ARC Review: Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine

Goodreads: Wolfhunter River (Stillhouse Lake #3)
Publish date: 23 April 2019
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Rating: ★★★★☆

Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

What would you do if you found out that your husband and the father of your children was a serial killer who tortured and brutally murdered countless women under the same roof you lived in? Would it be impossible to believe that you had absolutely no clue that all of this was taking place? What if you were implicated as a partner to his crimes? How far would you go to keep your life together and your children safe from the thousands of people who don’t believe in your innocence? That is the reality Gwen Proctor and her two kids have to live with. After escaping his clutches and saving her family, Gwen tries to create a life of normality for her children’s sake. However, try as she might, she is unable to escape the sick internet “vigilantes” that want nothing more than to see revenge for her ex’s crimes. Then one day, she receives a call from a frightened woman asking for help, which leads Gwen and her family to a remote forest town near Wolfhunter River, that turns out to be rotten to its core. As enemies come crawling out of the darkness from all sides, the fight for their safety and their lives begins once more.

This is the third book in the Stillhouse Lake series by Rachel Caine. Just as with the first two books, I simply could not put this down and stayed up late to finish it in the wee hours of the morning. Was the creep factor high? Definitely. But not so high that I couldn’t fall asleep after reading it.

This fast paced read delivers endless high intensity scenes one after another. Caine does an awfully good job at highlighting the depravity of human beings and often times it’s a little distressing to read about the extent of cruelty we so easily inflict upon one another–especially when we believe we are acting with justice. The author goes to prove the dangers of the “pack mentality” and how easy it is for strangers, and even those who were your friends, to turn with the tide against you. In protesting against someone’s innocence, others can come to think and act just as cruelly as the murderers themselves—“an eye for an eye”, and all that.

While reading I couldn’t help but shout in anger and grind my teeth in frustration at the situations Gwen and her family are placed in. My heart ached as they continually tried to find peace in a world that wishes them nothing but ill, and even death. One of my favorite things about this series is the strength of Gwen’s character. She’s smart, fierce, and although incredibly paranoid, she proves time and again just how far she’ll go to protect her family and the people she loves. She’s truly a badass that rises up time and again, when it would be simple to take the easy way out. Her children are also strong resilient characters as a result of having to deal with a life that has been so cruel to them.

The plot of Wolfhunter River was less straightforward than the first two books, with various storylines being introduced and the connection between them only revealed in the last 20% of the book. I actually felt that it was just a little bit too much to be plausible, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. You definitely have to pay more attention to keep it all straight though! It was gratifying to have some of my theories be correct—and I had many theories as I read! Rachel Caine does a great job intertwining the various storylines into jaw-dropping reveals and delivering a satisfying final showdown.

I highly recommend this if you’re looking for a good, quick, and thrilling read! Although I definitely think reading the first two books would be better than jumping straight into this one, you can still following along, as the author incorporates the backstory quite well; but you’d be missing out on a lot, and where’s the fun in that?

Have you read any books in the Stillhouse Lake series?

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