Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake, #2)
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.

Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake, #2) Details

TitleKillman Creek (Stillhouse Lake, #2)
Author
ReleaseDec 12th, 2017
PublisherThomas & Mercer
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Mystery Thriller, Crime

Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake, #2) Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Melvin Royal stalks me in the brief darkness when I close my eyes. Blink, and he's on the street. Blink, and he's walking up the stairs of the motel to the second floor's open walkway. Blink, and he's outside the door. Listening.Going into Killman Creek - the sequel to Stillhouse Lake - I wasn't that excited about it. I really enjoyed the first book but I figured, given how things were left at the end, this sequel would be a standard game of cat and mouse until eventually the bad guy was caught Melvin Royal stalks me in the brief darkness when I close my eyes. Blink, and he's on the street. Blink, and he's walking up the stairs of the motel to the second floor's open walkway. Blink, and he's outside the door. Listening.Going into Killman Creek - the sequel to Stillhouse Lake - I wasn't that excited about it. I really enjoyed the first book but I figured, given how things were left at the end, this sequel would be a standard game of cat and mouse until eventually the bad guy was caught and everyone lived happily ever after. Blah blah. I did not expect it to get so nasty. I did not imagine how dark this book would become. In many ways, it's a horrible book; full of moments that made me feel furious and sad and helpless. Needless to say, I couldn't put it down.Killman Creek differs from the first in that it is more action-packed, more full of pulse-pounding moments of terror, and there are four perspectives. I'm not usually a fan of multiple perspectives, especially more than two, but it worked well here. Seeing Gwen through the eyes of Sam, Lanny and Connor, feeling their doubt over her trustworthiness, was a big part of this book. Having gotten a glimpse into the minds of these characters, I'm even more eager to see this series expanded into more books. I felt for Gwen deeply. After the finale events of Stillhouse Lake, she is desperate to protect her kids whatever the cost. Her drive, her pain, and her venom are believable as she hunts down a monster. I was equal parts upset, terrified and furious as she is once again falsely implicated in her husband's disgusting crimes. If it grated on you in the first book, believe me when I say-- it's a whole new level here.It's a very discomfiting book overall. Caine takes us into the horrible corners of the dark net, into a world of child pornography, torture and snuff films. She shows the lengths Internet trolls will go to, and the depths of their cruelty. It's a true Internet/digital thriller and it is as fascinating as it is scary.For me, this is very much a "thriller", as opposed to a "mystery". There is very little crime-solving and very few surprises, but it is extremely gripping and emotive from start to finish. The ending wraps everything up well, but there are some vague hints at the possibility of more. I hope there will be.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...This is the second book in the “Stillhouse Lake” series by Rachel Caine. I really enjoyed the first novel. However, it did end with a cliffhanger which normally would have driven me up the wall. Thankfully I had this book ready to go.Although this could be read as a stand-alone book, I really think it would be much more enjoyable if you read the first novel too. Having the background of the story and the characters would def My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...This is the second book in the “Stillhouse Lake” series by Rachel Caine. I really enjoyed the first novel. However, it did end with a cliffhanger which normally would have driven me up the wall. Thankfully I had this book ready to go.Although this could be read as a stand-alone book, I really think it would be much more enjoyable if you read the first novel too. Having the background of the story and the characters would definitely add to the enjoyment.We catch up with Gwen who has been on edge since receiving a terrifying text:“You’re not safe anywhere now.”She must keep her children safe. She thinks she has people around her that she can trust, but if the past has taught her anything…it’s that she needs to be very careful about who she trusts. Everyone has secrets. Even her children, Lanny and Connor, seem to be hiding something.What aren’t they telling her?In the back of her mind, Gwen always knew Mel’s reign of terror wasn’t over. But she’s ready for him this time. She’s not meek and subservient Gina anymore. Gina would have been afraid of Melvin hunting for her… but Gwen?Gwen isn’t going to hide anymore. Let him come. She’s not going down without a fight. “The woman who’d been known as Gina Royal, wife of an especially horrible serial killer, is gone, another corpse Melvin left behind him. She’s better off dead. I am Gwen now. Gwen isn’t taking any more shit.”***********In the first novel, the story was told from Gwen’s point of view. However, this book has many pov's. This worked out well for me and I especially liked hearing from Lanny and Connor. I think the author did a great job of portraying how conflicted they were.Most thrillers would probably be boring if everything was entirely believable, but there were a few things that I thought were a bit over the top. However, I was completely engrossed in the story, flipping pages as fast as I could. As with book one, there are some pretty violent and graphic scenes…but again I was able to skim over them without missing much of the plot.“Killman Creek” was a heart-pounding, dark and intense read. Book one in the series was intense but I felt like this one took it up about twenty notches. This is the kind of book that leaves you drained and exhausted after you’re done reading….but still satisfied.I just wish I had the next book in the series. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
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  • Berit☀️✨Traveling Sister✨
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 KILLER STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5 Wow! What a follow up to Stillhouse Lake..... i’d strongly encourage you to read the first book before you read this, simply because you might be a little lost and the first book is fabulous as well!What would it be like to find out you were married to a serial killer? Or even more frightening.... What would it be like to find out you are the child of a serial killer?In this book you not only get Gwen’s perspective but also the perspective of her children Lanny and Connor 4.5 KILLER STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5 Wow! What a follow up to Stillhouse Lake..... i’d strongly encourage you to read the first book before you read this, simply because you might be a little lost and the first book is fabulous as well!What would it be like to find out you were married to a serial killer? Or even more frightening.... What would it be like to find out you are the child of a serial killer?In this book you not only get Gwen’s perspective but also the perspective of her children Lanny and Connor...... once again Gwen is a fierce mama bear ready to do anything it takes to protect her children..... but what is the effect on the children? All this running and hiding and secrecy? My heart really broke for the kids, I think Gwen was doing all she could, but what a hard childhood this would be....Lanny just wanted to be a normal teenager and reconnect with her BFF.... Connor was struggling to wrap his head around the fact that the dad he remembered was a serial killer..... all this going on while the family is being hunted down by some pretty crazy people!The book took you on a crazy journey with plenty of twists and turns I did not see coming..... there also were some pretty tense and uncomfortable moments that had me on the edge of my seat... Your question might be then why did you round your 4.5 down rather than up? The only reason is I found there to be a little too much going on at times... and some things were a little hard for me to believe (and I am usually not bothered by this at all)..... perhaps some of this is my naïveté and my desire for there to be more good in the world than bad..... I guess for me a girl who likes to read about crazy, there are just way too many nuts in this book! Or maybe I needed the perspective from one of the crazies? I just don’t know! But that was my only problem, and it was minor and it was personal, so it may not affect you at all.....I’d recommend this to all thriller lovers, especially if you have read the first book!PS: the ending was perfection!😍 🎧🎧🎧 you can find my review on the audio narration as well as all the other reviews from my partner in crime and me on our new blog... https://audiokilledthebookmark.com/
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    I'm at 4.5, maybe 4.75 stars here, but I'll round up.After delivering a heart-pounding, stay-up-real-late-to-finish-it thriller with Stillhouse Lake (which was one of the best books I read last year), Rachel Caine returns with Killman Creek , another adrenaline-boosted installment in this series. Once again, she delivers quite a punch!“For years I clung to a terrible fiction of a marriage—a life in which Melvin Royal controlled every aspect of my reality, and I failed to realize or fear it. G I'm at 4.5, maybe 4.75 stars here, but I'll round up.After delivering a heart-pounding, stay-up-real-late-to-finish-it thriller with Stillhouse Lake (which was one of the best books I read last year), Rachel Caine returns with Killman Creek , another adrenaline-boosted installment in this series. Once again, she delivers quite a punch!“For years I clung to a terrible fiction of a marriage—a life in which Melvin Royal controlled every aspect of my reality, and I failed to realize or fear it. Gina Royal, the old me, the vulnerable me…she and the kids were Melvin’s camouflage for his secret, terrible life. On my side of the wall, I had only known that it all seemed so normal. But it never was, and now that I’ve left Gina Royal behind I clearly see that. I’m not Gina anymore. Gina was tentative and worried and weak. Gina would be afraid that Melvin would come hunting for her. Gwen Proctor is ready for him. I know in my heart that it all comes down to us. Mr. and Mrs. Royal. In the end, it always has.”Gina Royal seemed to be living the perfect suburban life—loving (although slightly controlling) husband, two beautiful children. Then one day that illusion shattered when she and the world realized Melvin was a brutal murderer, and he perpetrated his crimes in their garage. After being arrested as his possible accomplice and facing the scrutiny of those who wondered how she could be so oblivious, Gina took the kids and fled, changing their names and hiding where she hoped those who believed she was responsible for her husband’s imprisonment and promised to make her pay couldn’t find her. Gina became Gwen Proctor, a kickass, take-no-prisoners, fiercely protective mother.But even when they thought they found security in idyllic Stillhouse Lake, that illusion was again shattered. And although she wants to flee with her kids again, when she learns that Melvin has escaped from prison, she knows that he will stop at nothing to find her and the kids. She cannot—she will not—let him get to them, but she’s more than willing to use herself as bait if she has to.Melvin isn’t willing to end Gwen’s anxiety anytime soon, however. Aided by a shadowy group of hackers and thugs, Melvin won’t be happy until he destroys Gwen and everything she holds dear, especially her already-shaky relationship with their children. There comes a point when even Gwen can no longer completely believe she didn’t play a part in Melvin’s crimes, leaving her completely isolated and vulnerable.“You never understand how vulnerable you are in this age of social media until something breaks against you, and then…then it’s too late. You can shut down Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; you can change your phone number and your e-mail. Move to new places. But for dedicated tormentors, that isn’t a barrier. It’s a challenge.”Is there anyone left for Gwen to depend on, or should she just surrender to Melvin’s manipulations, if it means saving her children? Will that even satisfy him? And as far as the kids are concerned, do they know whom they can trust? Will their decisions lead them into the trouble their mother warned them about, or will they realize a different truth about her, too? Killman Creek is an excellent follow-up novel, nearly as strong as its predecessor. In this book, Caine shifts narration between Gwen, her kids, and Sam Cade, the mysterious man the family has called friend even though his motivations are questionable. Caine is one terrific writer. She can balance razor-sharp action, nail-biting suspense, and moments of actual emotion, as she explores what hell Melvin hath wrought, and its effect on everyone involved in the story. There are times that you don’t know what is going to happen, or whom you should trust, and there are times you want to scream at the characters for making stupid blunders.I’ll admit I would have been happier had the book been narrated just by Gwen and Sam, but I understood the perspectives the kids brought to the story, and the deepening of the narrative by doing so. As annoying as some of their actions were, they seemed true-to-life, especially for kids in the middle of such a maelstrom.While you can read this book without reading Stillhouse Lake , why would you? Start at the beginning and then read this book. You’ll savor two taut thrillers in the hands of a badass writer. I can’t wait for what comes next!!See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Another solid installment in the series. I’ll admit I was wary to pick this one up at first; I thought Stillhouse Lake worked well as a stand alone novel and was concerned that the “chasing the bad guy while also on the run” plot would wear thin. However, Killman Creek was everything I wanted it to be (for the most part). Instead of trying to turn this into a twisty mystery, it took the straightforward thriller approach. There are very few surprises here, but that doesn’t do anything to diminish Another solid installment in the series. I’ll admit I was wary to pick this one up at first; I thought Stillhouse Lake worked well as a stand alone novel and was concerned that the “chasing the bad guy while also on the run” plot would wear thin. However, Killman Creek was everything I wanted it to be (for the most part). Instead of trying to turn this into a twisty mystery, it took the straightforward thriller approach. There are very few surprises here, but that doesn’t do anything to diminish the heart pounding nature of the story. My heart went out to Gwen; I truly felt for her as she hit rock bottom and I found myself a bit salty that everyone she knows and loves dropped her (again) so fast when damaging “evidence” surfaces. I found the ending satisfying, especially the final chapter that occurs one month after the big showdown. Really looking forward to the next book and interested to see where it goes!
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    4.75 Nerve-Wracking Riveting Stars* (rounded up).In “Killman Creek” the sequel to “Stillhouse Lake” Gwen Proctor and her two kids, Lanny, Connor and Sam Cade are back. They survived that harrowing ordeal, barely. Unfortunately, for them, it’s not over. But we knew it wouldn’t be, right? And this time, everything has been thrown at Gwen, Sam, Lanny and Connor. So much so that it is tearing them apart, picking them apart even. Using everything possible to wear them down. Gwen needs to fight with e 4.75 Nerve-Wracking Riveting Stars* (rounded up).In “Killman Creek” the sequel to “Stillhouse Lake” Gwen Proctor and her two kids, Lanny, Connor and Sam Cade are back. They survived that harrowing ordeal, barely. Unfortunately, for them, it’s not over. But we knew it wouldn’t be, right? And this time, everything has been thrown at Gwen, Sam, Lanny and Connor. So much so that it is tearing them apart, picking them apart even. Using everything possible to wear them down. Gwen needs to fight with everything she has if she is going to survive this one and fight she will.All I can say is hold on to your freakin hats my friends. "Killman Creek" took me on a path that had my nerves rubbed raw, my stomach torn apart and my fists and teeth clenched. Sometimes all at the same exact time. I was beside myself, exasperated, scared half to death and hoping against hope. How it turned out? Well, I’m sworn to secrecy. If you haven’t read “Stillhouse Lake” yet, I must ask why? And if you have, and haven't yet read "Killman Creek" what on earth is stopping you?” Go have at it, will ya? I’ll be waiting anxiously for your review because these suspense novels are absolute must-reads. Thank you and goodnight.Published on Goodreads, Amazon and Twitter on 1.26.18.
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  • RedemptionDenied
    January 1, 1970
    This has the same format, as another book, I read, recently: multiple first-person perspectives. Now we have: Gwen, Lanny, Connor and Sam's narratives; as opposed to just Gwen's POV - which makes it more interesting. We don't have Melvins' perspective, though. Probably because, it would kill the suspense aspect of the story. I guess. The sequel starts on the twelve night (Gwen's perspective) after the events of book one. Gwen, Sam, Lanny and Connor are in a motel room - when she receives a court This has the same format, as another book, I read, recently: multiple first-person perspectives. Now we have: Gwen, Lanny, Connor and Sam's narratives; as opposed to just Gwen's POV - which makes it more interesting. We don't have Melvins' perspective, though. Probably because, it would kill the suspense aspect of the story. I guess. The sequel starts on the twelve night (Gwen's perspective) after the events of book one. Gwen, Sam, Lanny and Connor are in a motel room - when she receives a courtesy text from Absalom, which reads: "YOU'RE NOT SAFE ANYWHERE NOW."As for Melvin, she thought he'd stay safely locked up, until his execution, but due to certain events - that is no longer the case. He's on the loose and he wants to play. He likes to taunt her; toy with her, every so often. He makes it abundantly clear, as to what he wants to do - to her. She makes it abundantly clear, that there's no need for him to come to her: she's coming for him. The hunter has become the hunted. It's a case of who is going to get to who first. With the FBI and the Police in every state, adjoining Kansas, hunting him down, he needs to keep a low profile. And so it begins. As she can't take Lanny and Connor with her and Sam, on their venture, she needs to find a safe haven for them, before setting off. Somewhere safe, from her ex, with someone she trusts, implicitly. Lanny wants to stay and fight. Connor wants to read. They don't want to split-up and leave their mother, but understand the ramifications if they don't. Eventually. Sam gets a call from his FBI buddy (Mike Lustig) - about the possible location of someone affiliated with Absalom, which leads them to Markerville (a dilapidated town that doesn't exist anymore), Tennesse - looking for Arden Miller. And who is Absalom? An individual? Or is Absalom a collective of master hackers? Anyway, this is where it starts to get crazier and crazier.Gwen has her work cut-out for her in the sequel; especially when Sam, Lanny and Connor, see something, which makes them question if they really know who Gwen is. It's something that has her questioning herself, too. And she soon finds herself in a very lonely place. Who can be trusted?In conclusion: I enjoyed the sequel as much as the first book in the series. Maybe, more, at times. The characters' had me seething, with their bad decision-making, sense of reasoning, thought-processing, gambits, and betrayal. There's also an unlikely ally, which adds an intriguing twist to the story. I wouldn't say this ends on a cliffhanger, as such. At least, not like book one, but I think one of the characters' made a fundamental mistake - at the end - possible missed opportunity. As to what that is, I have no idea. But I believe it's something, significant. I'll have to wait until 29th March (2019) for Wolfhunter River to be released - to find out. At the end of the book, the author provides the soundtrack that inspired her, whilst writing the sequel:● "Eminence Front," The Who. ● "Sledge Hammer," Peter Gabriel. ● "Poker Face," Lady Gaga.● "Staring At The Sun," TV On The Radio. ● "Games Without Frontiers," Peter Gabriel. ● "Hate The Taste," Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. ● "Box Full O' Honey," Duran Duran. ● "Red Rain," Peter Gabriel. ● "Time Of The Season," The Ben Taylor Band.● "Mama," Genesis. ● "Welcome To The Circus," Skittish. ● "Beneath Mt. Sinai," The Stone Foxes. ● "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," The Dramatics.● "Human," Rag 'N' Bone Man.● "Believer," Imagine Dragons. ● "Jockey Full Of Bourbon," Joe Bonamassa.Side note: I would've added:● "Welcome To The Jungle," Guns *N* Roses.● "Looks That Kill," Motley Crue.● "Knock 'Em Dead Kid," Motley Crue.● "Back Off Bitch," Guns *N* Roses.● "Home Sweet Home," Motley Crue.● "I Wanna Rock," Twisted Sister. ● "Not Now John," Pink Floyd. ● "Big Dumb Sex," Soundgarden.● "Ride The Lightning," Metallica. ● "Fade To Black," Metallica. ● "Patience," Guns *N* Roses.● "Permanent Vacation," Aerosmith. ● "Nothing Else Matters," Metallica. ● "Shoot To Thrill," AC/DC.● "Here I Go Again," Whitesnake.● "Hellraiser," Ozzy Osborne. ● "I'm Not In Love," 10 CC.● "From Out Of Nowhere," Faith No More.● "Fire Your Guns," AC/DC.● "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," U2.● "We Will Rock You," Queen. ● "Schools Out," Alice Cooper. ● "Fucking Hostile," Pantera.● "Paranoid," Ozzy Osborne/Black Sabbath. ● "Powerslave," Iron Maiden. ● "Run To The Hills," Iron Maiden. ● "You're The Only Hell Your Mama Ever Raised," Warrant. ● "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)," Aerosmith. ● "Rag Doll," Aerosmith. ● "You Give Love A Bad Name," Bon Jovi. ● "Stupid Girl," Garbage. ● "Shout At The Devil," Motley Crue.● "Who Are You," The Who. ● "Seasons In The Abyss," Slayer. ● "Won't Get Fooled Again," The Who.● "The Seeker," The Who. ● "I Can See For Miles," The Who. ● "Train Of Consequences," Megadeth.● "For Whom The Bell Tolls," Metallica. ● "The Heat Is On," Glenn Frey.● "Tubular Bells," Mike Oldfield.● "That's The Way I Like It," KC & The Sunshine Band.● "Knockin' On Heavens Door," Eric Clapton. ● "Live And Let Die," Paul & Linda McCartney. ● "Mean Man," Wasp.● "Forever Free," Wasp.● "Don't You Want Somebody To Love," Jefferson Airplane/Wasp.● "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," Bachman Turner Overdrive. ● "One Way Or Another," Blondie.● "Money That's What I Want," Flying Lizards. ● "You Spin Me Right Round," Dead Or Alive. ● "I Like The Way You Move," Body Rockers.● "I Love It Loud," Kiss.● "Stayin' Alive," The Bee Gees.● "Nobody's Fool," Cinderella.● "Got My Mind Set On You," George Harrison. ● "Temptation," Cradle Of Filth. ● "Pyromania," Def Leppard. ● "Monkey Magic," Soko. ● "Another Brick In The Wall," Pink Floyd/Korn● "The Final Countdown," Europe. ● "Tainted Love," Gloria Jones/Soft Cell/Marilyn Manson.● "Blackout In The Red Room," Love-Hate.● "Shout," Tears For Fears. ● "Nights In White Satin," The Moody Blues.● "Bad To The Bone," ZZ Top.I may add to the playlist. If I think of something else.
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  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    January 1, 1970
    Poor Gwen, she just survived some crazy stuff from book one of this series and then there is the fact that she was married to a big old serial killer (and had no clue.) She just wants a calm life with her kids...and she knows that both of them are all kinds of mentally jacked up. But does she get that break? Nope. She is gonna have to don the cape again so that she and her kids will have even a chance of a normal life. ***sorta spoilery if you haven't read the first one**Gwen's ex (the crazy ser Poor Gwen, she just survived some crazy stuff from book one of this series and then there is the fact that she was married to a big old serial killer (and had no clue.) She just wants a calm life with her kids...and she knows that both of them are all kinds of mentally jacked up. But does she get that break? Nope. She is gonna have to don the cape again so that she and her kids will have even a chance of a normal life. ***sorta spoilery if you haven't read the first one**Gwen's ex (the crazy serial killer) has escaped prison. Gwen knows it is just a matter of time before hubby dear makes an appearance at her door. Because he thinks Gwen is still the meek little church mouse that was married to him. He is in for a big old surprise, because Gwen is not waiting for him. She is hunting him. I flipping loved these books! I think this one is my favorite of the two but they still both qualify in the "it was goooood" category. I'd have handed out the full five stars on this one except for one thing that bugged me. (view spoiler)[This book deserved better than the old rich guy being behind the baddies. (hide spoiler)]Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Killman Creek by Rachel Caine is the second book in the Stillhouse Lake series. The first book in the series, Stillhouse Lake, introduced readers to Gwen Proctor who had gone into hiding with her two children after it was found that her husband was a serial killer. The trio had been on the run for several years not only trying to make sure that her husband who had gone to prison wouldn't know of their whereabouts but also the vigilantes that thought Gwen was an accomplice to the killings instead Killman Creek by Rachel Caine is the second book in the Stillhouse Lake series. The first book in the series, Stillhouse Lake, introduced readers to Gwen Proctor who had gone into hiding with her two children after it was found that her husband was a serial killer. The trio had been on the run for several years not only trying to make sure that her husband who had gone to prison wouldn't know of their whereabouts but also the vigilantes that thought Gwen was an accomplice to the killings instead of an innocent housewife. Now in Killman Creek the story picks up shortly after the ending of the first book with Gwen trying to decide how to proceed now with her husband having escaped from prison. Gwen is tired of running and hiding and wants to put down roots in Stillhouse Lake with her kids but first she needs to find her ex, Melvin Royal, and make sure he never hurts anyone again. With the help of her friend, Sam Cade, the brother of one of Melvin's victims, Gwen decides to turn the tables and go on the hunt for Melvin and his network of psychotic accomplices. After finishing the first book of this series I was completely in love with Gwen, her children and their story. Focusing on the family left behind of a captured serial killer the author did a wonderful job making it feel realistic with the way they had been tried in the media and online and lived in fear that someone out there would go after them for revenge or vigilante justice. I was curious if the intensity of the story would carry over into the second book and I'm happy to say that it certainly did. This second book is done a bit differently from the first in the fact that now the family is being split apart so the story also does so with the point of view changing between the characters. Not only does Gwen have a voice and viewpoint but so do her children and the man they had come to rely on in the first book, Sam Cade. This gave a wonderful depth to the story and allowed the author to expand the action. The twists and turns that I came to expect from the first book were still there and never failed to keep the pages turning. This definitely is a series I'd recommend to the thriller fans out there and I do hope the author continues the story. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
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  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    EXCERPT: ...she's someone's daughter. She's standing on the balls of her feet, straining to keep her balance, because if she relaxes at all, the noose bites into her neck. It's deliberate and cruel and finely calculated, just like the tools hung on pegboard, arrayed in order on the walls. On the wooden workbench, toolboxes stand open to display wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers . . . all color-coded, aligned in precise rows in the drawers. Precise in his barbarity. There are two other people in the EXCERPT: ...she's someone's daughter. She's standing on the balls of her feet, straining to keep her balance, because if she relaxes at all, the noose bites into her neck. It's deliberate and cruel and finely calculated, just like the tools hung on pegboard, arrayed in order on the walls. On the wooden workbench, toolboxes stand open to display wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers . . . all color-coded, aligned in precise rows in the drawers. Precise in his barbarity. There are two other people in the room. One man adjusts lighting, ignoring the girl and her horrible struggle. Another one adjusts the focus on a video camera on a tripod. Both look completely normal, and it's horrifying to see that this is just work to them. Just another day. THE BLURB: 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.MY THOUGHTS: My first encounter with author Rachel Caine and the second book in her Stillhouse Lake series, Killman Creek, just blew me away. And I haven't read the first in the series. But I will. Action packed, stunning, horrifying, thought provoking, compelling and so damned real! I feel battered and shattered. I couldn’t understand why I had never before come across this author. Looking her up, she is a prolific writer, but this is a new genre for her. I hope it is one she will continue with. Thank you to Thomas and Mercer via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Killman Creek by Rachel Caine for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not going to review this one because of fear of spoilers and I can't talk about this one without spoiling the first one! I loved the first one Stillhouse Lake #1 and not so much this one.I'm in the minority as most liked this one more!! Perhaps this one was too dark for me or too graphic, but I think it was just predictable and not very believable for me. I do love the character of Gwen and I did like how it ended....no spoilers though!
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  • Sarah Joint
    January 1, 1970
    Warning: this review will obviously contain spoilers for the first book, because this is the sequel. What are you doing here? Go read the first one. Geez. Action-packed but emotional, this is basically the sequel I was expecting after reading the first one. I liked the first book a little more, maybe because I felt more connected to the characters because they were all together. In this story, Gwen is separate from her children... this time, willingly. When she was in prison fighting to prove he Warning: this review will obviously contain spoilers for the first book, because this is the sequel. What are you doing here? Go read the first one. Geez. Action-packed but emotional, this is basically the sequel I was expecting after reading the first one. I liked the first book a little more, maybe because I felt more connected to the characters because they were all together. In this story, Gwen is separate from her children... this time, willingly. When she was in prison fighting to prove her innocence in connection to her husband's crimes, she had no choice. This time, she's made her own choice... she's sick of being prey. She wants to be the hunter. Her husband is on the run after escaping prison. She wants to bring him to justice... though that might not mean prison. He escaped once, he can do it again. Infamous, he has followers and helpers all over the country. She's sick of running, tired of uprooting her children and being a constant source of disappointment. They will only feel safe when Melvin, sadistic serial killer and her ex-husband, is gone. She leaves her two kids with two friends of the family, both strong individuals willing to help. Though it's important that they stay inside and remain unseen to stay safe, they quickly go stir-crazy. They're both still young, and their lives are endlessly complicated. With help from Sam, who is almost as determined to find Melvin as Gwen is, having lost his sister to this monster, can Gwen find Melvin before he finds their children or her? At times pulse-pounding and nerve-racking, this is a quick and enjoyable read. Though it has no blurb yet, there will be some kind of follow-up. Count me in! I'm giving this one a 3.5 rounded up to a 4, mostly because I didn't feel quite as emotionally connected to it as the first. Still a solid story.I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and Thomas & Mercer, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    Calling all those readers who love thrillers, tense drama, family love, and chills down your spine. This was a book that had it all. The action, the motivation, the characters kept pushing themselves forth in your mind until you felt exactly what it was they were feeling and doing. While you may think that this could never happen, just remember too that " A psychopath is born every 47 seconds.” (Kent A. Kiehl)Gwen was married to a killer, a psychopath, a father to her children,, and a man who ha Calling all those readers who love thrillers, tense drama, family love, and chills down your spine. This was a book that had it all. The action, the motivation, the characters kept pushing themselves forth in your mind until you felt exactly what it was they were feeling and doing. While you may think that this could never happen, just remember too that " A psychopath is born every 47 seconds.” (Kent A. Kiehl)Gwen was married to a killer, a psychopath, a father to her children,, and a man who has just escaped from prison. Gwen knows she and her family are his target and she also knows that she will do everything she can to keep the monster, her husband, away from all who are loved by her. However, Melvin Royal, her ex husband, the serial killer of nightmares, is hell bent on finding her and extracting his hours of macabre pleasure from her demise. Melvin has a following and yes, here shades of that TV series, The Following, will definitely come to mind. He has what seems likes limitless resources to accomplish his goal. Will success be his? Will he find Gwen or will she and her friend Sam, find him? Will what Gwen and Sam uncover ever be put to right? Will they and her family ever be right again?The action never lets up in this novel. There is never a dull moment as we see Gwen's bravery, toughness, and family love come to the forefront as she eventually confronts the demon that is her ex husband. For those who love novels that keep the pages turning, mind game playing, and the midnight oil burning this is certainly a book for you. It was quite a harrowing experience!Thanks to Rachel Cain, Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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  • R.K. Gold
    January 1, 1970
    I was back and forth with my review for this book while I was reading it. At times I thought it could even be a 4 and at its worst I thought giving it a 1 might be too generous. Obviously the good outweighed the bad and entertained me enough to give it a solid three. This review will contain some spoilers so if those bug you I suggest you stop reading here.I'm not sure if this review will have any rhyme or reason. I doubt it will have any order. I just finished this book not even two minutes ago I was back and forth with my review for this book while I was reading it. At times I thought it could even be a 4 and at its worst I thought giving it a 1 might be too generous. Obviously the good outweighed the bad and entertained me enough to give it a solid three. This review will contain some spoilers so if those bug you I suggest you stop reading here.I'm not sure if this review will have any rhyme or reason. I doubt it will have any order. I just finished this book not even two minutes ago and already I'm writing this review. What I enjoyed most about this book was the expansion of the criminal network. It was no longer a cat and mouse game with Gina/Gwen and her husband. It was an entire criminal organization standing between her and revenge. Caine handled the webs connecting those in the organization, those on the outskirts of it, those ignorant of it, and those tortured by it with delicate care. She was patient in building it up and created something terrifying. In the end she did give the means to be the boogeyman Gwen thought it to be.What I didn't like about this book was--well for one--okay I'm trying to word this right. Diversity in fiction is important, but it's also important that it's not just a checklist. Caine wrote a book where all the characters with depth, purpose, and every other synonym for real was white and straight. She then filled all these, what felt like quotas, with not even secondary characters, but the equivalent of film extras. Just little details on skin color or gender that let the reader know she included diversity in the book but that it didn't matter. These characters were either plot devices (and not real humans) or posters. For example off the top of my head I can think of two black characters in this book. Mike, who we know served in the military, served in the FBI, and is Sam's friend (nothing else) and a nameless paramedic who I don't even think has a line but Caine made sure to tell us he's black. There's an Indian family that owns a nice bed and breakfast. There's the transwoman who worked for Absalom, her daughter turns out to be gay, and then there's Javier (who is by far the deepest, but even he only serves as a gun to protect Gina's kids in this book).If that paragraph is too bulky, the tl;dr is diversity is important and this book may have treated it like a checklist. The other thing I wasn't too big of a fan of were the multiple points of view. I know people have different opinions on this, but it held the story back, and made it longer than it had to be. Again, as I mentioned earlier this will contain spoilers so take this as a second warning. Gwen got caught by Absalom later on in a hotel room. Gina spent the whole book convinced law enforcement couldn't help her but all she did was make the situation worse. The only thing she did to help catch Melvin was get caught so Sam and Mike could save the day (but she killed her husband to make it seem like she was proactive protagonist we were led to believe she is). Okay, I feel like I'm rambling. I'll try and sum it up all at once right here. Despite a lot of action, the protagonist was still reactionary and ultimately got lucky. What saves this book is the writing in some sections, the engaging twists, and the thoguhtfulness of the criminal enterprise.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I think about that colorful old rug again, a piece of home inside a monster’s den. I can’t decide if that was him trying to still be Dad, or if the monster was all there ever was, and Dad was a mask he wore to mock us.The sequel to Stillhouse Lake picks up twelve days after the events that ended the first book. It had been a few months since I'd read this one, but had no problem whatsoever jumping back into Gwen Proctor's fight for her children's safety and hunt for her sadistic ex-husband. Wha I think about that colorful old rug again, a piece of home inside a monster’s den. I can’t decide if that was him trying to still be Dad, or if the monster was all there ever was, and Dad was a mask he wore to mock us.The sequel to Stillhouse Lake picks up twelve days after the events that ended the first book. It had been a few months since I'd read this one, but had no problem whatsoever jumping back into Gwen Proctor's fight for her children's safety and hunt for her sadistic ex-husband. What's especially different here is the addition of three other perspectives, where we only had Gwen's POV in the first book. This time we get to see the action happen through the eyes of Lanny, Connor and Sam as well. I actually really enjoyed this change. I often wondered what went through the minds of Gwen's children. We no longer have to do that and can see what they're thinking from their own perspective including the things they hold back from saying.This might be even more action-packed than the first book with even more twists and turns. My eyes were glued to these pages desperate to know how things would end up. I was terrified for Gwen having to separate from her kids even though I understood why she needed to do that. You can't hunt a psychopath with your children in tow especially when he would use them to get to her. It just won't work. I was equally interested in knowing what was going on with Sam & Gwen on their hunt for Melvin and how things were going for the kids at Javier's place.The dark net became a bigger part of the story here, although it was always a part of why Gwen was on the run. The book explores that aspect a bit more diving deeper into the dark net.The character development is strong. I found myself feeling more connected to the characters. This was probably due to the additional POVs allowing insight into the rest of the characters' minds. I'm looking forward to seeing where Caine takes this series next.
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  • Rachel Hall
    January 1, 1970
    “Nightmares aren’t frightening once you wake up. Memories are.”After meeting the woman formerly known as Gina Royal and seeing her experiences at the mercy of ex-husband and serial killer, Melvin, in Stillhouse Lake I confess to having high expectations for a storming second encounter. Thankfully they were not only met but thoroughly surpassed by Rachel Caine, however this review does come with the same proviso that concluded my review of the first novel; namely that this is excellent eye-rollin “Nightmares aren’t frightening once you wake up. Memories are.”After meeting the woman formerly known as Gina Royal and seeing her experiences at the mercy of ex-husband and serial killer, Melvin, in Stillhouse Lake I confess to having high expectations for a storming second encounter. Thankfully they were not only met but thoroughly surpassed by Rachel Caine, however this review does come with the same proviso that concluded my review of the first novel; namely that this is excellent eye-rolling escapism so prepare to suspend disbelief. Likewise Killman Creek is neither deep, meaningful or ultimately credible, but it is frenetic edge of the seat reading, extremely addictive and outrageously good fun! In Stillhouse Lake readers saw formerly timid and submissive housewife, Gina Royal, fight tooth and nail to protect her two children and keep them safe from an incarcerated and death-row bound Melvin Royal and the sadistic hacker collective of Absalom doing his bidding. As Gina gradually evolved through the course of the novel into Gwen Proctor, an iron-willed and gutsy powerhouse with a crack shot to match, author Rachel Caine hooked readers with an overblown and rousing storyline. In common with most ongoing series instalments there is enough of a plot rehash in the first few chapters to ensure Killman Creek works as a standalone read, but this novel will mean monumentally more to those who have read the initial episode and will therefore benefit from appreciating the context.Stillhouse Lake ended with hearts in mouths as Gwen found herself lured into a trap and with Melvin having escaped from prison. After finally finding some relative peace of mind and with her children, Lanny and Connor, making progress Gwen dared to think she could gradually rebuild her life, but with Melvin on the loose she knows she can ill afford to sleep easy. However Gwen is done with the victim mentality and as the only things that stands between Melvin and her kids she is no longer content to run.. No, sirree - Gwen Proctor is going hunting and alongside the brother of Melvin’s last victim and former soldier, Sam Cade, she is vying for blood, whether or not she has to sacrifice herself for the eventual cause.“I need to think like a hunter now, but I can’t forget that I’m also prey. Melvin made me vulnerable before by luring me, manipulating me, to end up where he wanted me to be. Now we need to do the same to him.”Killman Creek is a definite step-up in terms of plotting and improves on the initial encounter by managing to sidestep the obvious potential of simply being a cat and mouse pursuit. In a markedly more emotional and exhilarating novel, Rachel Caine throws up some very unforeseen twists and complexities to keep readers gripped and living every moment of the drama. Whereas Stillhouse Lake was simply Gwen’s story and narrated from her own perspective, this return visit takes readers into the hearts and minds of both Lanny, Connor and Sam Cade. As Gwen leaves her children holed up in the protective custody of neighbours and the nearest thing she has to friends, ex-marine, Javier Esparza and Norton Police Department, Kezia Claremont with their old home at Stillhouse Lake tantalisingly close by both Lanny and Connor face their own battles to stay strong. As Lanny misses her best friend, Dahlia, for Connor it is the sugar coated memories of a father he last knew as a seven-year-old that test his resolve and leave him vulnerable to exploitation. Clued-up Gwen knows better than to expect Melvin to give her a fair fight though and even with the help of a former military friend of Sam’s turned Federal Agent in Mike Lustig feeding her and Sam tip offs, Gwen faces a fight to the death as Melvin’s renewed quest to paint her as evil by association gathers apace. As Gwen and Sam cross the country in an effort to put the ghosts of Melvin to bed and close down everyone of the hacker collective that comprise Absalom the challenges come from every angle as Gwen endeavours to keep Lanny and Connor from harm and withstand the cracks in her tentative alliance with Sam. As all roads head for a grand showdown at Killman Creek readers are advised to hold on to their hats!It is hard not to admire Gwen Proctor and her desire to confront the future head-on, from the recognition of her role as the perfect wife and cover for Melvin’s depraved activities and her appreciation of the long-term psychological damage facing her kids. Brave and honest, Gwen also understands that proving her innocence in Melvin’s murderous spree is a marathon and not a sprint and she has the patience and belief to respond calmly as the sceptics circle, even when the doubt stems from within her steadily vanishing inner circle of allies. The awkward intimacy between Gwen and Sam is insightfully portrayed, with both aware of their mutual attraction but with the burdens of the past standing between them. Along with the swathe of Internet trolls who refuse to believe Gwen’s own innocence in Melvin’s evil deeds, despite her being cleared at trial, the nagging doubt’s remain for a conflicted Sam and add further to the enormity of Gwen’s mission as she fights to be in control of her own destiny and rescue her children from the horrifying memories of a life lived in perpetual jeopardy.In common with Stillhouse Lake there is a fair bit of repetition throughout as Rachel Caine goes into overdrive by reiterating the perspectives of the individual characters continually, from Gwen’s mission to protect her kids, Lanny’s quest to safeguard her eleven-year-old brother and Connor’s confusion regarding his own feelings for the father he remembers loving. In out and out thrillers I often find this ad nauseam echoing of motivations seems almost a necessity in order to secure readers investment in a story and in no way did it detract from what proved an incredible read in Killman Creek.Count me in for the long haul when the Gwen Proctor bandwagon rolls on in the expected third novel, Wolfhunter River!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5A couple of months ago I read Stillhouse Lake and really enjoyed it and after the way it ended I was dying to get my hands on a copy of Killman Creek. I ended up liking this one even more than the first, it was exciting, tense and the type of page turner that kept me up way past my bedtime.WARNING! Stop reading here if you haven’t read book one because there will be some spoilers. So when SL ended Gwen’s sadistic ex husband had managed to escape from prison and she knew he was coming for he 4.5/5A couple of months ago I read Stillhouse Lake and really enjoyed it and after the way it ended I was dying to get my hands on a copy of Killman Creek. I ended up liking this one even more than the first, it was exciting, tense and the type of page turner that kept me up way past my bedtime.WARNING! Stop reading here if you haven’t read book one because there will be some spoilers. So when SL ended Gwen’s sadistic ex husband had managed to escape from prison and she knew he was coming for her and her kids. The intensity throughout this book was incredible since Gwen and her kids were being hunted and as much as I had feared for their safety the first time around, it didn’t hold a candle to my anxiety this time! Knowing that a man as twisted as Melvin Royal was looking for the family made this an epic page turner, and there were SO many creepy moments and great action scenes that I just could not stop reading.This has a twisty plot so I don’t want to say much more, but this book reminded me of Chelsea Cain in terms of style, it had that same cat and mouse vibe that her books have, which I love. I appreciated that Caine didn’t torture me with another cliffhanger ending and now I’m beyond curious what the story will be for book three?! It’s not out until next fall and there’s not even a blurb yet but you can guarantee that no matter what it’s about, I’ll be reading it!
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  • L.A. Starks
    January 1, 1970
    High-octane non-stop suspense from start to finish from a gifted, professional author.Highly recommended, though only for adults.
  • Kaila
    January 1, 1970
    "We're not hiding," I tell him. "We're hunting." 4.5 stars! I am so in love with this series. Killman Creek is an incredibly strong follow-up to Stillhouse Lake, which was a one-sitting read that reminded me just how much crazy, heart-pounding fun a well written thriller can be. This next installment is just as un-put-down-able, and within pages I was again swept up into Gwen Proctor's world as she decides to face her worst nightmare head-on.Again, the premise is intriguing, centered around a f "We're not hiding," I tell him. "We're hunting." 4.5 stars! I am so in love with this series. Killman Creek is an incredibly strong follow-up to Stillhouse Lake, which was a one-sitting read that reminded me just how much crazy, heart-pounding fun a well written thriller can be. This next installment is just as un-put-down-able, and within pages I was again swept up into Gwen Proctor's world as she decides to face her worst nightmare head-on.Again, the premise is intriguing, centered around a family that has been to hell and back thanks to the machinations of Melvin Royal, the convicted serial killer they once knew as a loving husband and father. Following his escape from prison at the end of the previous novel, Gwen Proctor vows to hunt him down before he can get to her first. She's no longer the naïve Gina Royal who had no idea of the atrocities unfolding in her own garage - she's a force to be reckoned with, especially against anyone who dares threaten her children.What I love most about how Rachel Caine has crafted this series is the careful balancing of non-stop pacing and character-driven plot. The narrative alternates between the perspectives of Gwen, Lanny, and Connor Proctor, as well as Sam Cade, which is a surprising but much-enjoyed deviation from the first book, told solely by Gwen. I found it so easy to connect with each of them, even when the action was at its peak.My heart has ached for Lanny and Connor's stolen childhoods since the start of Stillhouse Lake, and they each have great coming-of-age arcs in this story, battling different identity crises and protecting different secrets while still trying to hold together the tattered threads of their family.Sam's perspective was also a treat. I've been fascinated by his complicated relationship with Gwen since his true motives were unearthed in the first book. They're constantly on the precipice of becoming something more but still so haunted by the past that simultaneously ties them together and threatens to tear them apart. Their ups and downs are written just beautifully, and I found their near misses to be poignant and realistic.Finally, Gwen is very much the wonderful warrior I first fell in love with. In Stillhouse Lake, we see how much strength Gwen draws from the people around her, even when the shadows are darker than ever. This time, we see her stripped down to her core and at her most vulnerable when her support base is yanked cruelly away. It's raw and it's poignant, and I love her and respect her now so much more.Killman Creek maintains high tension all the way through and does a wonderful job of building up to the culmination of Sam and Gwen's journey finding Melvin Royal and Lanny and Connor's journeys finding themselves. Yet again, Caine's cinematic writing transported me right there into the thick of it and kept me on the edge of my seat. My sole complaint is that Gwen's showdown felt like too quick a climax after the sustained tension throughout the novel, and the epilogue felt almost rushed coming right after. It seemed a shame not to dwell a little longer in the aftermath and spend more time shedding light on the closure of the other characters' arcs from their own perspectives, but that's really only a minor nit-pick.I still absolutely loved Killman Creek. Hard-pressed, I'd have to say that Stillhouse Lake still has a place in my heart as my favorite, but Killman Creek definitely holds its own. The characters are just as real, the action just as epic. I was so excited to hear about plans for the conclusion of Gwen's story in Wolfhunter River later this year (fingers crossed); I can't wait to be transported once more into this thrilling universe Caine has created!Blog • Instagram
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    "Rage is better than fear. Always." Killman Creek is the second installment in Rachel Caine's psychotic thrill ride of a series titled: Stillhouse Lake. This book is a nightmare in a handbag. The story picks up twelve days after the cliffhanger ending of Stillhouse Lake and our heroine's anger is at an all-time high. She's out for blood and oh how I love a woman who can kick some ass!Killman Creek gives another fast-paced story to follow and my stomach was sick from the stress of it all. Thi "Rage is better than fear. Always." Killman Creek is the second installment in Rachel Caine's psychotic thrill ride of a series titled: Stillhouse Lake. This book is a nightmare in a handbag. The story picks up twelve days after the cliffhanger ending of Stillhouse Lake and our heroine's anger is at an all-time high. She's out for blood and oh how I love a woman who can kick some ass!Killman Creek gives another fast-paced story to follow and my stomach was sick from the stress of it all. This installment is dark and gritty, not only in the events that occur but in the emotions and level of manipulation. OMG.One difference to be prepared for in this installment is the multiple POV's. You'll get Gwen's POV just like in Stillhouse Lake, but also Lanny, Connor, and Sam's. When I came across the first POV shift, I was taken aback and didn't think I would like it but the various POV's really are crucial to this particular storyline. Admittedly, there were elements of this book that I found a bit predictable but the whole reading experience was so engaging and unputdownable that I didn't even care. I am loving this series and would highly recommend it to fans of psychological/suspense/thriller/mystery/etc. Check it out!My favorite quote:"You never understand how vulnerable you are in this age of social media until something breaks against you, and then . . . then it’s too late. You can shut down Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; you can change your phone number and your e-mail. Move to new places. But for dedicated tormentors, that isn’t a barrier. It’s a challenge. They enjoy hitting. They don’t particularly care if the blows ever land, and it becomes a contest of who can post the most shocking, degrading material. The torrent comes from nowhere, and everywhere, and the hatred . . . it’s like poison, seeping from the screen into your brain."
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  • Sepani
    January 1, 1970
    I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This is the sequel of stillhouse lake and I was excited to see what will happen in this story. Like the previous book, I couldn’t put it down.The main difference of this book when compared with the previous one is that; this book comprise of all the main character’s point of view (Gwen, Sam, Conner, Lanny) unlike the first book which the story narrates only from Gwen’s point. The story was fast-paced but in a I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This is the sequel of stillhouse lake and I was excited to see what will happen in this story. Like the previous book, I couldn’t put it down.The main difference of this book when compared with the previous one is that; this book comprise of all the main character’s point of view (Gwen, Sam, Conner, Lanny) unlike the first book which the story narrates only from Gwen’s point. The story was fast-paced but in a good way.I appreciate Gwen for her willingness to offer herself to Mel in order to protect her children. And during the latter part of the story I felt sorry about how she was so defenseless in front of Mel but at last she was able to get rid of him. The ending was great because it was the same way that I wanted for it to be ended.
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  • Meredith B. (readingwithmere)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars..rounded up!I personally devoured Stillhouse Lake and I typically don't think the 2nd book in a series is better than the first, however this one was even better in my eyes.This book pretty much picked off where Stillhouse Lake left off and we dive into the kids and Gwen trying to run for Melvin who is on the loose. He continues to haunt his family and Gwen feels like she needs to find out where he is and get rid of him. Melvin is part of a cult killing group and he keeps finding her p 4.5 Stars..rounded up!I personally devoured Stillhouse Lake and I typically don't think the 2nd book in a series is better than the first, however this one was even better in my eyes.This book pretty much picked off where Stillhouse Lake left off and we dive into the kids and Gwen trying to run for Melvin who is on the loose. He continues to haunt his family and Gwen feels like she needs to find out where he is and get rid of him. Melvin is part of a cult killing group and he keeps finding her phone number, where she is and has his people after her. He plays complete mind games with her and their kids to try to break her down but can she overcome it? There are some serious bumps in the road. Questions pop up such as: What happens when your kids start to doubt your truth? What if you trust the enemy unknowingly? But ultimately how can you trust anyone?The interesting thing about this book that the last one didn't have was the different chapters from different characters perspectives. We finally get to see things through the eyes of not just Gwen but also Sam, Lanny and Connor. I think having the chapters split this way added even more drama to this which is exactly what it needed.This is a rollercoaster ride. Trigger warning: it's also incredibly graphic. So if violence, blood, murder, etc. isn't your thing then be wary going into this. It's a psychological mind thriller and there were many points when i was like WHAT or ARE YOU KIDDING ME? But that's how I like my thrillers - personal preference of course!I highly recommend you read Stillhouse Lake before picking up Killman Creek as it is a continuation of the story and you need the backstory before reading this one. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out in December!
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    I thought I would have been happy with Stillhouse Lake, the first book in the series, being a stand alone book. Boy, was I wrong to think that. I would have missed out on continuing with Rachel Caine's writing.Gwen Proctor and her two kids have been running and hiding from Melvin Royal for years. When events reveal that their safety was an illusion, Gwen changes from prey to hunter. Watch out, Melvin, right? Oh, no. Melvin has a few tricks yet to pull. He is a master manipulator, after all.This I thought I would have been happy with Stillhouse Lake, the first book in the series, being a stand alone book. Boy, was I wrong to think that. I would have missed out on continuing with Rachel Caine's writing.Gwen Proctor and her two kids have been running and hiding from Melvin Royal for years. When events reveal that their safety was an illusion, Gwen changes from prey to hunter. Watch out, Melvin, right? Oh, no. Melvin has a few tricks yet to pull. He is a master manipulator, after all.This was a tension-filled, adrenaline-pumping race to the end. There was no getting any sleep until I finished. I could say I might be happy to have the story end here, but I won’t make that mistake again. I’m happy because Book #3 is coming later this year.
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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    After devouring Stillhouse Lake in one sitting, I was so happy to have a copy of Killman Creek to read right away. I needed to know what was going to happen!!! SL was so good that I thought for sure KC wasn't going to top it. Boy was I wrong! The pacing is faster, the read is darker and good lawd, Rachel Caine, won't you give poor Gwen a break already?! **shakes fist**Stillhouse Lake is from Gwen's perspective alone so we get a full on feel of her character and mindset and the author holds no pu After devouring Stillhouse Lake in one sitting, I was so happy to have a copy of Killman Creek to read right away. I needed to know what was going to happen!!! SL was so good that I thought for sure KC wasn't going to top it. Boy was I wrong! The pacing is faster, the read is darker and good lawd, Rachel Caine, won't you give poor Gwen a break already?! **shakes fist**Stillhouse Lake is from Gwen's perspective alone so we get a full on feel of her character and mindset and the author holds no punches in her paranoia and fierce love for her children. Going into Killman Creek, we now get four different perspectives, Gwen, Sam and the kids - Lanny and Connor. At first this was a bit off putting. I think most of that came from reading it back to back. As soon as I got used to this, I couldn't put the book down. The author does a fantastic job in having me feel for each of these characters. I already had great love for Gwen, but now I really got know the other characters and uff... there were some moments where I just wanted to scream, cringe and just throw the book in frustration. But hey, lets not kill my kindle, right?I am beyond ecstatic to know there's a book three coming out. I am in a bit of a book hangover after both of these and may need something lighter in between. Maybe... 😉
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this 2nd book In Rachel Caine's "Stillhouse Lake" series!Gwen Proctor saves her children from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his group of deranged accomplices. But it's not over. Not since Melvin escapes from prison.Leaving her children protected with a well-armed neighbour, Gwen goes hunting. Oh Yes - she decides to become the hunter instead of the hunted. Gwen recruits Sam Cade, the brother of one of Melvin's victims and together they begin their search before Melvin can Loved this 2nd book In Rachel Caine's "Stillhouse Lake" series!Gwen Proctor saves her children from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his group of deranged accomplices. But it's not over. Not since Melvin escapes from prison.Leaving her children protected with a well-armed neighbour, Gwen goes hunting. Oh Yes - she decides to become the hunter instead of the hunted. Gwen recruits Sam Cade, the brother of one of Melvin's victims and together they begin their search before Melvin can strike again. What they discover is beyond anything they could imagine.If you enjoy thrillers and suspense you do not want to miss reading the "Stillhouse Lake" series.I can hardly wait to read the next book.I highly recommend the audio version of books 1 and 2.
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  • ♥Rachel♥
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 StarsMelvin Royal is out and on the hunt for Gwen and the kids. Keeping safe and hidden is almost impossible with Absalom assisting Melvin at every turn. So, Gwen and Sam decide to go on the offensive, while leaving her kids, Lanny and Connor with Javier and Kenzia to keep safe. There’s no doubt that Killman Creek was an exciting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of read, I read this in one day because I couldn’t put it down. I can’t really say I enjoyed it, though, because it was gruesome in p 2.5 StarsMelvin Royal is out and on the hunt for Gwen and the kids. Keeping safe and hidden is almost impossible with Absalom assisting Melvin at every turn. So, Gwen and Sam decide to go on the offensive, while leaving her kids, Lanny and Connor with Javier and Kenzia to keep safe. There’s no doubt that Killman Creek was an exciting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of read, I read this in one day because I couldn’t put it down. I can’t really say I enjoyed it, though, because it was gruesome in parts and pretty intense. Also, I wasn’t happy with the characters. Evidence conveniently surfaces that again casts doubt on Gwen, was she Melvin’s Little Helper after all? Instead of waiting to see if it was fabricated, there was an immediate rush to judgement. After all they’d been through in the last book, their quick loss of faith in Gwen was super disappointing. I don’t know if I could’ve forgiven Sam for what he did in the end. It was a complete betrayal that was just swept under the rug in the end. To me, there should’ve been a lot more talk on the subject and a lot more groveling, maybe I could’ve come to terms with it then, but the way it was quickly shoved aside and forgotten didn’t sit well with me. Gwen was amazing, but I thought she accepted that crappy treatment way too easily. I suppose it was from the lingering guilt of feeling like she should’ve known what her ex-husband was up to when he was killing all those women, but still. There’s a third book coming in the series, not sure what it’ll be about since things are wrapped up here, but I would like to see Sam, Gwen, and the kids in the future. Maybe some of my lingering disappointment with the characters actions and reactions will be put to rest then. It’s hard to rate this since I had big time issues with the characters, but I can’t ignore that it was a compelling thriller, one I didn’t want to put down. I think it’s somewhere between 2-3 stars for me. A copy was kindly provided by Thomas & Mercer via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This review is also posted at The Readers Den.
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  • Janelle
    January 1, 1970
    KILLMAN CREEK by Rachel Caine - I read the first book, Stillhouse Lake, earlier this year and loved it! So needless to say I had to get my hands on a copy of the sequel! Thank you so much to the author and Amazon Publishing for providing me a free advance copy - all opinions are my own. Summary: Gwen and her two children thought they were safe until they realize her ex-husband, and serial killer, Melvin Royal escaped from prison and is now on the run looking for his family. They have to leave St KILLMAN CREEK by Rachel Caine - I read the first book, Stillhouse Lake, earlier this year and loved it! So needless to say I had to get my hands on a copy of the sequel! Thank you so much to the author and Amazon Publishing for providing me a free advance copy - all opinions are my own. Summary: Gwen and her two children thought they were safe until they realize her ex-husband, and serial killer, Melvin Royal escaped from prison and is now on the run looking for his family. They have to leave Stillhouse Lake, which was the closest they’ve felt to a home in a long time. Tired of hiding, Gwen decides to entrust the care of her children to a friend so she can focus on tracking down Melvin before he finds her. Gwen recruits Sam Cade, the brother to one of Melvin’s last victims, so they can hunt him down before he can strike again. But what Gwen finds is beyond anything she could imagine... “Melvin Royal stalks me in the brief darkness when I close my eyes. Blink, and he’s on the street. Blink, and he’s walking up the stairs to the motel to the second floor’s open walkway. Blink, and he’s outside the door. Listening.”My Review: I was hooked from the second I started reading this chilling sequel! Caine does an amazing job starting right where she left off at the end of Stillhouse Lake, and continues with more depth, emotion, and terror. Stillhouse Lake was told from Gwen’s point of view, and you felt the paranoia and fear she had for herself and her children as they tried to escape the past. In this book the point of view alternates between Gwen, Sam, and her two children. I rather enjoyed this change in writing style as it was interesting to see how Gwen is perceived from multiple perspectives.This was a “read in one sitting” type of book - just like Stillhouse Lake but even better! It’s more of a thriller than a mystery and it included plenty of dark subject matter. Killman Creek is a gripping story with a twisty plot, and a nicely wrapped-up ending! There are a few indications that there might be a third book...I really hope there is!For all of my reviews, please visit https://shereadswithcats.com
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  • Joey R.
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars—Last year when I read “Stillhouse Lake” I was impressed with Ms. Caine’s writing ability but thought the plot was weak and a little contrived. I decided to read Book 2 in the series —“Killman Creek” — anyway to give the author a second chance. All I can say is ..wow! that was good. “Killman Creek” kept me up reading late into the night with well drawn characters and a brilliant premise in which Gwen, the main character, and her family are being stalked by her prison escapee, serial-kil 4.5 Stars—Last year when I read “Stillhouse Lake” I was impressed with Ms. Caine’s writing ability but thought the plot was weak and a little contrived. I decided to read Book 2 in the series —“Killman Creek” — anyway to give the author a second chance. All I can say is ..wow! that was good. “Killman Creek” kept me up reading late into the night with well drawn characters and a brilliant premise in which Gwen, the main character, and her family are being stalked by her prison escapee, serial-killer ex-husband and a group of computer predators going by the moniker “Absalom”. To make things more interesting, Gwen is trying to find the ex-husband and kill him before he, with the help of Absalom, kills her. There were several interesting subplots involving Gwen’s children as well as a rogue FBI agent that I really enjoyed. The book built suspense throughout and the almost superhuman ability of Absalom to track Gwen’s cellphone did make for some good foreshadowing of the final conflict between Gwen and her ex. The only thing keeping me from giving this book a perfect score was the last 25 pages of the book and the ridiculous luck and superhuman abilities that a character displayed to bring the story to an unsatisfying end. But what a great story otherwise. Do yourself a favor and give this one a chance.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I had some trepidations before going into this book. I'd liked but not loved the previous novel 'Stillhouse Lake', but was intrigued enough to know more. I'm glad I did. This was a great dramatic thriller with some excellent characters and plot. This follows almost directly from where Stillhouse Lake finished. Gwen Proctor, ex-wife of serial killer Melvin Royal, is trying desperately to keep her children safe while playing the hunt I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I had some trepidations before going into this book. I'd liked but not loved the previous novel 'Stillhouse Lake', but was intrigued enough to know more. I'm glad I did. This was a great dramatic thriller with some excellent characters and plot. This follows almost directly from where Stillhouse Lake finished. Gwen Proctor, ex-wife of serial killer Melvin Royal, is trying desperately to keep her children safe while playing the hunter and the hunted to Mel and his followers games. With the help of Sam, neighbour, sometimes lover and brother of one of Mel's last victim, she's determined to get one step ahead of the race and kill or be killed in the attempt to track Mel down. This felt a lot more polished than its predecessor. The characters are more refined and intelligent. Gwen, far from playing the victim or merely trying to hide her children from harm, takes front seat and centre stage here. She's proactive, self assured and just so much better than before. The character development is excellent. Sam is also a strong lead. He's pragmatic, yet suffers internally with what happened to his sister and his guilt I've whether he can trust Gwen or not. It was also a masterstroke to have chapters from his POV. One of my faults with Stillhouse Lake were that is was all from Gwen's perspective, and often her internal monologue got a little grating. To have another view point kept the story fresher. That said, I was less enamoured with Lanny and Connor's storyline. I often found myself skipping chunks of their story arc so I can return to the faster paced action involving Sam and Gwen. Unfortunately I just found them both slightly irritating and gullible. I got annoyed at their lack of trust in their mother, and the easy way Connor is manipulated- although I can understand why he is. Melvin's looming presence over all the Proctor family is still abundantly clear, and keeping him largely out of the storyline other than through phone calls and texts keeps him as an enigma. The plot itself, as mentioned, is well paced and entertaining throughout. There are plenty of twists, some which took me by surprise, and I really enjoyed the ending. Again, as with Stillhouse Lake, the use of technology in crime and blackmail was unique and very well done, taking things even further than they were previously. The whole novel had a sort of 'Black Mirror' feel to it, especially the episode 'Shut Up and Dance' where people are blackmailed via anonymous hackers into doing various misdemeanours. One of the best thrillers I've read in a while.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Stillhouse Lake was only the beginning. Gwen Proctor has been betrayed and trapped with her two children, Lanny and Connor. Gwen's husband—serial killer Melvin Royal has planned his revenge on his ex wife. Melvin's master scheme has been meticulously planned for years—including a cyber security spider web, dark net trafficking, and an operative set of cult-like followers. Killman Creek takes Gwen and company to the darkest levels of modern day crime. Melvin Royal isn't the only criminal at pla Stillhouse Lake was only the beginning. Gwen Proctor has been betrayed and trapped with her two children, Lanny and Connor. Gwen's husband—serial killer Melvin Royal has planned his revenge on his ex wife. Melvin's master scheme has been meticulously planned for years—including a cyber security spider web, dark net trafficking, and an operative set of cult-like followers. Killman Creek takes Gwen and company to the darkest levels of modern day crime. Melvin Royal isn't the only criminal at play this time, but who else? This time around is Melvin Royal only a pawn in a much bigger, sinister, evil chess game—but who's leading the game?When I first read Stillhouse Lake, I was completely addicted. I fell in love with Gwen, her children, and her allies. I was rooting for them! I immediately ran to Amazon and pressed "buy now" without question. It was like it was a reflex or something involuntary. Excited to pick up Killman Creek , I began immediately and was excited to see what was next for the Proctors. This book differs from Stillhouse Lake in many ways and I want to break it down for you because this read is not going to be for everybody, but I hope everybody who read Stillhouse Lake reads this! When reading Stillhouse Lake, we are greeted to a backstory and only get bits and pieces of the story, leading up to suspenseful chapters and moments that could tingle up your spin. With Killman Creek , forget it because that will not happen. This read is not so much suspense, but more of an action-packed thriller. That's not to say it isn't worthy of a five star rating! I was so hooked right from the beginning. Killman Creek basically starts with chaos and continues its action until the very end. If you liked Stillhouse Lake, Killman Creek blows it out of the water!
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