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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 adu 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.


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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 adu 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.

30 review for Heartbreak Bay

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

    “Choose Kindness” Heartbreak Bay is a suspenseful thriller about a deranged serial killer who is playing a sick and twisted game. Book #5 in the Stillhouse Lake series finds Gwen and Sam trying to create a “normal” life for Lanny and Connor. But of course, their lives don't stay normal for long, as they soon become the targets of a serial killer. Narrated by Kezia, Sam, and Gwen, I appreciated the lack of Lanny and Conner’s voices. I enjoyed Kezia playing a larger role and learning more about h “Choose Kindness” Heartbreak Bay is a suspenseful thriller about a deranged serial killer who is playing a sick and twisted game. Book #5 in the Stillhouse Lake series finds Gwen and Sam trying to create a “normal” life for Lanny and Connor. But of course, their lives don't stay normal for long, as they soon become the targets of a serial killer. Narrated by Kezia, Sam, and Gwen, I appreciated the lack of Lanny and Conner’s voices. I enjoyed Kezia playing a larger role and learning more about her character. Gwen has come pretty far since book one, but she is still haunted by her former serial killer husband’s voice; however, Melvin’s pull seems to be diminishing its hold. While this is a suspenseful and tense read, it doesn’t feel that way in the beginning. I was a little bored until smaller pieces of the plot came together, and I finally saw the bigger picture of what was going on. There were times when I had to suspend my disbelief, especially in the last 20%. However, these moments did not diminish my enjoyment of this book. Ultimately, this is a book about choices. It ends on a strong note and sets the stage for Sam, Gwen, Lanny, and Connor to move on from Melvin’s legacy. I am not sure if we will see these characters again, as Rachel Caine passed away in early November. Her author's note broke my heart, but her final words will stay with me. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

    I want to give Gwen the benefit of the doubt but she SERIOUSLY needs to stop going to places with names like Childmurder Ridge or Doublehomicide Lagoon.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    Another brilliant addition to the “Stillhouse Lake” series! When Kezia Claremont finds the bodies of two children strapped in a car submerged in a pond, her heart breaks, especially when it is discovered that their mother is nowhere to be found. Though the police are investigating, Kezia knows she needs the help of her best friend and Private Detective, Gwen Proctor. Little does Kezia know that investigating the case causes all kinds of trouble. Of course, Gwen is no stranger to trouble. Being t Another brilliant addition to the “Stillhouse Lake” series! When Kezia Claremont finds the bodies of two children strapped in a car submerged in a pond, her heart breaks, especially when it is discovered that their mother is nowhere to be found. Though the police are investigating, Kezia knows she needs the help of her best friend and Private Detective, Gwen Proctor. Little does Kezia know that investigating the case causes all kinds of trouble. Of course, Gwen is no stranger to trouble. Being the former wife of serial killer Melvin Royal, Gwen, her partner Sam, and their kids Lanny and Connor, know exactly what it’s like to be harassed and stalked by a mad man. Will having each other’s back be enough to save Kezia and Gwen from someone who’d like to destroy them? “Heartbreak Bay” is a well written, character driven mystery / suspense that kept me on my toes, glued to the storyline, hoping against hope that my girl Gwen made it through yet another day. A Huge thank you to the author, Rachel Caine for writing such an incredible series and for continuing to bring it. If this is on your tbr, let me just say that the author’s note at the end of this book is a must read and outlines Ms. Caine’s current health battle. I’m sending you positive vibes Rachel Caine! Thank you for bringing Gwen Proctor, Lanny, Connor and Sam Cade to life. This series has been one of my favorites these last few years and I am so grateful to you for sharing it with all of us. For those of you who haven’t read this series and who love mystery/suspense. I ask you to please read this series and to share your thoughts on it with the world as it truly is amazing. Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Rachel Caine for the arc. Published on Goodreads on 9.26.20.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    Loved it! Once again Rachel Caine has shown what a true thriller should be! The unfortunate end of this series because of Ms Caine's death makes this reader quite sad. Ms Caine showed us, through this series, the development of a strong woman. Gwen Proctor has faced such adversity being once married to a serial killer and although he died, she still carries with her the stigma of that marriage. Many think she was his accomplice and that she knew of his crimes and they pursue her and her children. Loved it! Once again Rachel Caine has shown what a true thriller should be! The unfortunate end of this series because of Ms Caine's death makes this reader quite sad. Ms Caine showed us, through this series, the development of a strong woman. Gwen Proctor has faced such adversity being once married to a serial killer and although he died, she still carries with her the stigma of that marriage. Many think she was his accomplice and that she knew of his crimes and they pursue her and her children. However, Gwen with the assistance of Kezia Claremont, another woman of strength, and her partner, Sam seemed to have come upon the perfect life. Unfortunately, they are once again thrown into a world of a sinister man who is out for Gwen and doesn't care what methods he uses to achieve his goal. It's a harrowing journey for the ladies and one that offers a horrible death as its end. Just when life seems to have settled and be good for Gwen, it erupts into a case of ultimate destruction. Recommended to those who love this series and to those who so enjoy the growth of a young woman into a paragon of strength, courage, and fortitude. As an aside you will be missed Rachel Caine as you added so much joy and downright scariness into your books. All of them were a pleasure to read as you knew the true meaning of the word thriller. Thanks you to Thomas and Mercer and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this amazing book due out March 9, 2021

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Heartbreak Bay is the fifth in the Stillhouse Lake series. This is not a good series to read out of order. Caine doesn’t waste a lot of words on Gwen’s background story, and it’s important. Plus, an important part of the series is watching Gwen grow from victim to a self realized, vital woman. Gwen and Sam have moved to Knoxville and things seem to be going well. But as Gwen observes, Melvin is like a zombie and keeps springing back to life. Everyone in the family is getting notes. Meanwhile, he Heartbreak Bay is the fifth in the Stillhouse Lake series. This is not a good series to read out of order. Caine doesn’t waste a lot of words on Gwen’s background story, and it’s important. Plus, an important part of the series is watching Gwen grow from victim to a self realized, vital woman. Gwen and Sam have moved to Knoxville and things seem to be going well. But as Gwen observes, Melvin is like a zombie and keeps springing back to life. Everyone in the family is getting notes. Meanwhile, her dear friend Kez is investigating the horrible death of two youngsters, found drowned in the back of a submerged car. Their mother is missing and it’s unknown if she’s the perpetrator or another victim. Told in alternating POVs by Gwen, Sam and Kez, the story moves along at a good clip. All three characters are fully formed. I loved how motherhood features so prominently in this book. Caine also totally gets teenagers - their need to fit in, at the same time to grow and become independent from their parents. This is a totally unbelievable story, but I still enjoyed it. It’s fast paced with multiple twists and turns and lots of moral dilemmas. Everyone is faced with choices and the understanding that all choices have consequences. This will be the final book in the series because of the death of the author from cancer. My thanks to netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    I know, I know - 2 five star reviews in a row, but this series... I am both happy and sad to be writing this review. Happy because I was thrilled to get this arc, I have loved this series. Sad because it is the last book Rachel Caine ever wrote since she has sadly passed away. This was another fabulous entry in the series. Gwen Proctor’s detective friend, Kezia, catches a case where a car found in a pond has two little girls, about 12 months old, strapped into car seats in the back. They are dead I know, I know - 2 five star reviews in a row, but this series... I am both happy and sad to be writing this review. Happy because I was thrilled to get this arc, I have loved this series. Sad because it is the last book Rachel Caine ever wrote since she has sadly passed away. This was another fabulous entry in the series. Gwen Proctor’s detective friend, Kezia, catches a case where a car found in a pond has two little girls, about 12 months old, strapped into car seats in the back. They are dead of course. There is no sign of the driver. Kezia asks Gwen (who is now a licensed PI for some help with background and with finding the mother and/or father. Little did either of them know that this request for help would start the hate campaign again. You really need to read these books in order. There are only 5 in the series and will never be any more. But for background - Gwen Proctor used to be known as Gina Royal and was married to Melvin Royal, a serial killer who butchered women in the family’s garage. Many, many people could not believe that Gina/Gwen did not know what was happening. Many even suspected her of helping. The online trolling became vicious and Gina had to change her name and that of the two children and move house many times to get away from the haters. One of the worst was her current partner, Sam Cade, but that is now all water under the bridge and they have learned to trust each other. They thought they were finally past all that when it started up again. Only this time it’s different. This time it seems more serious, more dangerous. The family are being targeted again by an anonymous and very hostile person who stalks the internet and who wants Gwen to pay for her crimes (the ones she didn’t commit) and he doesn’t care if he stomps all over her children to get to her. This time Gwen and Kezia must face almost certain death alone to end the vicious campaign. It was great to see the growth of all the characters, particularly these two strong women as they fought the evil. Sam took a backseat this time around as Gwen entrusted him with her precious children. The children have grown so much, seen so much and had so much pain and yet they have turned into strong and capable almost adults. The ending was, as you would expect, very pulse pounding! I have loved every minute of every book in this series and recommend it highly to all the thriller lovers out there. Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing a review copy. Special thanks to Rachel Caine for the hours of pleasure I have derived from her books. My opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Review coming soon. R.I.P. Rachel Caine/Roxanne Longstreet you will be missed. :(

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Hoover

    Heartbreak Bay is the fifth book in the Stillhouse Lake series and another superb addition to the series. I'll say upfront that while each of these books will standalone, you're missing a great reading experience and a lot of character development if you skip any of the books. My advice: Read in order! This story opens with Gwen, Sam, Lanny and Connor living an almost normal life in their new home a little distance away from Stillhouse Lake. It appears the vigilantes have finally focused their at Heartbreak Bay is the fifth book in the Stillhouse Lake series and another superb addition to the series. I'll say upfront that while each of these books will standalone, you're missing a great reading experience and a lot of character development if you skip any of the books. My advice: Read in order! This story opens with Gwen, Sam, Lanny and Connor living an almost normal life in their new home a little distance away from Stillhouse Lake. It appears the vigilantes have finally focused their attentions elsewhere and life is good again . . . until its not. A phone call in the wee hours from Det. Kezia Claremont pulls now P.I. Gwen out of the warm bed she shares with Sam into the ominous dark night. She meets Kez on a seldom traveled road beside a murky pond near Stillhouse where a submerged vehicle is pulled out of the water. Two young sisters are in the backseat still strapped in their child seats. No one else is around. Both Kez and Gwen are horrified and heartbroken at the unspeakable crime. Where is their mother? Was she kidnapped? The answers to these questions lead Kez and Gwen into a deadly investigation that goes from bad to worse, stirring a hornet's nest that draws the crazies back out of the woodwork. Gwen's life is in chaos yet again. An invisible killer is playing a game of "Would you rather . . . " with them and the endgame is their lives. Heartbreak Bay is a character driven story that unravels at a deadly pace. As events spiral out of control, it becomes clear that Kez and Gwen are being played by a cruel killer. Caine excels at setting a tone of malice that carries throughout with imminent danger always lurking around the next corner. I swear I could hear my heart bound as this story played out. I especially loved learning more about Kez in this one as readers get a look at what makes her tick. She and Gwen put their lives on the line to protect loved ones and their heart, grit, and drive is a force to be reckoned with. This story is action-packed from cover to cover with an explosive block-buster ending that might be a bit unbelievable IF it was anyone else. But in this case, the author has clearly done her research and also previously established these characters as super heroes with a strong sense of right and wrong. Heartbreak Bay is a raw, emotional, high octane suspense thriller that I highly recommend to everyone. Especially fans of this highly addictive series! March 9, 2021 Update to my original Note below: As many known, beloved Author Rachel Caine lost her heroic battle against cancer. On this, release day for Heartbreak Bay, I'd like to say Happy Pub Day, Rachel. We love and miss you so much! You'll forever have a special place in the hearts of readers. *Original Personal Note: Hugs and prayers go out to author Rachel Caine during her battle against cancer. Just like the strong women she writes about, Rachel's heart, will, and endless determination is an inspiration to us all. We love you, Rachel! **Many thanks to publisher Thomas & Mercer for an arc of this book via Netgalley. ***Review posted at: Cross My Heart Reviews

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ink_Drinker

    I love Rachel Caine's Stillhouse Lake series!! When I saw it was a “read now” book on NetGalley, I couldn’t believe it!! I’ve read all the books in the series and was very excited about the fifth book coming out in March. Even though I have a lot of other books on my TBR stack, I put them all aside for this one!!! I started the book and stayed up all night to finish it! Each book in the Stillhouse Lake series are stand-alones, but you really get to know the characters if you start from the beginn I love Rachel Caine's Stillhouse Lake series!! When I saw it was a “read now” book on NetGalley, I couldn’t believe it!! I’ve read all the books in the series and was very excited about the fifth book coming out in March. Even though I have a lot of other books on my TBR stack, I put them all aside for this one!!! I started the book and stayed up all night to finish it! Each book in the Stillhouse Lake series are stand-alones, but you really get to know the characters if you start from the beginning. They are all good books so it's a win for the reader. If you haven’t read any of the books, the storyline is about a women that is married to a serial killer, yet says she knows nothing of his actions. Caine takes you through the life of this wife and mother and how they are all coping with this knowledge. This is a crime novel at it’s best. It is full of suspense, mystery, twist and turns and is a real page turner!! I recommend the whole series!! The author has a note at the end of the book regarding her current health battles. I was shocked to read this as I’m sure all Caine fans were. It amazes me that she is still giving to her readers as she goes through these hard times. My thoughts and prayers are with you Rachel Caine and I hope you beat your health battles!! I look forward to your sixth book!!! Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC in exchange for my review. #NetGalley #HeartbreakBay #Thomas&Mercer #RachelCaine

  10. 4 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4 chilling stars I started this series about 3 years ago and I have eagerly read each one and grown to love Gwen and her two children and now Sam. This one is #5 in the series. Filled with murder, danger, mysterious events and the trademark Rachel Caine easy-to-read and get engrossed in writing style. This one took a bit to get going and I was worried it was too formulaic, the second half was outstanding!! Now a private investigator, Gwen has put her difficult past behind her and is building a gre 4 chilling stars I started this series about 3 years ago and I have eagerly read each one and grown to love Gwen and her two children and now Sam. This one is #5 in the series. Filled with murder, danger, mysterious events and the trademark Rachel Caine easy-to-read and get engrossed in writing style. This one took a bit to get going and I was worried it was too formulaic, the second half was outstanding!! Now a private investigator, Gwen has put her difficult past behind her and is building a great life with her two children and Sam. They have some typical teenage difficulties, and then before you know it, danger lurks again! Gwen’s good friend Kezia is a police officer who has a difficult case that she just can’t let go of because of the horrific nature. Kezia calls in Gwen to help and soon the women are being targeted by a stalker who seems to know all about them and those they hold dear. I did like that the women take charge in this one, it’s great when that happens instead of waiting for men or needing them to swoop in and get things done. I rooted for them to survive as the showdown with a killer packs a powerhouse punch. Don’t miss the author’s note in this one. My thoughts go out to Rachel Caine in her health battles and I hope this is not the end for Gwen and this series. I do recommend starting with #1 in the series. This was a fun buddy read with Mary Beth. Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of this one to read. Scheduled for release on 3.9.2021.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    This was so amazing! Full review to come closer to release date. *EDITED TO ADD REVIEW: This is going to be such a hard review to write, especially now knowing this was the very last book that Rachel wrote before she passed. I have loved this author since the very beginning and I am so sad that the world lost such an amazing person and author. It is with bittersweet sadness that I write this review and hope to do the book, series, and this author justice. This was an amazing addition to the series. This was so amazing! Full review to come closer to release date. *EDITED TO ADD REVIEW: This is going to be such a hard review to write, especially now knowing this was the very last book that Rachel wrote before she passed. I have loved this author since the very beginning and I am so sad that the world lost such an amazing person and author. It is with bittersweet sadness that I write this review and hope to do the book, series, and this author justice. This was an amazing addition to the series. This family has been through so much and more than anything, they deserve some happiness and peace. And when I read this, I didn't know (for sure) that this would be the last book in the series but with that in mind now, this really did end in a good place. A strong place, just like the characters that dominate it. This was such a good mystery. Such a good story about family life, love, forgiveness, growing, and everything else that comes from family strength. I adored it and am so sad to see it is over but so thankful that Rachel wrote this series because it truly is remarkable and unlike anything else out there. It has all the emotions, all the mystery and suspense one could ask for. It is with a heavy but happy heart that I say goodbye to these characters and this series. It truly all came together so wonderfully. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    I wavered so hard on whether to round my 4.5 up or down, that I might end up changing it by the end of the review. But once again, Rachel Caine has written a book that I really, really enjoyed; with some minor bumps in the road that didn't interfere too hard with having a great time. All the books in the Stillhouse Lake series stand alone, but it's worth reading the whole series for context - and because, if this sounds like something you'd enjoy, there's not many series out there that are as wel I wavered so hard on whether to round my 4.5 up or down, that I might end up changing it by the end of the review. But once again, Rachel Caine has written a book that I really, really enjoyed; with some minor bumps in the road that didn't interfere too hard with having a great time. All the books in the Stillhouse Lake series stand alone, but it's worth reading the whole series for context - and because, if this sounds like something you'd enjoy, there's not many series out there that are as well-considered and entertaining. The research is sound, the writing is good, and the tone manages to straddle the very narrow line between horrifying and life-affirming. This book also pulled up out of what was almost becoming a wallow in the last book; this time, the connection to Gwen's past felt much more organic, and there's a definite sense of moving forward from it. There can be a tendancy for Rachel Caine's protagonists to make just terrible decisions in the name of protecting or saving the people they love. There's a bit of that here, as well as a reveal that fizzled. The book is strong enough to work without the big drama of a surprise revelation, but it felt like I was supposed to be more surprised; at the same time, it was telegraphed pretty clearly. Overall though, this is a step up from the slight dip of the last book - I'm really looking forward to more in this series. Thanks too, to Netgalley and the publisher for a free review copy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    I was stunned and excited when I noticed Heartbreak Bay, the fifth book in the Stillhouse Lake series in the Read Now section of NetGalley. Although I already had several books lined up to read, I signed up for this one pronto as I am a recent convert to this series and Rachel Caine's books in particular, and couldn’t wait for this next installment. For those who haven’t read any of these books, they are about Gwen Proctor FKA Gina Royal, unsuspecting wife of serial killer Melvin Royal. She has I was stunned and excited when I noticed Heartbreak Bay, the fifth book in the Stillhouse Lake series in the Read Now section of NetGalley. Although I already had several books lined up to read, I signed up for this one pronto as I am a recent convert to this series and Rachel Caine's books in particular, and couldn’t wait for this next installment. For those who haven’t read any of these books, they are about Gwen Proctor FKA Gina Royal, unsuspecting wife of serial killer Melvin Royal. She has had a hard road proving she knew nothing of her ex-husband’s proclivities, and the first four books are full of her unpleasant experiences navigating the world taking care of herself and children. Please don’t mistake this very simplistic synopsis as dull as this series is nowhere near that; it is one of the best suspense-thriller series I have ever read. Gwen is a badass, and she never lets you down. This fifth book did not disappoint and was full of mystery, intrigue, and spine-chilling suspense. I read through it so fast because it was so, so good, and then I was devastated because it was over. Rachel Caine is simply the queen of suspense. This one is narrated through multiple viewpoints, Gwen’s the main one, but her friend, Detective Kezia Claremont’s is second in importance. While this book was excellent, I am left almost bereft after reading the author’s note at the end. I won’t say any more; if you are a fan, you must read it yourself. I gave this book five fantastical stars, and dearly hope to read book six. Thank you so much, NetGalley and the publisher, for the opportunity to read this book. It was an honor.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    First, let me say I was so sad to hear of Rachel Caine's passing. She was most definitely a catalyst that revived my book reading addiction with her Chicago Vampire series back when all of us horny middle-aged moms were bookswapping like crazies in order to fill our perverted fetishy minds. I decided to break my own standing policy regarding reading past #1 in a series pretty much out of pure curiosity of exactly how this one could continue back when it was offered as a "Read Now" over on NetGal First, let me say I was so sad to hear of Rachel Caine's passing. She was most definitely a catalyst that revived my book reading addiction with her Chicago Vampire series back when all of us horny middle-aged moms were bookswapping like crazies in order to fill our perverted fetishy minds. I decided to break my own standing policy regarding reading past #1 in a series pretty much out of pure curiosity of exactly how this one could continue back when it was offered as a "Read Now" over on NetGalley. In case you aren't familiar, the Stillhouse Lake books begin with the female lead discovering her husband is a serial killer (so good, right?). I was terrified this was going to go in the direction of the "Garage Sale Mysteries" or "Aurora Teagarden" - which, truly no judgment here because I effing loooooooove those little pieces of brain candy. However, if these had started off pretty awesome only to turn into a Hallmark Murders and Mysteries would have made your girl like . . . . Luckily that wasn't the case and the lead had become a legit investigator that justified her sleuthing. Absolutely no regrets spending a day on this one. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Schultz

    This is the fifth and last in the Stillhouse Lake series. So sad that Rachel Caine pen name for Roxanne Longstreet Conrad lost her battle with cancer on November 1. 2020. Yes! She died months before the release of this novel. Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end of this novel. I guarantee it will bring tears to your eyes. When I started this series it evoked every emotion in me. I could not put it down. My comment after reading the first was that I was glad it wasn’t super long as my hea This is the fifth and last in the Stillhouse Lake series. So sad that Rachel Caine pen name for Roxanne Longstreet Conrad lost her battle with cancer on November 1. 2020. Yes! She died months before the release of this novel. Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end of this novel. I guarantee it will bring tears to your eyes. When I started this series it evoked every emotion in me. I could not put it down. My comment after reading the first was that I was glad it wasn’t super long as my heart couldn’t take any more! I continued the series with the next two; which were also good but by the fourth I was ….when is this family going to find a safe place to live? This was a Great final story! Recurring characters added something special. However, the evil troll was extremely clever in this one. Want to thank NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this early release granted to me in exchange for an honest professional review. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Publishing Release Date scheduled for March 9, 2021

  16. 4 out of 5

    menna hafez

    #HeartbreakBay #NetGalley Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with ARC. This is the first book to me by Rachel Caine and i have kept hearing about Stillhouse Lake series but don't have the chance to read it. I really enjoyed it and i will try to read the other books in these series #HeartbreakBay #NetGalley Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with ARC. This is the first book to me by Rachel Caine and i have kept hearing about Stillhouse Lake series but don't have the chance to read it. I really enjoyed it and i will try to read the other books in these series

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Heartbreak Bay is Rachel Caine’s 5th book in the Stillhouse Lake series ... and also her last book which is very sad to know. Prayers for her family and friends. Though a sad mystery. This story has you guessing right from the beginning. Kicking off with a woman driving who winds up driving her car into a pond and drowning two children who are in the back seat. There’s a internet person wanting to make her life miserable and also her children and family. He will not rest until Gwen pays for what Heartbreak Bay is Rachel Caine’s 5th book in the Stillhouse Lake series ... and also her last book which is very sad to know. Prayers for her family and friends. Though a sad mystery. This story has you guessing right from the beginning. Kicking off with a woman driving who winds up driving her car into a pond and drowning two children who are in the back seat. There’s a internet person wanting to make her life miserable and also her children and family. He will not rest until Gwen pays for what he thinks she did. Rachel Caine always rolls out a story slowly and full of twists. Told in multiple points of view, this time around it’s just Gwen, Sam, and Kezia. The thing that makes this all real feeling is the amount of hatred between people. We often question ourselves and our decisions, and I was glad to see that a few of the characters remained in control of themselves despite mounting pressures surrounding them. The book is very graphic with violence and descriptions so heads up to those that don't care to read about these things. Don’t miss the author’s note in this one! Thriller fans will definitely enjoy the whole series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Heartbreak Bay Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine This book gave me a dreary vibe from page one. Something ominous was going to happen any minute, every minute, I just felt it. That's the mindset Caine easily put me in. I was terrified for the PI, the cop, for the babies strapped in the back of the car, for everyone that was investigated or interviewed. This monster, this mastermind, was pure evil and was pulling strings that was causing serious damage. Both of the main families were terrified but des Heartbreak Bay Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine This book gave me a dreary vibe from page one. Something ominous was going to happen any minute, every minute, I just felt it. That's the mindset Caine easily put me in. I was terrified for the PI, the cop, for the babies strapped in the back of the car, for everyone that was investigated or interviewed. This monster, this mastermind, was pure evil and was pulling strings that was causing serious damage. Both of the main families were terrified but despite that, these touch as nail gals were determined to catch this monster or die trying. Which they each almost did! This was a study in suspense! Although I did figure out who it was before the end I didn't figure out why. I was a bit disappointed in the end, there were sections I thought was overboard. I also didn't understand exactly the "why" so much to really make it fit well. I certainly enjoyed it! It was a tense read! Certainly recommend! I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read the book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    The fifth and final book in the Stillhouse Lake thriller series due to the author's passing from a rare cancer last November. RIP, much beloved author. In this latest book, Norton (TN) police detective Kezia Claremont involves her friend Gwen Proctor in her capacity as a private investigator in a case involving the disappearance of a young woman whose twin daughters were found drowned, strapped in their car seats. She asks Gwen to dig into the young woman's past, and as Gwen does, she discovers a The fifth and final book in the Stillhouse Lake thriller series due to the author's passing from a rare cancer last November. RIP, much beloved author. In this latest book, Norton (TN) police detective Kezia Claremont involves her friend Gwen Proctor in her capacity as a private investigator in a case involving the disappearance of a young woman whose twin daughters were found drowned, strapped in their car seats. She asks Gwen to dig into the young woman's past, and as Gwen does, she discovers a far-reaching web of deception. Before she knows it, her own family is entangled, endangering them all. Gwen and Kezia are such strong female protagonists, fierce in their desire to protect their loved ones and fight evil. These characters and others that Rachel Caine created in this series will be greatly missed. I received an arc of this thriller via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Many thanks for the opportunity.

  20. 5 out of 5

    AℳYⒾ ♔♚♛Cofounder of Teens against YA books♛♚♔

    This one has to be the most anticipated book of 2021

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I got my hands on this book and dropped everything to immediately dive in! I love this series! Heartbreak Bay was another fast paced adrenaline ride. The suspense ramps up and up until POW! 💥 The reader is left with one epic, action packed conclusion. In this installment Gwen joins up with Kezia to find the missing mom of two girls, found dead in a car in a submerged pond. These two will stop at nothing to find the killer and the missing mom...unless someone stops them first. It’s always so nice t I got my hands on this book and dropped everything to immediately dive in! I love this series! Heartbreak Bay was another fast paced adrenaline ride. The suspense ramps up and up until POW! 💥 The reader is left with one epic, action packed conclusion. In this installment Gwen joins up with Kezia to find the missing mom of two girls, found dead in a car in a submerged pond. These two will stop at nothing to find the killer and the missing mom...unless someone stops them first. It’s always so nice to reunite with the Proctor family! As this is book 5, I’m completely invested in these characters. This series always delivers a punch and this installment was no exception. 4⭐️ My thanks to @amazonpublishing for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review. Sadly, Rachel Caine passed away after a battle with cancer before this book could be published. I’m sad to see this series come to an end, but this was a final and fitting conclusion to an awesome series. Thank you, Rachel, for sharing the Proctor family with us. RIP. ♥️

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marta Cox

    This was as bittersweet to read as it was gripping. This is the final book written by this much missed author and I will be blunt and say I wasn’t looking forward to reading this. Oh not because I thought it would be a bad book but purely because I knew it could be heartbreaking. This series has been a triumphant suspense filled ride that shocks, horrifies and reveals the twisted underbelly of the monsters we all live beside however unknowingly. Our heroine Gwen has battled many enemies but perh This was as bittersweet to read as it was gripping. This is the final book written by this much missed author and I will be blunt and say I wasn’t looking forward to reading this. Oh not because I thought it would be a bad book but purely because I knew it could be heartbreaking. This series has been a triumphant suspense filled ride that shocks, horrifies and reveals the twisted underbelly of the monsters we all live beside however unknowingly. Our heroine Gwen has battled many enemies but perhaps who she really needs to finally defeat is that little voice persistently whispering inside her head. She’s found a love that she can trust in Sam and finally is ready to stop running from her past . Her children are teenagers, no longer the babies she can protect and hold but evil stalks even their quiet cul de sac. When her friend Kezia reaches out for help of course Gwen goes but neither woman can guess where their journey will take them as they risk everyone they love whilst caught in a psychotic killers twisted game that no can can ever win . Suspense, horror and evil lies within these pages and I’m always appalled at the depravities humans are capable of and make no mistake although this is fiction there truly are hateful people out there. Yet here again this author shows that love whilst not conquering everything can sustain us through our darkest hours. Usually it’s Gwen and Sam who dominate these stories but this time I was delighted that the author chose to make Kezia a worthy adversary. The subtle nuances about the teenage children ring true and once again their characterisations and reactions feel so real. This is the last book so it does leave this reader wondering just how these battle hardened characters traverse whatever life still has to throw at them but as it ends there is satisfaction, hope for a brighter tomorrow and love. RIP knowing you gave so many so much pleasure with your work. This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    "There's no time in a woman's life that isn't dangerous, and that's just a fact of life." I have missed Gwen, Sam and their family. Their past has come to haunt them again... but really it's their continuous present and inevitable future. I feel so hard for this family. In this continuation, we also get to learn more about Kez and now we have two very strong female leads with their amazing supporting men and I truly love all their dynamics. "I'm a suspicious bitch, but I've found it works for me." "There's no time in a woman's life that isn't dangerous, and that's just a fact of life." I have missed Gwen, Sam and their family. Their past has come to haunt them again... but really it's their continuous present and inevitable future. I feel so hard for this family. In this continuation, we also get to learn more about Kez and now we have two very strong female leads with their amazing supporting men and I truly love all their dynamics. "I'm a suspicious bitch, but I've found it works for me." I figured some things out fairly early on. Sometimes it's disappointing to find out you were right but other times, like here, it gave me that *head nod, smirk, mm-hmmm* moment while still feeling this intense ANGER at what was happening on behalf of all the characters being tortured. Feel me? And I felt a LOT of things while reading this one. It's really hard for me to review this as it has elicited a lot of emotions. I truly fell in love with these characters... all of them... and this was a roller coaster of a read. So I'll just leave it as the below. I've loved this series since the very first book - it is most definitely one of my favorite thriller series and I'm saddened to hear of the author's passing. I highly recommend this series and will definitely be looking into her backlist. If you love a good thriller series where the very first book has the main character losing control of her car so it crashes into her own garage where a girl her serial killer husband is keeping captive is unintentionally found.... surprising the hell out of her and her kids.... well..... yeah, you're gonna need to read these. I truly wish there were more. In the Author's notes, Caine states, "If this is the last of Gwen's story, then I hope you feel it was worthwhile. I do." I do, too... RIP Rachel Caine - you will be greatly missed. ❤

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristie

    This was another great addition to the Stillhouse Lake series. Unfortunately, the series will not continue due to the sad passing of the author after a battle with cancer in 2020. I really enjoyed reading Gwen and her family's story to this point. In this installment, I liked the addition of Kezia's perspective. I also love that Caine has written strong, brave, and intelligent lead women. I would recommend this series, but you should start from the beginning. There is a lot of backstory and chara This was another great addition to the Stillhouse Lake series. Unfortunately, the series will not continue due to the sad passing of the author after a battle with cancer in 2020. I really enjoyed reading Gwen and her family's story to this point. In this installment, I liked the addition of Kezia's perspective. I also love that Caine has written strong, brave, and intelligent lead women. I would recommend this series, but you should start from the beginning. There is a lot of backstory and character growth you will miss if you jump in with this book. Plus, the earlier books in the series are worth the read. #HeartbreakBay #NetGalley Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    menna hafez

    Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with ARC. This is the first book to me by Rachel Caine and i have kept hearing about Stillhouse Lake series but don't have the chance to read it. I really enjoyed it and i will try to read the other books in these series Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with ARC. This is the first book to me by Rachel Caine and i have kept hearing about Stillhouse Lake series but don't have the chance to read it. I really enjoyed it and i will try to read the other books in these series

  26. 4 out of 5

    Monika Sadowski

    What a great book full of action. Not even one dull moment. Rachel Caine did it again and the series about Gwen it’s getting better and better. I can’t wait for another book. Keep writing Rachel! I received a digital copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nica's Musings

    Heartbreak Bay by Rachel Caine Expected Publication Date on March 9, 2021 My rating: 4 of 5 stars Serial killer vigilante “It’s so easy at a distance to pass judgment, to feel satisfaction when someone else receives pain you think they deserve.” Heartbreak Bay protagonists Gwen Porter and Kezia Claremont are on a hunt of the person who's gone on a killing spree in small town Norton, Tennessee. Gwen is a missing persons private investigator. She has two teenage children–Lanny and Connor. Kezia, ak Heartbreak Bay by Rachel Caine Expected Publication Date on March 9, 2021 My rating: 4 of 5 stars Serial killer vigilante “It’s so easy at a distance to pass judgment, to feel satisfaction when someone else receives pain you think they deserve.” Heartbreak Bay protagonists Gwen Porter and Kezia Claremont are on a hunt of the person who's gone on a killing spree in small town Norton, Tennessee. Gwen is a missing persons private investigator. She has two teenage children–Lanny and Connor. Kezia, aka Kez, is a detective at the Norton Police Department. Gwen was called at a crime scene location by Kez, her bestfriend, to help in the investigation of the drowning of two girls strapped in the back seat of the car that was pushed to the lake. The location is close to where Gwen once lived in Stillhouse Lake with her late husband, Melvin Royal, a serial killer. Though Melvin is dead. He still haunts Gwen. He is there in here thoughts. He still has control over her. It brought back so much horrible memories from her old house and when Gwen got to the crime scene she didn't know why she was needed there in the first place. The story is told in three points of view: Gwen, Kez, and Sam. Sam Cade is Gwen's partner who have adopted her two kids. He works as a flight instructor. There are a lot going on in the book besides the drowning of the two girls and the missing mother. There is also the harrassment that Gwen and her family received which also affected Kez. This is not a coincidence. What I liked most is the police procedural used as well as private investigation know how I've learned and appreciated from the book. It is well-written. The thought process has a good flow. The pace is just right. The climax towards the last five chapters were the unputdownable scenes for me. The mystery & thriller element I am looking for in a book is definitely there. This is the main reason why I gave the book a rating of 4 stars. This is the fifth book in the Stillhouse Lake series. I wanted to note that this book can be read even without reading the previous novels. The story from the book is the result of what happened from the previous books, however, the author explained well the history and the whys so the reader will be able to understand even without having read the previous works. One of the elements I liked is Caine's ability to insert flashbacks without losing the flow of the story. Another element I like in a mystery & thriller novel. The characters were able to develop their own story throughout the book. Caine was able to give them each a story of their own without putting too much emphasis to the main three. They are drawn together through the horrid past they experienced in life. It brought them together and now they are all keeping their family safe. This includes Vee—a friend of Gwen's daughter, Lanny. Vee and Lanny are of the same age. Gwen took Vee under her wing and she's now part of the family. I'm miffed that everywhere they go, everything they do, they are being harassed—especially Gwen because she's the ex-wife of a serial killer. The harrassment has become the "normal" for them and it's a rarity that a family like Gwen's, is handling it so well. They have complete trust in each other. The story is set in rural Tennessee in the small town of Norton and its surrounding areas like Valerie. I learned a lot of the Southern culture in the story such as racism: how the truck driver who pulled the car out of the lake treated Kez, how it is being a black woman cop in that area, their food and way of living, how it is to be in a small town having an influential family with money and who operates an illegal distribution of drugs, and how fast news can travel. Apart from culture, I learned a lot of new vocabularies and idioms from the book. Now the big question–why not five stars? I cannot tell the writer what to write. I know this by now from years of reviewing. However, Caine's mysterious person was revealed in the end and the antagonist's story was not given enough spotlight. The antagonist deserves more. Heck the antagonist should have been given its own voice in my opinion. Caine wrote it in a way that it should have been given more in the story. Most story revolved around Gwen, Kez, Sam and their circle. I am looking at it all in their points of view. Now I am left with a lot of questions about the motives, intentions, all the hows, and whys. I've read so much mystery & thriller novels, some authors have done this without giving a lot away early in the book. I want to know what's on the antagonist's mind. Now I will never know. This is for someone who likes police procedural, private investigation, missing persons, strong women characters, how to rise from aggravation, what do people being harrassed experience, gun safety and responsibility, serial killer, and mystery & thriller genre. No profanity. Not too graphic, in my opinion, comparing to other stories in the same genre. Just right for the story. I was able to sleep at night even after finishing the book. Thank you so much to NetGalley, author Rachel Caine, and publisher Thomas & Mercer, for providing an advance reader's digital copy of the book, which allows me to write an honest and unbiased review. See more reviews in my blog. Let's talk about books. 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  28. 5 out of 5

    Alena

    3.5 stars rounded up because of my love for this series. It saddens me to call this book my least favorite in Stillhouse Lake series but I still enjoyed reading it and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for gripping thrillers with strong main characters. This final installment was a bit too slow for me and I was surprised to find myself at 60% mark and feeling like nothing major had happened yet. The ending definitely made up for the slower pacing but the unfolding events were also a lit 3.5 stars rounded up because of my love for this series. It saddens me to call this book my least favorite in Stillhouse Lake series but I still enjoyed reading it and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for gripping thrillers with strong main characters. This final installment was a bit too slow for me and I was surprised to find myself at 60% mark and feeling like nothing major had happened yet. The ending definitely made up for the slower pacing but the unfolding events were also a little too out there for me to believe. Again, while I had some issues with Heartbreak Bay, I did overall enjoy it thanks to the writing which has always managed to be very intense and emotional. I still cared about the main characters and felt genuinely afraid for them. This was a satisfying end to Gwen Proctor's story and a great thrilling series I will always recommend. Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for my eARC.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    4.5 / 5 stars Heartbreak Bay is the final book in the Stillhouse Lake series. It was definitely hard not to cry while reading this book. I've had the book for a while. But I put off reading it because I knew that it would make me sad. But I also knew that it would make me happy. Gwen is such an amazing heroine. So strong and fierce. And I have truly enjoyed reading her adventures. The book starts with a chilling prologue. And then alternates POVs between Gwen and Kezia (with Sam narrating a few chap 4.5 / 5 stars Heartbreak Bay is the final book in the Stillhouse Lake series. It was definitely hard not to cry while reading this book. I've had the book for a while. But I put off reading it because I knew that it would make me sad. But I also knew that it would make me happy. Gwen is such an amazing heroine. So strong and fierce. And I have truly enjoyed reading her adventures. The book starts with a chilling prologue. And then alternates POVs between Gwen and Kezia (with Sam narrating a few chapters - all 1st person POVs). I was so thrilled to get to see Kezia's point of view as I have really enjoyed her as Gwen's friend. This was a really good book. And the mystery kept me guessing till the very end. I loved seeing Gwen and Sam trying to fight the bad guys. And I enjoyed how Kezia played a part in the story. Overall, Heartbreak Bay is a disturbing and thrilling mystery. It is a wonderful conclusion to a great series. Thank you to netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for allowing me to read this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    I’ve read all five novels and sadly with Rachel’s passing this is the last book in the Stillwater Lake series. It’s phenomenal as are all that came before. She gave life to strong independent female characters with vibrant unputdownable stories. I absolutely loved this series, love her writing, we have lost a truly gifted author. Rachel Caine will be missed. 💔

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