Roxanne Longstreet Conrad is a popular American writer of adult thrillers, horror, fantasy, mystery, and suspense novels. You might better know her by her pen name, Rachel Caine.
As Rachel Caine, Conrad published more than 200 different novels. Her career spanned more than 30 years. During that time she published novels that won her a handful of awards and saw her nominated for many more.
One of Caine’s most popular novels was Stillhouse Lake. Published in 2017, Stillhouse Lake was a big hit with readers. So much so, Caine went on to write the Stillhouse Series.
This popular adult thriller series consists of 5 books, all of which contain stories of deceit, love, trials, tribulations, crime, and mystery.
The series tells the story of Gwen Proctor, the former wife of an infamous serial killer. Throughout the series, Proctor must fight for her family, defend her name, and avoid her dark past.
In today’s post, I show you the order in which the Stillhouse Lake books should be read. If you’re keen to read the series, keep reading!
About Stillhouse Lake
As I mentioned above, Stillhouse Lake is an adult thriller. The series centers around a woman named Gina Royal.
Whilst her life seems pretty normal, her life gets turned upside down when it comes to light that her husband and the father of her two children is an infamous serial killer.
The shocking revelation leads to Royal changing her name to Gwen Proctor. Destroying her life completely, Proctor tries to hide from her past.
However, keeping her children safe from torrent abuse, threats, and countless enemies was never going to be easy.
Throughout the series, Proctor faces difficult decisions, uphill battles, and at times, a fight for her life.
Gwen is determined to protect her children from the past but as more mystery and trouble comes her way, doing so might prove too difficult.
Along her journey, Proctor encounters shady characters, potential friends, online trolls, and real-life stalkers.
As far as adult thrillers go, the Stillhouse Lake series is one of the best. Common themes you can expect to come across throughout the series include threatening behavior, murder, mystery, love, protection, betrayal, and secrecy.
Stillhouse Lake Books In Order
The first novel in the Stillhouse Lake series is Stillhouse Lake. Published in 2017, the Stillhouse Lake book is where the Gina Royal story begins and ends, as she soon changes her name to Gwen Proctor.
This book starts with her husband’s secret life coming to light. This leads Royal to change her name to Gwen Proctor in an attempt to start again.
Just as she starts to feel at ease with her new life, a body turns up on her doorstep with similarities to her husband’s killings.
Gwen must keep her friends close and her enemies even closer to avoid being found out.
As if things weren’t bad enough, she must now face the very real possibility that she and her children could be the next victims.
- Stillhouse Lake sets everything up nicely for the rest of the series.
- Full of suspense, you’ll be kept guessing right to the very end.
- It could be said that this book could have concluded the story. As much as I love the series, it could be argued that this novel would have made a good standalone story.
Killman Creek moves the story on well. Proctor did well to win the battle against her ex-husband and his psychotic accomplices but the war isn’t over yet.
Poor Gwen Proctor now has to come to terms with the fact that her life might never be the same again.
To make matters worse, Melvin Royal is on the loose after breaking out of prison. What was a refuge at Stillhouse Lake has now become a trap.
Instead of sitting back and waiting for trouble to come her way, Proctor decides to leave her children in protective custody with a neighbor.
With the help of Sam Cade, it’s time for Gwen to do the hunting!
- This gripping book takes things up a notch.
- The mystery in this story is very enjoyable.
- Some readers might argue that things are a little too far-fetched.
The third installment in the Stillhouse Lake series is Wolfhunter River. Despite escaping her psychotic serial killer ex-husband and saving her children, Gwen Proctor can’t seem to shake off his notoriety.
In this installment, a threatened female turns up at Proctor’s door seeking help. In an effort to help the woman, Proctor heads to the small town to help.
Upon arrival in Wolfhunter, Gwen tragically finds that the woman has been murdered, with her daughter being the main suspect.
However, Gwen knows the person Marlene Crockett feared wasn’t her daughter. She quickly decides she won’t leave until she’s solved the mystery.
- Wolfhunter River changes the dimension of the series, which is a positive change.
- There is more mystery to solve in this story than in the other books in the series.
- After protecting her children through everything, it seems a little odd that the story now sees Proctor put her children in a dangerous situation.
Despite her torrid past, Bitter Falls sees Gwen Proctor attempt to move on with her life.
Things seem to be going well until a new assignment comes across her table. This time, she has to deal with a cold-case disappearance related to a young man from Tennessee.
After being missing for three years with no sign of any clues, solving the case could be impossible. However, Gwen’s prepared to give it her best shot.
As she finds more and more harrowing leads, the case only grows darker and more disturbing. The closer she gets to the case, the more threats she faces.
If she’s not careful, she might even find that some threats hit a little too close to home for her liking.
- This series didn’t seem like it could get any darker but it did in this book.
- This novel is a prime example of Caine’s ability to master suspense in her writing.
- Bitter Falls is quite a lengthy novel.
The final book in the Stillhouse Lake series is Heartbreak Bay. Heartbreak Bay ends the series in dramatic fashion, bringing what is an amazing series to an awesome close.
In this novel, two bodies are found strapped into a car that is submerged in a pond.
The mystery of the girl’s mother who vanished without a trace leads Proctor and her colleague Kezia Claremont into danger.
Working tirelessly to solve the mystery, Gwen soon realizes that the crimes are a lot more grizzly and unpredictable than she first thought.
Exposing the real killer is something Proctor and the reader will never see coming.
- Heartbreak Bay ends the Stillhouse Lake series perfectly.
- Expect lots of twists and turns.
- This is sadly the last book in the series.
Stillhouse Lake is a wonderful book series jam-packed with twists, turns, mystery, violence, disappearance, family, love, and suspense.
Rachel Caine excelled when writing this series. The only issue with the series is that there are only 5 books.
I don’t know about you but I would quite happily read 5 or 6 more books that follow the journey of Gwen Proctor. She is a fantastic character with an interesting backstory and a loving personality.
In this post, I’ve shown you the order you should read Stillhouse Lake. The order I’ve shown you helps the story run more smoothly throughout.
If you don’t read the story in order, you can expect to end up very confused and lost.
As you can probably see from the order, it is best to read Stillhouse Lake in publication order. From start to finish, this gripping series will keep you on edge.
Now you have the order you have to follow, I strongly recommend ordering the first novel.
You’ll quickly fall in love with the series, just like I did.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Read Stillhouse Lake In A Different Order?
No, you cannot read Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series out of order.
If you do, you’ll miss key parts of the story and not understand who some of the key characters are as they are introduced earlier in the series.
Is There A Stillhouse Lake TV Series?
At the time of writing, no, there isn’t a Stillhouse Lake TV series. As good as it would be, there doesn’t seem to be any plans for one either.
Does Rachel Caine Still Write?
Unfortunately, Rachel Caine passed away in 2020, so there are no new Rachel Caine books. The last book Rachel Caine released was Hex Life in 2019.
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