Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine has provided me with the densest, fast-paced, complex reading experience in the past several months. I tend to read and comment on a novel or short story every day. This was a breath of fresh air in superior writing. It could have gone wrong if the author had treated character backstories differently, but Rachel Caine deftly hinted at just parts of backstories as she teased the reader to continue the path in search of a motive for some horrible acts.
A seemingly harmless and innocuous Melvin Royal had pursued his hobby as a serial killer and eviscerated many of his victims in his home workshop while wife Gina Royal, daughter Lily, and son Brady were on the other side of the wall, perhaps in the kitchen or in the family room watching TV. Melvin may never have been caught had it not been for a drunk driver who crashed into the workshop one mid-day to reveal his latest hanging victim. Mel quickly was judged and went to jail for one murder but then Gina found a storage site which provided evidence of many of Mel’s murders, Mel was awarded an extended stay in prison and felt that Gina should pay for her disloyalty. Still, since he was in prison, he should not have been much of a threat. Enter Internet Trolls and the phenomenon of cult followers who love social misfits.