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Stillhouse Lake    by Rachel Caine order for
Stillhouse Lake
by Rachel Caine
Order:  USA  Can
Thomas & Mercer, 2017 (2017)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Gina Royal used to be a shy housewife, happily married, and with two beloved children, in Wichita, Kansas. But when her husband was revealed to be a horrific serial killer, everything changed ... and she had to as well, to keep her children safe from the stalkers and Internet trolls who consider the killers' family complicit in his crimes. It didn't help that she was charged as an accessory.

Four years later she's reinvented herself as Gwen Proctor, and her children are now Connor (eleven) and Atlanta (Lanny, fourteen). They live by Stillhouse Lake in Tennessee. Gwen has learned to shoot a gun and has instilled security principles in her offspring, running regular crisis drills. She hopes they will be able to stay here and avoid another flight. They're putting down roots. But if they have to leave, she will again use Absalom, whom she pays for false identities.

Her growing peace is shattered when the police knock on the door to inform her that a young woman's body has been found in the lake. They ask if she or her children have seen anything - Lanny did. A relatively new neighbor, Sam Cade, is also questioned, and grows close to the family. Gwen panics and starts preparing to move - media attention to this murder is likely to out her and her children to their sicko stalkers. And the murder details bear an eerie resemblance to her ex-husband's modus operandi.

Gwen's fears grow when an anonymous tip leads to the police questioning her about the killing - what is going on? When the violence escalates and threatens her children, she will do anything to keep them safe. Stillhouse Lake is a gripping, edge of your seat read. It's the first in a thriller series and a twist in the ending hints at more horrors ahead for this beleaguered family.

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