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Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake Series) MP3 CD – Unabridged, December 12, 2017
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About the Author
- Publisher : Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (December 12, 2017)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1543636683
- ISBN-13 : 978-1543636680
- Item Weight : 3.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,170,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Killman Creek is the second book in the Stillhouse Lake series. The first book is excellent and ends in a cliff hanger, so I jumped into this second book almost immediately. This one has a bit of a different feel to it. This time the story line changes point of view, switching from the kids, to Gwen, to her friend Sam, and others. Gwen is the point of view used for a majority of the story, but you get a taste of how the people closest to her feel about the situation. I didn't really like the switch ups, but given some of the major plot points with people wondering if she's a murderer and liar, it did help further the plot. I think most of my problem with it was the sections involving the kids. Some of their dialogue and actions almost turned this book into more of a melodramatic, YA-like emotional rant. I have to admit that as I listened to the audiobook, I fast forwarded past some of the teenage angst. It interfered with the suspense and went on too long. I get it -- their dad is a killer, they are tired of moving, and they think their mom may have helped him. But 20 minutes of childish rants and stupid decisions just pulled me out of the story for too long and some of their decisions were just over-the-top ridiculous. BUT....I will add that once the action turned to moving towards the final conclusion of this story, every point of view was necessary, and the switchups redeemed themselves, adding to the suspense at that point rather than making me roll my eyes. Don't get me wrong -- this is a great book and I enjoyed it. I just felt some of the sections using the kids' POV just went on too long and were just a bit too cheesy melodramatic.
The pace (except in a couple spots where it got bogged down in the kiddos stuff) moves along at a good speed, the suspense builds nicely, and the ending was satisfying for the most part. I did hope for a bit more Melvin -- but I was happy enough at how the story ends. I think there were some actions by other characters that Gwen accepted and forgave a bit too easily, especially a couple choices by Sam and her kids. The ending seemed a bit too smooth with Gwen never really confronting some things done by those closest to her.
I listened to the audiobook version of this story. At just under 12 hours long, the audio version had voice actors for the different main characters and was very well done. I have hearing loss but was easily able to hear and understand the entire production. It took me a bit to get used to a couple of the voices, but I was able to immerse myself in the story.
Another book in this series, Wolfhunter River, is coming out in October 2018. Not sure what the plot might be for this next book, but I will definitely be reading it! Excellent series!
By Lexie Quinn on December 5, 2018
Top reviews from other countries
I was blown away by Stillhouse Lake when I read it a few months ago so I was beyond excited to finally get my hands on a copy of sequel Killman Creek from NetGalley and while my expectations were ridiculously high, Caine didn’t let me down.
Whereas Stillhouse Lake was a good old fashioned who dunnit which kept you guessing till the very end this is a much different type of thriller. Unlike the first book where Gwen was very much on the defensive this time she’s going on the attack. Her serial killer ex-husband is still on the loose and with help from hacker Absolom he seems to be able to find her and her children everywhere they go. She’s fed up of running and hiding though so she stashes the children Lanny and Connor somewhere safe while she and Sam go hunting.
Due to the nature of the story there’s a lot less mystery this time around, it’s more a game of cat and mouse, but that’s not to say there isn’t the odd unexpected twist and there are still a lot of questions over who can be trusted. It’s a fast paced and gripping story that does somehow make you question everything you previously thought was true.
Rather than being told solely from Gwen’s point of view, Killman Creek is told from multiple pov’s, something that took a little bit of getting used to. As well as Gwen, there are also chapters from Sam, Lanny and Connor’s points of view and while I liked some more than others it did add a new and interesting perspective to the story and let us get to know the other characters a bit better.
I have to say I do love Gwen/Gina. She does get put through the wringer time after time but no one can say she isn’t a fighter and I love how she always puts her kids first. Sam is quite an intriguing character, brother to one of Gwen’s ex-husband’s victims, he’s out for vengeance but is very confused about his feelings towards Gwen. It was great to see them spending so much time alone together this time around. The way the dynamic between them shifts and changes makes for some brilliant reading.
As for Lanny and Connor, gah!!! I know they’re young but really? Did they have to do everything they weren’t supposed to do? So frustrating but you just know they’re going to do the stupid thing that lands everyone in danger.
There aren’t very many new characters, and the ones there are come and go fairly quickly with only one or two making much of an impression, but really this is all about the relationships between those we know, so who cares.
This is pretty much non stop action and suspense from beginning to end and the final explosive showdown makes it all worthwhile. Caine’s writing is as always brilliant, creating just the right balance of tension, action and the more emotional scenes which keep you connected to and rooting for the characters.
Overall I thought this was a great conclusion to the story and definitely one I’d recommend.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an ARC. As always all views are my own.
I enjoyed this second book in the Stillhouse Lake series. I loved the linear time frame and that Rachel does not repeat things from book one in the series. The format is different to the first book which is a first person narrative wholly from Gwen’s point of view. Killman Lake has separate chapters in the first person of Gwen, her friend Sam and her children Connor and Lanny. This four spoke format adds to the novel because quite often the reader knows far more than the other three central characters.
I think Killman Creek has a good plot and the workings of the dark web cast further doubts on what exactly is going on. Lots of warning flags are thrown up and it is great fun taking these details onboard as you question how this story is going.
There was plenty of detail to keep me happy and I loved the challenges Gwen took to keep off the grid. It made me chuckle just how many burner phones Gwen has got through in these two books. It also made me smile when in these modern times, Gwen felt naked without a mobile phone and using a printed map was something special.
I found Killman Creek to be an engaging, entertaining GOOD 4 star read. The pace was good and the story had a nice flow. I did not find any slow or boring parts. There was no padding in this novel so there is no chance of the reader wondering whether to buy book three or not. Count me in for the next book in the Stillhouse Lake series.
I had totally admired the transformation of Gwen Proctor; a housewife blissfully unaware that her husband was a serial killer, who became a strong, brave woman who battled to save her kids from his clutches.
This follow up started well. Her husband, Melvin broke out of prison and Gwen receives a chilling text making it clear that he is coming after her. But for me that's where it all started to go a bit wrong. Gwen decides to leave her children and with the help of Sam Cade who we met in the first book, she goes to hunt down Melvin. At this point I thought there would be an intense game of cat and mouse with Melvin but sadly it lacked any intensity at all and the story began to feel like it was running fast to someplace called nowhere. Melvin actually doesn't appear much in the story until very late on, by which time you see how many pages you have left and you just know in your heart that the ending isn't going to be the hum dinger you were expecting it to be. And it's really not. I persevered till the end, but it took me 6 weeks. I'm so disappointed.
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!
Review written by Rachel Hall (@hallrachel)
Picking up where Stillhouse Lake leaves off, Melvin Royal is still at large having escaped prison; Gwen/Gina is still running; Absalom is still pulling the strings. This time she has help from Sam Cade and support from the local gun range owner and his policewoman girlfriend - even better Sam has friends in high places and maybe, just maybe he can call in a few favours.
My biggest problem with this was second book was that you could actually see the plot wheels turning on the page - there was little to no suspense built up for the majority of the read. This was largely due to everything being flagged up a few pages before it happened, there were a few exceptions (the cabin in the woods, the side story of the attempted abduction) but everything else felt the story arc wheel had been spun so we had to move on to the next cliche.
The saving grace is the characterisation, especially Gwen/Gina's emotional state. Personal reactions to situations are fairly realistic (for unrealistic situations) and give you a good insight in to each character. This is particularly true with the children and how they are coping with the various revelations of what their father did and how their mother was (seemingly?) involved. It is these moments that elevated the book from 1.5 Star to 3 Star, certainly not the almost Bourne-like tales of cross and double cross and dark wen ne'er do wells.
That said I would struggle, in all good conscience, to recommend this book to another reader. A shame as I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series and I am now unlikely to bother with the next installment when it is published.