Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Review: Heartbreak Bay by Rachel Caine (audio)

 

Title: Heartbreak Bay
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Stillhouse Lake, #5
Narrator: Emily Sutton-Smith, Dan John Miller, Tovah Ott
Published: March 2021, Brilliance Audio
Length: 11 hours 29 minutes
Source: Publisher

Summary:

They’re hunting a killer so silent, so invisible, that his unspeakable crimes are the only proof he exists.

A car submerged in a remote pond. The bodies of two girls strapped into their seats. The mystery of their mother, vanished without a trace, leads Gwen Proctor and Kezia Claremont into dangerous territory.

On the surface, Gwen’s life is good - two children approaching adulthood, a committed partner, and a harrowing past dead and gone. But that past is attracting the attention of someone invisible...and unstoppable. Trouble’s just beginning. So is the body count in this backwoods Tennessee town.

As threats mount and Gwen’s hunted by an enemy who pulls all the strings, Kezia has her back. But working to solve these vicious and unreasonable crimes will expose them both to a killer they can’t for the life of them see coming.



My thoughts:  Ever since first discovering Stillhouse Lake a few years back, this has been one of my favorite series and I was both thrilled and saddened to pick this latest one up, as I knew it was to be the last book in the series. This series has been such an intense, thrilling series and one that I cannot recommend enough.

I do think this series is best read in order as so much is based on what happens in the first book. Yes, all the books can be read as stand-alones and Rachel Caine does give you just enough backstory on the characters that you understand these characters and why they are in the situation they are in, BUT you miss out on so much character development and ALL THE SPOILERS that it just wouldn't be the same reading experience. (See below for full list of books in the series - and bonus, they are excellent on audio, but I've heard they are super fast reads!)

I loved the addition of Kezia's perspective this time around. She is another strong female and such a good friend to Gwen. When she calls Gwen to assist on a case that involves a car that had been driven into a lake with two little girls still inside and the mother missing, little did they know that it would somehow end up linking back to Gwen. Then there are the internet messages that start showing up. Who is targeting the Protector family now and why? And is it related to the other?

I loved how all these moving parts eventually come together. While it takes a while to get there, the case finally comes to a brilliant conclusion at a breakneck speed. And once it does...watch out because you might have a hard time catching your breath!

This was such a great ending for what is definitely going to be one of my favorite thriller series. I knew picking this one up that the author had passed away and it was bittersweet. And then when I got to the author's note at the end, I just broke down. RIP Rachel Caine...you will definitely be missed!


Audio thoughts: I thought the narrators did a great job with this book. Emily Sutton-Smith has been with this series from the start and her consistency has been phenomenal. Dan John Miller has been with the series since book 2 and again, his consistency has been just as great. Tovah Ott is new to the series but her character was a new point of view, so it made sense to have a new narrator, and she made a great addition. The narrators added just the right amount of tension to their voices as necessary and made this audio book an enjoyable listening experience.



Books in this series:
 

  1. Stillhouse Lake
  2. Killman Creek
  3. Wolfhunter River
  4. Bitter Falls
  5. Heartbreak Bay
 
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