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.
*Synopsis and photo from Goodreads
*I would like to thank the publisher, Thomas & Mercer, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Killman Creek is the second book of the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine. I totally enjoyed the first book, where readers were introduced to Gina Royal’s plight of moving from one place to another to protect her kids from people who were threatening to harm them simply because of their association to Melvin Royal, a serial killer who also happened to be her ex-husband. Their latest stop is at Stillhouse Lake and even feel like they can finally settle. But even there, they were hunted by one of Melvin’s minion. Luckily, they survived the attack but with that came the news of his escape from prison. This book picks up where the first one left off. And I was really delighted to be able to read the continuation of now known as Gwen Proctor and her kids’ story after that cliffhanger ending of Stillhouse Lake. Now, Gwen and kids, together with their new friend Sam, is on the run again. Gwen knows Melvin will not stop until he exacted his revenge on them, especially her. But then she realized hiding is what he’s expecting her to do. And with accomplices everywhere, they are bound to be found sooner or later. She is fed up with running. After entrusting her children to some capable friends, it is now her time to go hunt Melvin and end his hold on them. With Sam’s help, they started tracking down her ex-husband. But nothing can prepare Gwen for what she’s about to face because it is beyond anything she could ever imagine.
So, this sequel is more than what I expected. Stillhouse Lake is such a gripping read and thus I can’t help but assumed that this one will be the same. Gladly, I wasn’t left disappointed. Killman Creek is as gripping and more. Rachel Caine yet again weaved another intense story about Gwen and her family. This one is so much different from the first as Gwen stopped hiding, instead, she decided to face her serial killer ex-husband. Aside from Gwen, we also get some perspective from her two kids, Lanny and Connor, and as well as Sam. It was a change from the last time but it is definitely an appreciated change as it gives a glimpse of how the kids look at things and how they are coping with all that they’ve been through. I feel invested with the characters and I feel a lot of emotions in reading their parts, most especially annoyance towards Connor’s disloyalty. Like, why would he even do that? I even feel doubtful about Gwen’s innocence as new evidence surface incriminating her. It took on a deeper, darker, horrific turn, too, that might make some a bit queasy. At first, it seems far-fetched how the story was going but after some thought, it is not impossible at all. Serial killers and psychopaths and pedophiles exist after all.
Killman Creek certainly made up for the disappointing cliffhanger of the first book. This is something I expected a sequel should be. It is action-packed and even not short of heart-pounding suspense. The surprising twists and turns ensure that the reader will keep turning the pages. The ending is satisfying and I was surprised to know that there will be a third book that’s at work. I can’t help but wonder how things will go for the Royals on the next installment. But, hey, I’m not complaining. I would love to know how the story will proceed after all the hardships the family had been through.
This series is amazing and it revived my love for Rachel Caine. Killman Creek is a strong follow-up and is definitely recommended for those who enjoy a fast-paced thriller. It may be part of a series but it can be very well read as a standalone. Although, I’d suggest to check out Stillhouse Lake to get a better understanding of not only the story but the characters, as well. Just some warning, it consists of gory details, so if you’re sensitive to that, you might want to skip this. Nevertheless, it is a great read and this book deserves it’s five stars.