Killman Creek – Rachel Caine [Review]

KILLMAN CREEK is the second book in the Stillhouse Lake series, written by Rachel Caine. This suspense novel released in 2017. It was published by Thomas & Mercer.

Quick Review: Excellent characterization and suspense. A must read!

Blurb for Killman Creek:

Killman Creek cover - author Rachel CaineEvery 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.


Jen’s review of KILLMAN CREEK

I read Killman Creek because I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Stillhouse Lake.

Although I received a free digital copy for review, my opinions are my own.

Killman Creek is a great continuation of Gwen’s story that began in Stillhouse Lake. She is still trying to protect herself and her children from Melvin Royal, her ex-husband who is a serial killer. However, in this book, she goes from defense to offense and tries to track him down. She also continues to try to figure out his connection to a group called Absalom, which is determined to ruin her life.

The book is told from four first-person point of views: Gwen, Sam (her friend and the brother of one of the victims), Lanny (her daughter), and Connor (her son). Rachel Caine did an amazing job of getting into the minds of all the characters. I thought the author was spot-on with the psychology and behavior of the children. Sometimes authors make kids sound too grown up or too childish, but that wasn’t a problem here. I was totally convinced that I was getting the information firsthand from the child who was narrating. Although I cringed when one of the kids did something stupid, I still believed it and accepted their logic and motivation for doing the stupid thing.

Gwen is a great heroine. She’s tough, dedicated to her children, and capable of saving herself. At the same time, she has vulnerabilities and imperfections that make her a likable, believable character. I hope Rachel Caine continues to write books about Gwen.

I loved how I learned things at the same time that the characters did, so I was experiencing it real time. Their shock or disgust had a greater impact. I also loved the full range of emotions each character experienced. Another thing I really enjoyed was how Caine isolated Gwen and made it harder for her to win. She also established a ticking time clock, a deadline, that added more suspense.

My only negative comment is that the author sometimes makes popular culture references without knowing all the details about that particular thing. I remember this happening in the last book as well. In this book, I marked a few instances of this. One example is when Connor is playing Assassin’s Creed. The author says Lanny joins. Well, this is a problem because I’ve played every Assassin’s Creed game, and it’s never been two-player unless you are playing online co-op, which can’t be played with more than one player on the same console. Also, it says she loses a life, which is another problem because you don’t have lives in that game. Anyway, I just think that authors should know something about the games, movies, etc. that they reference, so they get the details right.

Do I Recommend?

I absolutely love the Stillhouse Lake series. It’s so different from other suspense or thriller books I have read. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t yet. It is a great book for anyone who likes books about evil groups, serial killers, tough moms, and/or dark web activities.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 stars (A)


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About Jen Schaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).
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