Wow! I'm totally shook. This book is even better than the first one. In STILLHOUSE LAKE, Gwen, the ex-wife of a sadistic serial killer, tries to keep her family safe from her husband, as well as a copycat killer who is after her kids. In KILLMAN, the copycat is dead but the original survives to torment his family-- and he won't rest until they're either just like him or dead.
With the help of a sympathetic FBI agent willing to go off the books, Gwen and Sam, one of the brothers of her husband's victims, go to seek Melvin out and stop him from hurting any more innocent women. Their search takes them to the dark side of the web, down a rabbit hole of internet trolls, child pornography, snuff films, deep fakes, and conspiracies that basically showcase humanity at its nadir. In order to catch a monster, Gwen must become a monster, and she's forced to question exactly how far she'll go to protect her children and keep them safe from evil.
STILLHOUSE LAKE had slow points but was still a compelling mystery and I was rooting for Gwen, Lanny, and Connor the whole time. KILLMAN CREEK was a different beast. I was still 100% Team Gwen from the very beginning, but by the end of the book I kind of hated her kids. They did terrible things, and were cruel in the selfish, short-sighted way that only kids can be. I felt like Gwen was owed a huge apology that she never really got from those two little assholes, and that pissed me off.
Gwen was practically stripped of her humanity in this book, painted as a villain, and forced to go physical and emotional torture on her quest for justice. Sam was really the only one who stood by her, although I had my doubts about him at several points too. This was such an exhausting book and I guess I have to take my hat off for Rachel Caine being able to show such a broad and empathetic spectrum of human emotion within these 300-or-so pages. I'm honestly blown away.
Thanks to Sage for reading this with me.
5 out of 5 stars