Jan 13, 2020

ARC Review--Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine

She’s investigating a cold case no one else could—by going places no else would dare.

In spite of a harrowing past still haunting her, Gwen Proctor is trying to move forward. Until a new assignment gives her purpose: the cold-case disappearance of a young man in Tennessee. Three years missing, no clues. Just Ruth Landry, a tortured mother in limbo. Gwen understands what it’s like to worry about your children.

Gwen’s investigation unearths new suspects…and victims. As she follows each sinister lead, the implications of the mystery grow more disturbing. Because the closer Gwen gets, the closer she is to a threat that looms back home.

In a town that’s closed its ranks against Gwen; her partner, Sam; and her kids, there’s no bolder enemy than the Belldene family—paramilitary, criminal, powerful, and vengeful. As personal vendettas collide with Gwen’s investigation, she’s prepared to fight both battles. But is she prepared for the toll it could take on everyone she loves?

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

We return once again to Stillhouse Lake with Rachel Caine’s Bitter Falls to find Gwen Proctor knee deep in yet another chilling mystery! I’m really amazed by how far this series has come, and still going if Goodreads is to be believed! I thought it stood fine as a duology series but Rachel keeps adding onto it and it makes for an intriguing read!

Have you ever really thought about the family of a serial killer? What Gwen has gone through because of her ex-husband’s despicable crimes is a little appalling, but yet at the same time, I can understand where the victims’ families come from with their hatred. It does bring an interesting question, if one of your loved ones was murdered, would you hate that murderer’s family? Would you want to destroy them for their family member’s actions? It’s a tough situation to deal with for sure and I think Rachel handles it rather well in this series.

But Gwen’s ex-husband’s crimes are in the past, for now at least, though there always seems to be some fanatics ready to take a stab at her and her family. Gwen had been given a new case, a cold one involving a young man who went missing one night. It’s an unusual case since he was a college student with a pretty decent life and nothing that would make him run off without a goodbye to his family. It’s been three years since he went missing, but Gwen is willing to give it all she has.

Though the most mysterious aspect of this case is who actually hired Gwen’s firm for this rather old case? What she ends up finding is something far more deadly than she anticipated and it just might be too much for her to handle on her own. Especially when the lives of her children are threatened once again.

I’ll admit that this one was a little harder to get into. I felt like Gwen’s investigating didn’t really take off on a quick note. It seemed to drag a bit to even get to the investigating, but things were being laid out for us. Little things that will likely become issues in future installments. When the case does start to take off for her, the pacing became better and much more enjoyable.

I have been enjoying the multiple points of view that we have going on. It’s been fun getting inside Sam’s head and seeing what Gwen’s kids think about everything that’s happening. We see some familiar faces in this one too that I definitely wasn’t expecting.

The ending was really the most heart-racing aspect of the book! I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with the characters caught up in the mix, but wow. Just wow!

This is definitely a read I would recommend to mystery fans! It dances along the lines of thriller, but maybe not as much as there isn’t always an active murderer on the loose. It’s still an entertaining series that I look forward to reading more from. It’s definitely a series that keeps you hooked from its twisted edges!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars


Bitter Falls releases January 21, 2020


  1. Sounds like a great series, even if this one was a bit slower paced. Love that cover!!

  2. I love this series. I was wondering where they are going to take this series now. I am glad you liked it. Hope to get to it this month.

  3. I enjoy mysteries very much and haven't read this author's books yet. I love that it's a series though, so you can pick up the next book immediately.

  4. Darn those harrowing pasts! It seems like those are prerequisites for being a good investigator! And it seems like she definitely has some problems with people resenting that whole "serial killer" thing!


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