. There are more than enough unexpected plot twists,  misdirection, betrayal and heart-racing action to keep you turning the pages. The conclusion is terrifying and satisfying at the same time. For anyone who was disappointed at the “cliffhanger” at the end of Stillhouse Lake, you won’t be left feeling that way with Killman Creek. In fact, I’m a little confused as to where the third book in the series (slated for release in December this year) is going to go and part of me is a little angry that Ms Caine is going to make Gwen and her family go through anything more! That said – if you’re a big fan of thrillers, Killman Creek is one you should definitely read.

Author Links

Rachel Caine: www · Twitter

My Verdict:

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