Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Stillhouse Lake #4

Bitter Falls

Rate this book
She’s investigating a cold case no one else could—by going places no one else would dare.

In spite of a harrowing past still haunting her, Gwen Proctor is trying to move forward. Until a new assignment gives her purpose: the cold-case disappearance of a young man in Tennessee. Three years missing, no clues. Just Ruth Landry, a tortured mother in limbo. Gwen understands what it’s like to worry about your children.

Gwen’s investigation unearths new suspects…and victims. As she follows each sinister lead, the implications of the mystery grow more disturbing. Because the closer Gwen gets, the closer she is to a threat that looms back home.

In a town that’s closed its ranks against Gwen; her partner, Sam; and her kids, there’s no bolder enemy than the Belldene family—paramilitary, criminal, powerful, and vengeful. As personal vendettas collide with Gwen’s investigation, she’s prepared to fight both battles. But is she prepared for the toll it could take on everyone she loves?

336 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 21, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Rachel Caine

208 books18k followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
9,318 (46%)
4 stars
7,854 (39%)
3 stars
2,454 (12%)
2 stars
351 (1%)
1 star
130 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,543 reviews
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
781 reviews12.2k followers
December 24, 2019
This book reminded me of why I love this series!

Bitter Falls is a psychological thriller about a dangerous cult and the mysteries behind it’s “saintly” members.

The Proctor family find themselves in danger once again. Gwen, now working as a kick-ass PI, unknowingly puts her family in danger (she's got quite the knack for attracting trouble) when she begins investigating a cold case about a man who vanished without a trace. It’s also not helping that Proctors have few friends left in Stillhouse Lake, and their neighbors are making it more than clear that they want them gone. When members of a crazy religious cult take two members of the Proctor family for ransom, it is up to the other two members to bring them home.

The narrative, similar to previous installments, is split between Gwen, Connor, Sam, and Lanny. I haven’t always loved this dynamic, but it works well in Bitter Falls. I still like Gwen’s chapters best, but the other character’s voices are growing on me.

Bitter Falls is an action-packed, suspense-filled filled read chock full of tension and drama. I was lured in by the case of the missing boy, and intrigued by “The All Saints” cult. The plot was tightly wound and when it fully unraveled it was pure chaos (in a good way). While it lacked believability, it was fun to read.

My only complaint is that the last few pages felt rushed. I was scared there was going to be a cliff hanger because so much happens in the last 10% of the book, and I wasn’t sure there was going to be adequate time for all threads to be wrapped up. However, all aspects are neatly tied together, perhaps a little too neatly. I didn’t love the last book in the series, but this book brings back all of the elements that I loved about the earlier books. Gwen’s story is finally moving forward and I can’t wait to see where the Proctors find trouble next!

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kylie D.
464 reviews505 followers
January 28, 2020
Wow, how much can one family take and still stay strong? After years of torment as a serial killer's wife, Gwen Proctor , her partner Sam, and her children Connor and Lanny are trying to put the past behind them. Gwen is working as a private investigator, and an interesting case has just arrived. A young man just disappeared into the night, without a trace, three years ago, and Gwen wants to find closure for his parents.

As Gwen gets closer to the truth, things start to get really dangerous, plus her past is catching up to her, and she's getting angst from internet trolls and locals alike. This book races to a spectacular finale, and I dare you to put it down.

This series is a wonderful, enjoyable read, with fantastic characters and well thought out plots. Recommended for all lovers of crime and mystery novels.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.5k followers
December 27, 2019
4.25 Stars

The Closer you are to Danger, the Farther you are from Harm.

For Gwen, Lanny, Connor and Sam, Stillhouse Lake is no longer the sanctuary it once was. Now, the townsfolk are against them and everyone, except for a select few, want them gone and they aren’t afraid to show it.

Now a Private Investigator, Gwen is assigned to work on the missing persons case of Remy Landry, a young man, who went missing in Knoxville, three (3) years ago. Turns out that poor Remy tried to help a gal he met and ended up in a Cult and now Gwen is caught smack dab in the middle of it and they are hot on her tail and no one around her is safe.

When Lives are on the line, Gwen Proctor and her kids Lanny and Connor and Sam Cade know how to stand and fight and when the going gets tough, they roll with the punches.

“Bitter Falls” is the fourth book in the “Stillhouse Lake” series and it kept pace very well with the other books in the series. I liked it a tad bit more than the last book, “Wolfhunter River” and feel like the author is doing a great job of giving the readers what we want. Rachel Caine knows how to get my back up and make it so that I am scared for the lives of four of my favorite characters and completely breathless when I reach the end.

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Rachel Caine for the arc.

Published on Goodreads and NetGalley on 12.27.19.
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,028 reviews661 followers
January 29, 2020
Gwen Proctor is now working as a private investigator, while her kids are trying to fit into their ever changing lives.  Gwen's notoriety remains a storm cloud over the family's head.  A scheduled "active shooter" drill at the school goes sideways and Gwen's son injures one of the Belldene kids.  The Belldene's are a clan of military extremists and they are not a fan of the attention Gwen brings to their corner of the world.  Don't let their tight smiles and meatloaf casseroles fool you.  They want Gwen and her family gone, and are willing to push it to the limit to get 'er done.  At least they have a code, rattlesnakes in the mailbox notwithstanding.

A missing person case on which Gwen is working points her in the direction of the secretive All Saint's Church, a cult headed up by Father Tom.  Followers are ensconced within a fortified compound.  Fanaticism incarnate reigns here, zealots abound.  His army of saints, the baptisms, the "Garden" full of renamed females.  All in readiness for The Reckoning, which will be coming soon enough. The body of water beneath Bitter Falls is cold and deep.  Bitter in a figurative sense, but in a literal way, it just reeks.  Why?

It may have monkeyed with my BS detector, but my eyes stayed put.  Pure entertainment, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
January 10, 2020
3.5 stars

Bitter Falls is another fast, action-packed story to this series and Gwen is still one brave and fierce hero, however, I think this series is losing some stream for me.

While the mystery is different with each book, I feel the stories follow the same pattern with Gwen's trying to outrun her past and the shadow they live under, her putting her family in danger while she investigates a new mystery and kicking some ass. I guess maybe I am growing a little tired of the cinematic feel to the story that entertained me before and I am wanting something a bit more real from the characters.

Overall I did enjoy the story because I love the dynamics here between Gwen and Sam and how they grow as a family with each story. They do make a great team and I am was entertained by that. I keep asking myself why Gwen puts them in danger when she is so protective of them. I need something a little more real there!

I received a copy on NetGalley!
Profile Image for Deanna .
655 reviews12.4k followers
February 26, 2020
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpress.com/

3.5 Stars!

I’ve really enjoyed the “Stillhouse Lake” series so I knew I had to read this latest installment.

This family cannot seem to catch a break!!

Gwen Proctor and family are working to put the past behind them. However, there are many people who just won’t let them be. The family is still living in Stillhouse but the locals are far from welcoming and are not afraid of showing just how much they want the family gone.

Gwen is working as a private investigator when she meets a woman whose son has been missing for over three years. The case is another dangerous one and soon the entire family is caught up and at risk.

Another interesting installment in the Stillhouse Lake series.

Like the other books in the series the story is told from multiple points of view. Many of the characters from the previous books make an appearance and it was nice to catch up with them. I enjoyed the story though it’s not my favorite from the series. I thought it lagged at times and while I thought the ending was exciting, it also felt a bit rushed.

Overall, I have really enjoyed the “Stillhouse Lake” series. If there is another book released, I will definitely be reading it.

Profile Image for Sandra Hoover.
1,171 reviews185 followers
January 4, 2020
Back home after the life-changing revelations revealed in the town of Wolfhunter, Gwen and her partner Sam Cade are moving forward together with her children sixteen year old Lanny and thirteen year old Connor in their home on Stillhouse Lake. Unfortunately, it's no longer the sanctuary it once was as the locals have turned against them and old enemies are knocking on their door with threats. With their lives in turmoil once again, Gwen is more determined than ever to build a brighter, safer future for her family while working as a private investigator. She's accepted a three year old cold case involving the disappearance of college student Remy Landry whose grieving mother she identifies with. As she delves deeper into Remy's disappearance, she uncovers information that ties back to events revealed in Wolfhunter River, and she suddenly realizes that she's unknowingly put loved ones on another maniac's radar. Will Gwen solve this case - the who, why, where - in time to save her loved ones?

Bitter Falls is a chilling suspense thriller with strong protagonists and crazed villains that alternates between the first person point of view of Gwen, Sam, Lanny, and Connor. And never has it been more important to get the pov of each of these characters as their world threatens to implode. The story unfolds at neck-break speed in a setting that stimulates all the senses, taking on a life of its own as another influential player in the fate of these characters. Caine's uncanny ability to spin multiple, often shocking, twisted plot lines that continuously build in intensity from the gravely disturbing prologue all the way through to the explosive end is nothing short of brilliant. Backstory is seamlessly woven into Bitter Falls so that a new reader can follow this story without reading the previous three books but oh what a mistake that would be! Although each book completes a story, characters introduced in the first book play prominent roles in each book. Caine excels at writing characterizations that are intricately detailed, and just so authentic that readers have little choice but to fear for each character's safety. I swear my heart pounded nonstop throughout Bitter Falls as the stakes are high, the danger inescapable, and the terror certifiable. I was thrilled by the critical role played by a previous character appearing in this one and yes, I'm being intentionally vague. You simply must avoid all spoilers, carve out some uninterrupted time, and commit to reading this one in mostly one sitting.

Bitter Falls is riveting, dark, fast-paced, high intensive story telling at its best! I could nitpick and say it's a bit over the top with all the non-stop, life-threatening danger to characters, but let's face it...I could not put this book down. My heart raced and my emotions soared out of control as I held on for dear life to complete this wild, run-away ride until I could finally let out the breath I'd been holding and give thanks I survived to read The End. I just can't criticize an author or drop the rating on a book that grips me that hard. Bitter Falls is a fantastic addition to the Stillwater Lake series and a must for fans of suspense thrillers! Highly recommended!

*A special thank you to publisher Thomas & Mercer for an arc of this book via Netgalley!
**Reviewed at Cross My Heart Reviews
Profile Image for Liz.
1,966 reviews2,416 followers
December 30, 2019
Bitter Falls is the fourth in the Stillhouse Lake series. Things have moved forward and Gwen is now working as a PI. The town has turned against her family and they are all being shunned or worse, bullied. A paramilitary drug dealing family, the “hillbilly mafia”, has taken a particular vendetta out against them for bringing unwanted attention to the area.

Gwen is investigating a cold case - the disappearance of a young college student three years ago. We know from the prologue that he was the victim of a religious cult.

As before, each chapter is told from a different family member’s perspective. I appreciate this approach as it gives the reader different views on the same events and works to move the series along at a fast pace. And it’s definitely a fast paced book. It seems like something scary is happening to the Proctors or Sam in each chapter. And there’s never any escaping the press or the trolls.

Caine definitely paints a convincing picture, especially when it comes to the adolescents and their mood swings and defiance. Anyone who's dealt with teenagers is going to get it.

A lot of series you can pick up the latest and be ok. This is not one of them. There’s so much backstory, you really need to read them in order.

My thanks to netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for donna backshall.
626 reviews174 followers
April 22, 2021
As a faithful follower of this series, I was so excited to read the 4th installment in Gina Royal's desperate search for peace, aka Bitter Falls.

First and foremost, yes, it was very good.

But...and this is a pretty big "but"...I can't be the only reader who was both mentally and physically exhausted by the constant "then my blood turned ice cold" and "my brother/partner/sister/whoever is GONE" frenzy. I understand that the author was eager to maintain the breakneck pace and intensity set by the first three books in the series, but come on! Each character was always on the verge of a stress-induced stroke, constantly doing the "get yourself together because you have to save the freaking world" self-talk. (Contrived is the word that kept coming to mind.)

While the characters were desperately striving to contain their heart-stopping reactions to whatever new outrageous happening was on deck -- and whew, there was always a new something to freak out about -- I found I wasn't tense with them. Instead I was sitting there blinking, and thinking "Seriously? Again?"

I started thinking we could make a great drinking game out of the panic and freakout pronouncements. But not with tequila, or I'd be naked, wasted and dancing on a table by the sixth chapter.

It was just too much. I'm glad to have been a spectator to yet more harassment and righteous fighting from the Proctor family, but instead of a fear factor of 11, I believe we all would have been happy with an 8. Maybe even a 7.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,094 reviews1,510 followers
March 31, 2020
Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine is the fourth installment of the thrilling Stillhouse Lake series. The first book in the series, Stillhouse Lake, introduced readers to Gwen Proctor who had gone into hiding with her two children after it was found that her husband was a serial killer. The trio had been on the run for several years not only trying to make sure that her husband who had gone to prison wouldn’t know of their whereabouts but also the vigilantes that thought Gwen was an accomplice to the killings instead of an innocent housewife.

After years of being on the run and hiding Gwen and her children were tired of constantly being on the move and decide to finally settle at a home at Stillhouse Lake. This series continues their story from book to book and is best read from the beginning to get the full story on the dangers the family has faced and to get to know all the characters well. Each book of the series has picked up right after the previous had left off and continued the story of the family as they face the new dangers.

I have been following this series from the beginning myself having been a fan of other books by Rachel Caine and have absolutely loved this series from the start. I have loved the way it digs deep into what happens to the family of a convicted killer bringing in the internet and media and their intrusion into their lives. The characters are likable and the story is one that has kept my attention and had me on the edge of my seat.

And with each new book of the series I have loved that the author has gone a little different in style and taken the story in new directions to keep readers on our toes. This to me has made it not feel like we are just re-reading the first book over and over and kept everything fresh and new each time so as to not become the way some series can that end up feeling stale. As usual I can’t wait to see what the author has in store next!

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Marialyce (absltmom, yaya).
1,941 reviews722 followers
December 13, 2019
Book three in the Stillhouse series, Wolfhunter River was another powerful thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout, although all of the previous books did as well. When book 4, Bitter Falls, become available I rushed to press that button and download this book hoping for the thrill I had experienced with the previous books. Thankfully, it was, and I embarked onto another thrilling path with wonderful protagonists and an electrifying read.

Looking for a strong protagonist, one needs to look no further than Gwen Proctor. Gwen, formerly unknowingly married to a serial killer, is now involved in a search for a missing young man in Tennessee. This young man has been missing for three years, and though there are no clues, Gwen, now working as a private investigator, thinks she might be able to find this boy and if nothing else put his mother's heart to rest knowing the fate of her son.

Gwen stumbles onto a cult, one whose origins were inherent in Gwen's former life. It's a cult that threatens, kills, and enslaves women in their clutches. They are evil and the cult's leader mimics those like Jim Jones and others of his ilk. Gwen pits herself against the cult leader and this game becomes one that threatens the lives of her children and the man she loves. It a battle of wits and strength and once again Gwen proves that she is a formidable opponent.

She worries about he children, placing them in the line of fire, even though her goal is always to protect them no matter what. She constantly finds her town in opposition to her and one family in particular the Belldenes seem to have a personal vendetta against Gwen. Gwen is stuck between this family's threat and the cult that is pledged to fight to the death to preserve their evil way of life.

I recommend this thriller and ideally the entire series to those who love to be whisked away for many hours eagerly turning those pages as Gwen fires up and let's go on those who seem to want evil things to happen to her family. Gwen is the true mama bear, so do watch out to those who dare to cross her.

Thank you to Rachel Caine, Thomas and Mercer, and Netgalley for a copy of this great addition to the Stillhouse series. This book is due out January 21,2020.
December 28, 2019

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I've been working my way through the Stillhouse Lake series since around Thanksgiving. It is such an addictive series, and during multiple times throughout the story arc, I found myself literally unable to put the book down, desperate to know what happens next. These would make an excellent miniseries, I think. They have everything that makes up the formula for a successful book: tight-plotting, sympathetic characters, messed up villains, serial killers, cults, crime rings, and much, much more.

Gwen, the heroine, has certainly come a long way. In the first book, STILLHOUSE LAKE, she's very much the broken woman, trying to come to terms with her life after finding out that her husband-- the man she married and loved and had kids with-- was a gleefully sadistic serial killer. Not only that, but there are a number of people who refuse to believe her innocence, and will do anything they can do see her dead or jailed, at any cost.

In KILLMAN CREEK, things reach a fever pitch. Her husband is determined to get his revenge and Gwen and her children are thrown in the crossfire as the moves she makes to root out her husband end up uncovering the sick and very twisted schemes of powerful men with a taste for the cruel and taboo. In this book, everything Gwen built up in the last book is utterly dismantled, and she comes out of it at great cost.

It is, unquestionably, the best book of the four.

WOLFHUNTER RIVER definitely felt like a down-grade after KILLMAN. It glosses over a lot of the more unpleasant parts of KILLMAN, such as Gwen being betrayed by her two ungrateful children. Now, they're all one big happy family again-- except for the fact that an Anti-Gwen League is creating a documentary to show what a bad human being she is. Oh, and that freaks are coming out of the woodwork to call up Gwen about their own problems, including a mysterious woman from a place called Wolfhunter who says she's in serious danger but can't explain how or why.

Now, in BITTER FALLS, Gwen has moved up from phone calls to become a private detective. Her first lead is to follow up on a young man who disappears. What she unearths suggests the presence some truly depraved individuals using religion as the cross for their depravities-- and if you think that this won't drag Wolfhunter River and their sick shenanigans back into the mix, you would be wrong.

I really struggled with BITTER FALLS. I actually struggled with it the way a lot of my friends struggled with WOLFHUNTER (which I personally enjoyed). It feels like an unnecessary sequel, especially since the plot of this story is so similar to the previous book. All the stakes are gone, the Anti-Gwen League is just hinted at but provides no real threat. The only danger that really happens in this book happens because of stupidity, and because Gwen's two dumb children can't seem to stay in the good books for-- well-- more than one book at a time. I swear, the two of them owe Gwen so much groveling at this point. Also, I take issue with making Vee a tag-along main character, as seems to be the case from this book. She's TERRIBLE and I hate her. This whole book reads like fanfiction.

I'm not sure if I'll continue with the books after this, to be honest. Even though I managed to push myself through to the end to see what happened next, I kept comparing this book unfavorably to the three previous books in the series. Honestly, it would work really well as a duology, and if you have to read further, book three gives you all the closure you would need for Gwen and her post-Melvin life. I'm not sure how many more books this series could carry if it continues to pace like this.

Very disappointing.

Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy! 

2.5 to 3 stars
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,174 reviews285 followers
March 5, 2021
Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine
4th book in the Stillhouse Lake series. Best read as part of the series in order. Contemporary mystery thriller.
The local cult was apparently not completely disbanded after Gwen and Sam helped break it up in a nearby town. Now Gwen’s son and Sam are at risk and Gwen will do whatever she has to in saving them.

Gripping and fast moving. Suspenseful with the cult itself being ugly. To say the least.

I alternated between a paperback and the audio version. The had multiple narrators mimicking the chapters written in alternating POV from Gwen, Sam, Connor, and Lanny. I enjoyed this concept. As soon as each chapter started you knew if you were a harassed mother / Private Investigator or a young teen relearning learning about the nastiness of the world. The narrators were Emily Sutton-Smith, Michael Crouch, Dan John Miller, Lauren Enzo and Will Ropp. I think they all did a fantastic job with the emotions and storytelling.

I look forward to the next and last book in this series.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
December 20, 2020
I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars.

I think my heart rate needed a few hours to return to normal after reading this book!

Gwen Proctor and her family are back in Bitter Falls , Book 4 of Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series.

While Gwen and her children, as well as her partner, are trying to put all of the past horrors of their lives behind them, everyone around them won’t let them forget. Her kids are constantly bullied at school and their neighbors want them gone, because the more attention they attract, the more it hampers everyone else’s unsavory activities. And of course, they're subject to constant online harassment and horribly violent threats.

Still, Gwen is working as a private investigator and hoping the hubbub will eventually die down. She lands a cold case of a young man who went missing three years ago in Tennessee, after telling his family he was trying to help a girl he met at church. The family has no clues but they’ve not given up hope even if it seems they should.

What Gwen stumbles into is far more lethal and widespread than she even imagined. Once again, those she loves wind up in the crossfire, and the result could prove deadly. It’s going to require every last bit of strength and cunning she has, not to mention an alliance with an unsavory group of people. But Gwen will stop at nothing to save those she loves, and perhaps solve the case at the same time.

I’ve really enjoyed this series, and find Gwen in particular a fascinating character. These books are intense but I can’t get enough of them, and Caine ratchets up the pace and the tension throughout.

The one thing that is starting to frustrate me with the last few books is that so much trouble is caused by Gwen's kids. I get that they have been through so much trauma and are chafing from all the restrictions on their lives but after a while it gets annoying when one of their actions sets trouble in motion.

I found out today that Caine lost her battle with cancer earlier this month. I'm so sad to hear this news, as I've really been enjoying her books. The good news is that Book 5 in this series will be published in the spring of 2021.

If you love thrillers, this is a great series to explore. Gwen is definitely a badass!

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Tahera.
547 reviews223 followers
April 29, 2020
I was aware of the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine and its popularity amongst readers who enjoy a good crime thriller/mystery. So when I saw that book 4 was up for grabs on NetGalley, I grabbed it even though I haven't read the first three books yet. However, judging by how much I enjoyed this book, I can now appreciate why this series is so popular! Let's just say I am now onto the bandwagon and will not waste anymore time catching up on the story of Gwen Proctor.

My thanks to NetGalley, the publishers Thomas and Mercer and the author for the e-Arc of the book.
Profile Image for Jim.
551 reviews83 followers
October 4, 2020
Gwen Proctor's ex husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, may be dead by her own hand and she may have moved on and be working as a private investigator but is her life any better? She may have found true love with Sam Cade but the town of Stillhouse Lake has turned against her. Particularly the Belldene family ... criminal, paramilitary, powerful and vengeful.Gwen, Sam, and her children Lanny and Connor are in therapy and the kids are being bullied. It may be time to move away from Stillhouse Lake. It is no longer the sanctuary it once was.

In the meantime Gwen gets a new assignment. A cold case. Three years ago a young man, Remy Landry, disappeared in Tennessee. He went out with some college friends one night and was never seen or heard from again. No clues. For Gwen this case may be just what they need to get away from Stillhouse Lake and the Belldene's.

What Gwen finds is a mother living in her son's off campus apartment waiting and hoping for his return. Still believing. There is evidence of a mysterious religious cult. Evidence indicates that Remy tried to help a young woman who was member of the cult. So what happened? Gwen tracks down the woman and tries to penetrate the secrets of the cult. They may be even more dangerous than the Belldene family and things more dangerous than in Stillhouse Lake.

Yes Gwen Proctor has enemies but she also has friends and love is strong as this fourth entry in the Stillhouse Lake series shows. You could probably read this book as a standalone but I would recommend reading the previous entries in the series so that you would develop an understanding of the history and the characters. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Heartbreak Bay, and learning what the future holds for Gwen. Will they move away from Stillhouse Lake?

Profile Image for Darinda.
8,062 reviews144 followers
January 20, 2020
The fourth book in the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine. Gwen Proctor and her family are back, and they are finding it harder and harder to fit into their local community. Gwen's trying to keep her family safe and also keep herself busy. She takes on the cold case of a missing young man. Gwen's investigation leads to her discovering other victims, and wanting to discover who is behind the disappearances.

This is an action-packed and exciting series. Gwen and her kids are not well-liked, and it is extremely difficult on the kids. Things are becoming more serious in their community, and the entire family is uncertain of their futures. I like the different viewpoints, and that each family member's take on what is happening is represented. The characters in this book are likable and easy to root for. Gwen is still a badass, and she's raising her kids to be strong, smart, and independent.

A fast-paced thriller that kept me wanting to read more. Interesting mystery with plenty of bad guys, in both Gwen's personal and professional lives. Intriguing, dark, and intense.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,031 reviews2,631 followers
July 31, 2021
Gwen Proctor, in her position as Private Investigator, had a cold case of a missing young man, three years gone and nothing to show where he’d gone or what had happened. Interviewing first the boy’s mother then his father, Gwen heard small snippets of facts which sent a shiver of awareness through her. And when she heard about more young men missing under the same or similar circumstances, then Vee Crockett appeared with frightening information, Gwen knew that what was ahead was big.

When Lanny witnessed a shocking event, which brought her to the attention of the police, the nearby Belldene family came calling. Their threat seemed mild, but it was deadly serious. She couldn’t do what they wanted – yet – because the case had escalated. Connor and Sam were in danger and Gwen suddenly felt out of control. Not a feeling that came often to her – now she needed help. But would it be too late?

Wow! Bitter Falls is the 4th in the Stillwater Lake series by Rachel Caine and it was brilliant! Unbelievable pace, plenty of action and chilling villains fill this novel from the first page until the last! This series is definitely one that needs to be read in order of publication – highly recommended.
Profile Image for Christina.
13 reviews1 follower
Shelved as 'hiatus'
June 1, 2020
Rachel Caine: Making notes on how to hurt the Proctor family and scare her readers again
Me: I'm ready
Profile Image for Natasha Niezgoda.
544 reviews217 followers
March 26, 2020


Yep. You heard me correctly! If you’re anything like me then you’re obsessed with ANYTHING cult-related. And if that’s the case, then you NEED to read this book.

Better yet, you should actually read this whole series because A. it’s EFFING incredible, B. it’s got serial killers, rural cults, and weird-ass middle-America drama, and C. because I told you to! 💁🏻‍♀️Obviously.


But I’m sooo getting ahead of myself. First off, the series is called: Stillhouse Lake (that’s also the name of the first book) and it’s by Rachel Caine. It’s honestly the one series I anticipate reading every year.

Bitter Falls (dah one I just reads) is the 4th book in the series and it’s all about this SHADY cult called the Assembly of Saints where Mr. Cult Master basically kills you when he thinks you’re being naughty so you become a “saint” in his afterlife army of dead people. I’m not kidding. You think I’m kidding - nope. CULTS PEOPLE. CULTSSSS!


And then badass Gwen Proctor is on the scene trying to find a missing person when she infiltrates the cult and shit gets epic... like Quinton Tarantino epic... and yeah... okay, you get the point.

All these books are on Kindle for $4.99 or KU for FREEE 🙌🏽 It gets 4.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 from me and I highly recommend this series if you need a good distraction.

And also if you like cults.

Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews148 followers
January 25, 2020
This series just keeps getting better and better. Rachel Caine has a winner with this book. It has a great plot: evil cult fanatics putting two loved ones in danger vs. Gwen Proctor with backup.

I love Gwen. She’s kick-ass but vulnerable. Fierce, and fiercely loyal to those who earn it. And Sam is her rock, as she is his. I think Lanny and Connor have grown in this book, Connor especially.

I’m really looking forward to the next book. Here’s to a new beginning.
Profile Image for Toni.
515 reviews
January 20, 2020
Dark and intense, Bitter Falls won't disappoint the readers who have been following the Stillhouse Lake series, as it is as well-written as the previous instalments.
Here Gwen Proctor is dealing with another cold case, disappearance of a young man called Remy Landry three years ago. The narrative is split between four points of view- Gwen, Lanny, Connor and Sam, which gives the story more depth. The family faces outright hostility from the neighbours. In addition to this, the case Gwen is investigating is putting her loved ones in the path of a dangerous criminal.
As usual, Rachel Caine's characterization is outstanding, whether we talk about the familiar, recurring characters or the ones introduced in this new story. Bitter Falls will keep you on the edge of your seat with its never-ending twists and turns and a spellbinding ending.
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Profile Image for Amber J.
868 reviews54 followers
March 15, 2020
I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler-free way. If you feel anything in my review is a spoiler and is not already hidden in spoiler brackets please let me know. Thank you.

The cult twist was interesting but other than that I'm not sure I liked it as much as the previous books. It didn't have a lot going on in it for the three-fourths of the book. However, the narration was as great as ever. Four different narrators for the four different points of view. Other than that I don't have much else to say. It was good, but I hope its not the start of a decline in the series. I guess only time will tell.

How I choose my rating:
1* Hated it. I had to force myself to finish it.
2** Didn't like it. I didn't hate it but not sure why I finished it other than for some closure.
3*** I liked it. I had some issues with it, but as a whole it was good. I probably won't reread ever, but there is a chance I might finish the series. (If part of one) But if not it's not a huge loss.
4**** I really liked this book. Maybe not a work of genius, but highly entertaining. I might reread this, and I will finish the series. (If part of one) I would recommend to those I know hold interest in this book's content.
5***** I loved this book. I found little to no issues with it at all. I will be rereading this and probably more than once. I will finish the series and reread it multiple times. (If part of one) I will recommend this book to EVERYONE!!!!

Profile Image for Samantha Gonsalves.
341 reviews27 followers
February 19, 2020
Holy Smokes! Bitter Falls is a fast-paced, action-packed and twisty thriller that will leave you with a bad case of wanting to get to the next in this brilliant series. Bitter Falls surpasses all previous marks and according to me is the best book in this series! I super loved this book!

Despite her notoriety among trolls and vindictive people, Gwen is trying hard to build a home for herself and her kids. Together with Sam, they've build a home and a unit stronger than anything else. So when their newfound happiness is once again threatened, Gwen and Sam need to make a difficult decision - give in to the bullies and move or stay strong and keep fighting. With their lives at stake, this is not an easy decision to make so Gwen takes up an assignment about a missing young man to give her time to think.
Three years missing, no clues Remi Landry leaves behind, a tortured mother & father in limbo. Gwen's investigation takes her to the heart of an evil group that don't hesitate to kill. With an insane and diabolical leader at the helm, the Assembly have been disrupting and destroying innocent lives of many through mental conditioning. Gwen soon finds herself face to face with evil and his fanatic followers and now she's inadvertently put everyone she loves at risk? Can Gwen win this fight?

Gwen Proctor is a badass character and I'm as always, simply amazed by her. With her turbulent past and relationship with a serial killer she never could redeem herself in the public's eye. Evil by association is what they assumed, leaving her and her children to fight a trial by media every single day of their lives. I'm loving how her character is shaping up to be, and also her kids. All the three Proctors who could never leave their infamy behind seem to be a magnet for evil. Their penchant for doing the right thing often is the leading cause for landing them in a soup. And I love reading about that struggle going on their head when faced with a difficult decision, it makes everything seems so realistic. I love everything about this book, its plot and characters- the action, drama, suspense and most of all the sensitivity. Despite some expected & correctly-guessed outcomes, I enjoyed reading this book. I cannot wait to hold the next one in my hands!

Thank You NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer & Rachel Caine for an arc!
Profile Image for Lisa.
610 reviews231 followers
January 20, 2020
Gwen Proctor is a smart, strong and dynamic character who will go anywhere and do anything to protect her family.

BITTER FALLS is the fourth book in the Stillhouse Lake series. Gwen Proctor has had a difficult life since she found out her husband was a serial killer. That was years ago and she desperately trying to put the past behind her, have a normal life and protect her two children, Connor and Lanny, from the internet monsters that haunt them. It’s not easy, and now the closed-minded town of Norton and her powerful drug dealing neighbors are also closing ranks against them.

Gwen is working as a private investigator for an out-of-town detective agency and is assigned a case of a missing twenty-one year old male college student who disappeared while out with friends at a bar on a Friday night. Remy Landry has been missing for three years. The police gave up on the case long ago, the file is thin and the case is cold. But Gwen knows what it’s like to worry about your children.

A church-related nonprofit hired the agency to look into the case, which is somewhat strange. But regardless of who is putting up the money, finding out what happened to the handsome Remy Landry has to be a good thing for his parents. Right? But it just might not be a good thing for Gwen Proctor, her partner, Sam or her two children.

Author RACHEL CAINE had me with her description of the waterfall that rambled and roared over the rocks above and broke into the white spray that floated weightless in the air. Her writing is vivid, riveting and evocative.

BITTER FALLS is a fast moving, and gripping thriller of a woman’s fight to protect her family. All the characters in the book are so well-developed, you can’t help but care about them and you’ll easily be caught up in the story. Gwen, Connor, Lanny and Sam each narrate various chapters in the book which add diverse perspectives to a tight plot. This is a perfect book for a quick weekend read!

Gwen Proctor is one of my favorite female characters. She is amazingly strong both physically and emotionally. She has had to be, at times she seems to be fighting monsters on various fronts. Her perseverance is phenomenal. She will go anywhere and do anything to protect those she loves.

Author Rachel Caine grabs her reader at the start and leaves them hanging from the edge of that waterfall the entire book. Caine is the bestselling author of more than 50 novels novels including Stillhouse Lake, Wolfhunter River and Killman Creek in the Stillhouse Lake series. Bitter Falls, the fourth book in the series is so well written you could read it as a stand-alone. But why would you want to?

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Thomas & Mercer
Published January 21, 2020
Review www.bluestockingreviews.com
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,991 reviews363 followers
January 14, 2020
Whew! That was In.TENSE!!

The Stillhouse Lake series has quickly become one of my most anticipated series with each new release.

It is fast paces, exciting, filled with intrigue and danger, and just down right fun, not to mention at times, extremely emotional.

The things this family goes through, endures, and ultimately triumphs over is just amazing and you would have to have a heart of stone to not fill something for them as they struggle and try to overcome so much, most of which, is not their fault or even from their own actions but rather a stigma of those around them.

This family has already overcome so much and with each new installment, I would like to say has less to overcome but the truth is, these people will always have issues but they never let those around them that want to see them fail, ever win. Instead they grow stronger, as individuals and as a family unit and I love that about this series.

And if the strong family bond wasn't enough to lure you in, then the dark mysteries that somehow find this family surely will.

Filled with danger, a darker look into the sometimes messed up human mind, this series never ceases to keep me on the edge of my seat rapidly flipping the pages until the very satisfying end. And let me tell you this latest installment is intense.

So many emotions will reading this. I had to stop and collect myself numerous times along the way, in fact, this one may have taken me the longest to read because, it really was just that intense.

Cain stuns with her writing in every imaginable way and I couldn't of been happier reading it.

Truly her best yet in the series and I can't recommend it enough.

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Fiona.
1,209 reviews222 followers
December 29, 2019
Book 4 in the Stillhouse Lake series, and I'm still loving it - but there's just the slightest tinge of tarnish creeping in at the edges.

First of all, the good in the series is still very, very, good. The research into law enforcement, serial killers, cults, all the various things poor Gwen has had to deal with is all top notch, up to date, and accurate without turning into these novels into textbooks. They tend to the shorter length, but that might also be that they pull the reader along so quickly that it just feels shorter, too.

On the downside, Rachel Caine does love to make her heroines persecuted unjustly (see her Morganville series for another example), and by book 4 it's starting to grind on me a bit. The realism of how a family would adjust to so many traumatic events feels spot on, but at the same time - it's still a lot of relentless trauma. The trolls feel a little too relentless in their stalking; at least in the true crime circles I run in, there is a lot of conciousness around realising that the families of killers are also victims. It would be nice to see at least some of that side to balance against the "we're going to drive your kids to suicide because their dad was a serial killer" side.

However, overall - still a very entertaining series, that fills a niche noone else is filling right now. Oh, and the playlists at the end? Give them a chance, Rachel Caine has some pretty excellent taste in music.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,543 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.