Stillhouse Lake Series by Rachel Caine #bookreview

Ciao, amici. Today’s review is actually a three-fer. I want to discuss the first three books in the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine. I’d discuss all four, but the fourth hasn’t been released yet. You can bet I’ll be reading it as soon as it is though. Which should be a preview to you for my opinions. But I’ll share my thoughts, anyway.

Please note, because I’m reviewing multiple books, I won’t be adding the blurbs. But you can click on any of the covers to see a preview or be taken to that title’s Amazon page.

Stillhouse Lake

★★★★★ Palpable Desperation Kept Me Riveted

I enjoy reading many genres, but maybe none more so than psychological thrillers. When I saw a book promising to focus on the family of the serial killer rather than the killer, the hunted, or the cops investigating the crimes, I was intrigued. A few paragraphs in, I was hooked.

The author now has a new fan.

Rachel Caine already has a huge following, and I can see why. This book is written in first person, which I always say I don’t prefer. But the premise of the story made me willing to risk it. And now, I can’t imagine a different perspective. I was completely drawn into the main character’s inner turmoil. I am a proud mother, so I understand the character’s Mama Bear desperation to protect her kids. I am not, however, in a situation remotely similar to hers. Yet I feel like I was. My heart pounded right along with hers, my stomach lurched when hers did. Such a vibrant rendering of a character is difficult to do, and Caine made it look effortless.

The pace was fast but easy to follow. The setting, at times serene and at times frightening, became another character and advanced the plot. The supporting cast was every bit as nuanced as the main characters. The way all the threads came together while the villains’ plans unraveled was a joy to witness. Authors don’t often surprise me, but I have to admit it took me longer to guess who the true adversaries were than usual. And I loved that.

I read this book in one day, and I’ve already downloaded other Caine titles. This was an easy five-star recommendation from me.

★★★★★ Even Better than the First

I read this as soon as I was done with book one in the series. I needed to know what happened next. 

This book has not one, but two, villains, and it’s hard to decide which is more sinister. And the usual band of Internet trolls are still at work. It’s a nail-biting thrill ride trying to anticipate what’s going to happen next and how Gwen and her family will get through it.

I love how the stakes are higher, the problems more complex, the danger more perilous. This is everything a sequel should be but seldom is. 

I give this novel an easy five stars and am already onto the next one.

★★★★★ And the Twists Keep Getting Better

I wasn’t sure where the author would take the series after book two. I should have known that the depravity she writes about has no limits, no bounds.

This story continues with our favorite characters, and it introduces a whole slew of new ones. It’s impossible to know who to trust, and it soon becomes clear that the list is pretty short.

The way the author links everything together at the end is both startling and brilliant. It’s a sad commentary on the depths corruption can sink to, and it’s handled beautifully. I’m already on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next installment of this series.

There you have it. My take on the Stillhouse Lake series. I really hope this one goes on and on, as the writing is smooth, the plots well-paced, and the characters fascinating. If you’re looking for a new book or author, I highly recommend this series.

Published by Staci Troilo

A writer fascinated with interpersonal relationships, the importance of family, and the relevance of heritage. Learn more at

37 thoughts on “Stillhouse Lake Series by Rachel Caine #bookreview

    1. Dark psychological thrillers might be my very favorite genre. I have a lot of favorites, but this is (I think) my favorite. This was a good one. Thanks for visiting.


  1. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Staci Troilo reviews the first four books of a new Rachel Caine series. Caine is one of my very favorite authors, so I had to share Staci’s take on the Stillhouse Lake books. Great post, Staci!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely to see what you think of this series. It’s the only Rachel Caine series I haven’t yet read, partly because it feels like it might be a bit too real for my comfort. But it’s on my list. Her Weather Warden urban fantasy series was my first introduction to her, and I loved every single book, plus the spinoff series. And her YA Great Library series is one of my very favorite series of all time. I’m counting the days for the next release. Plus, the covers are to die for, and that always adds extra points from me. 😀 If you haven’t read that one, I really think you’d enjoy it. It’s about an alternate version of the history of the great library of Alexandria, and it’s riveting. Plus the characters are beautifully done. Sharing this, Staci! Thanks for a great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen these books everywhere, but I’ve only read The Great Library series by Caine. I like this focuses on the family of the serial killer. There’s a YA series by Barry Lyga with the perspective coming from the teen son of a serial killer – dark, engrossing, and addictive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been thinking about writing something with that focus for a while. Now I feel like I’d be stealing the idea, though mine would be different. It just doesn’t feel right, though. But I do love this series.

      The series you mentioned is unfamiliar to me, but I’m going to look it up. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for this review, Staci. It’s truly helpful to have a review that touches several volumes in a series before starting it. A series is a reader commitment. I’m not familiar with Rachel’s work, so this is helpful indeed. I’m certainly intrigued. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point, Teagan. I’ve read a first book, loved it, bought a second, liked it, bought a third, hated it. A series review tells a person what they’re in for long-term. So glad you dropped by!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been eyeing these for a while. I think I might even have the first book on my Kindle. Your reviews make me want to dive right in. They all sound excellent.

    There’s nothing better when than when a series just keeps delivering and delivering. I’ve started a few I’ve lost interest in after 2 or 3 books, but this one sounds like it has staying power!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to be the biggest J.R. Ward fan on the planet. She stretched the series out too long. I haven’t even read the last few releases. Shame; I’d love to know what happens. But she lost her mojo in favor of extra sales, I think. Too bad.

      I think you’d enjoy these, Mae. I’m going to read other work of hers, but I’d like to read some of the indie stuff on my Kindle first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never read any of J.R. Ward but I’ve had it happen with other series. Then, of course, there is the Pendergast series which is on book 20 I think, and those novels keep me glued.

        I’m definitely going to look into the Stillhouse Lake Series. Like you, I have some indies and other books I want to catch up with first.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Great reviews on this series. It does sound like one I’d like to read. I believe I have the first book on my TBR list! Thanks for sharing them all with us, Staci!

    Liked by 2 people

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