Stillhouse Lake Series: Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine's Stillhouse Lake series

Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series straddles the line between psychological thriller and serial killer horror. One of this decade’s best page-turning thrillers, Stillhouse Lake delivers an airtight plot and characters you will cheer for…and fear.

What would you do if you found out your husband was a serial killer?

That’s the hook Caine uses to draw us into the first novel in the series, Stillhouse Lake. This is one of the best opening plot twists I’ve encountered in many years, and it kept me flipping pages until the final bloody chapter.

Gina Royal is your average mid-western American soccer mom. She’s a loyal wife, subservient to her husband, Melvin. And she never questions why Melvin spends so much time locked in the garage. He claims his hobby is woodworking, but Melvin has a dark secret.


Gina Royal’s life falls apart in the prologue of book one in the Stillhouse Lake series when a vehicle crashes into her garage and exposes the horrible truth. The bodies of dead women hang like gutted deer in the garage. Melvin’s trophies. Believing she was complicit in the murders, the police arrest Gina and Melvin.

Gina is found innocent in the court of law, but the horror is just beginning.

Internet vigilantes believe Gina committed the crimes. They won’t stop chasing the Royals until Gina and her two children are dead. The pursuit causes Gina to change their identities, and eventually she settles down with her children as Gwen Procter in Stillhouse Lake.

Then a dead body floats to the surface of the lake.

A Surprising Theme

While most psychological thrillers stop after the plot and character arcs are in place, Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series goes an extra step and gives us plenty to think about.

While the Internet delivers news and information faster than ever before, this speed comes at a price. We react before we uncover the whole truth. We respond to sound bites and fire back at anyone who disagrees. Worse yet, we form social gangs, which drive home our agenda with blunt force.

Read message forums and social media platforms at your peril.

The Internet and its social warriors victimize Gina Royal, and the vigilantes become as monstrous as the evil they war against. Since reading Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series, I look at message forums very differently.

Fight for Rachel

The sad news broke that Rachel Caine is fighting cancer. We’ve all been touched by this horrible disease. I lost my father to cancer, and my wife survived breast cancer. Please think of Rachel, and consider donating to M.D. Anderson research so we can conquer this disease during our lifetime.

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