Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine: Book Review

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine: Book Review

How well do you know anyone? You might meet people every day, but still, do you know the real them? Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine takes us for a wild ride making us question the very thing,

And it is not a surprise to know that it has been on the Amazon Top Charts for more than eight weeks now. Read on to know more about the top selling serial killer novel Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine right ahead.

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About Stillhouse lake by Rachel Caine

Stillhouse lake

Book Name: Stillhouse Lake

Series: Gwen Proctor #1

Author: Rachel Caine

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Gwen Proctor, Melvin Royal, Lancel Graham, Sam Cade

Setting: The USA

Plot Summary of Stillhouse lake

Gina Royal is a happy stay at home mother for her kids and is happily married to Melvin. Her life falls apart when a drunk driver wrecks their garage, exposing the remains of the heinous murders her husband had committed. She is tried as an accomplice and acquitted later, while Mel is sentenced to death row.

Fearing the Internet threats and the trolls, that she dubs as Sicko Patrol, Gina renames herself Gwen Proctor, a fearless mom who will do anything to protect her teens . Gwen could have been her last identity change until the serial killing starts again just around her neighborhood. She continues to fear her husband’s threats and doesn’t know whom to trust.

What length would she go to save her kids and her own sanity? Read Stillhouse lake by Rachel Caine to find out.

Book review of Stillhouse lake

Stillhouse Lake is a fast paced thriller that is not your breezy summer read. The well placed twists would keep you hooked until the last page. The reader is as confused as Gwen about the people she could trust and things she should stay away from.

Stillhouse lake talks a lot about the dark side of the Internet. It is terrifying that all the threats and abuses she and her kids have been facing are possible in today’s world.

Stillhouse Lake review baffles me

There are a few plot holes that I am trying hard not to nitpick, but the whole premise works only on those flimsy grounds. For instance, Gina was married for ten years and she has never been into her husband’s garage, where he hid, raped, abused, and killed several women.

Gina trusts someone who had been against her from the beginning. And this baffles me: is it even possible in this real life that there are thousands of people who want to kill a family when they were not even related to the murders, especially in this self-absorbed world where we talk about any social issue only until the next one crops up?

The creepy serial killer angle works great, but no other characters are likable. Usually I like women protagonists who are stong and fight back, but Gwen did nothing of that sort, except being so predictable and stupid.

The book ends with a cliffhanger which may or not work for you. Though much has been said about Stillhouse Lake ending with a cliffhanger in the book world, the book works well as the first installment in a series to come and as a standalone too. I didn’t mind that some questions have not been answered.

Stillhouse Lake review bad writing

While the plot and premise are refreshingly new, the writing leaves a bad aftertaste in your mouth. If keeping the story moving was all that the author aimed at, well she succeeded. There are girls tortured and killed, kids kidnapped and one character is sent to death row and yet I am thinking about the bad writing. Yes that was the level of emotional connection I had to the characters.

The badly written monologue that repeated in every chapter annoyed me. The author commits more than once the cardinal sin of telling but not showing. She tells the reader what to see, what to feel rather than letting us learn by action or context. It irritated the crap out of me.

Bottom line

Despite all these misgivings I was not able to put Stillhouse lake by Rachel Caine down until the last page. So if you are looking a fast paced thriller like The Girl on the Train this is your poison, pick it right away.

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Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine: Book Review

The handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood: A Book Review

Dystopia has never been my preferred genre, thanks to the very many badly written YA literature strewn around the world that befalls into the said genre. Yet there were several times while I read the book The Handmaid’s Tale that I had to recheck the publishing date.

There were several times while I read the book #TheHandmaid'sTale that I had to recheck the publishing date, because IT LOOKS LIKE THE CURRENT WORLD WE ARE IN! I loved this book totally and here is my #review Click To Tweet

About The handmaid’s tale

Handmaid's tale

Book Name: The Handmaid’s Tale 

Author: Margaret Atwood

Genre: Fiction – Literary Dystopia

Characters: Offred, The Commander, Serena Joy, Nick, Moira

Plot Summary of The handmaid’s tale

Set in not so distant dystopian future, women have lost all that they won in the recent past, at least partially – the ability to chose what they wore, what they did for life or even handle money. They are forbidden from reading, writing and even speaking freely.

Their existence is based on their functionality – the wives (in charge of the household), the helps (Marthas), the teachers (Aunts), the wombs (Handmaids), the sexual toys ( Jezebels) and the outcasts (Unwoman) are sent to Colonies where they are left to harvest cotton or clean up the radioactive waste.

Offred, our narrator, a handmaid belongs to Fred, who is on her third and final attempt to conceive a child with a government appointed ‘Commander.’ Every month she has an impersonal intercourse with the Commander and his wife, who is barren.

She had had a child with her husband Luke (a divorcée from his previous wife), before she became Offred and before her marriage was declared void. Everything changed overnight. Money was replaced, women were declared to belong to their men and were offered ‘safety’ and ‘respect’ than they were in the free modern world.

She is desperate to figure what happened to her family, to know what is happening in the world outside the wall, to read write and just to live. She is given a friend Ofglen, who is accountable for Offred’s actions while she runs errands and her for Ofglen.

Offred falls for Nick, the Guardian for the commander, a crime that could lead them both to be publicly hung. Was the risk worth taking? Did she learn anything about her family? Read to know more.

A personal note

Written in the 1980s and still, it has not lost its relevance may reason out why the book is called a classic. If anything, The handmaid’s tale has become more and more pertinent today, given the current world scenario. I hail from a nation where rape seems to the screaming weekly headline, where feminism is more or less a topic for the keyboard warriors and reservation and rationing are the only ways to go by. 

Incidentally, I live in a country which believes in ‘respecting’ women, ‘saving’ them from men, yet are not allowed to make decisions about their unborn fetus. There are nations where women are not even allowed to drive or make a visit to the mall without a proper chaperon. Let us not forget the wall that our dear Mr. Trump has promised to build to protect us from the immigrants and the religious terrorism he is raging against.

You guessed it right, every one of these actions is a fragment of imagination that Margret Atwood takes us through in her novel. And you know what? Somehow we are all conditioned to living and adapting to these rules, that we no longer think that we are complying with them but accepting them as the way of life. Yes, I no longer feel The Handmaid’s Tale is a far-fetched work of fiction.

Book review of The handmaid’s tale

The Handmaid’s Tale might be a little hard to get into, yet once you are into it, you can not stop it. I started reading the book and heard the rest of it when I was out and about living my life because I could not put it down.

The narration is not linear, there are places where you might be confused, especially at the initial parts, but it will grow on you. And oh, I loved the emphasis thrown on the importance of the written and spoken word in creating a new world, as any bibliophile would.

And my dear grammar nazis, yes there are a lot of commas, quotes and other generic rules that are broken, but somehow it works. In fact they make it better. (Mother Earth can swallow me). There are too many seemingly simple lines that make them powerful quotes for that very reason. The ambiguous ending works so well that I cannot stop pondering over.

I am yet to watch Hulu’s take on the book as a TV series, but it is on my to-do list (update: done and I loved it) . You can not read The Handmaid’s Tale  as a breeze through the weekend read. You can not unsee once you have been to the Republic of Gilead and not relate it to the real world.


If you are one of those who gets offended by the term ‘feminism,’ read the book with an open mind. Given the current state of chaos we live in you will relate to it.

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