Review: Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine

Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Stillhouse Lake #4
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Released: January 21st, 2020
Received: Own
Warnings: Graphic details, kidnapping, assault, stalking

4 kitties

Bitter Falls is the fourth novel in Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series. A series that follows one family as they try to survive the fallout created by their monster of a husband/father.

Gwen Proctor and her family have been doing everything possible to try and move on with their lives. To do more than merely survive, which some days feels like a large enough challenge in and of itself.

That’s why Gwen took up a new job as a private investigator, and why she is now knee-deep in a case that put her family back in harm’s way. No matter how hard she tries, her family always seems to end up in the path of danger.

“I want them to learn how to handle it now, not hit eighteen as protected little china dolls.”

Yikes. Bitter Falls was another chilling and haunting addition to this series. This is the second novel in which Gwen found herself at the center of a mystery that did not revolve around her ex (for a change), yet it was still very dark.

If you haven’t read the rest of the series yet, you should probably go do that first. The whole of the series has never been afraid to show the darker side of humanity, or the desperation we sometimes feel to punish those we feel have wronged the world.

There’s a lot of commentary to be found there. Of course there is. Yet Gwen, and her children, are survivors. They have been through hell and back, and they will almost certainly run that circuit again. And again. It’s what they know.

While there are still those strong elements the series is used to (read: the past and Gwen’s twisted ex-husband), there are also several new elements as well. I really enjoyed seeing all of those changes, and now have a better understanding of how this series could comfortably continue for as long as it wanted to. At least, in theory (yes – I know that is never going to happen now, and I am still very upset for having gotten so behind in this series in the first place).

I really enjoyed seeing more of Sam’s perspective in this novel, as well as Lanny and Connor’s (though to lesser extents there – it’s harder thinking about people so young being involved in such a twisted world, you know?).

Long story short: I loved Bitter Falls, and will be heading directly into Heartbreak Bay from here. Even though that is absolutely going to be the most bittersweet novel I read this year. I just know it.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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