Mar 1, 2021

ARC Review--Heartbreak Bay by Rachel Caine

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.



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


Heartbreak Bay is Rachel Caine’s last book, last book of the Stillhouse Lake series and the last book she wrote for us. There’s a very heartwarming Author’s Note at the end of this that had me in tears as I read, I urge you all to read that as well once this book is released. Gwen and her family don’t seem to have the best of luck these days, after moving away from Stillhouse Lake and trying to start anew, trouble finds them once again.

Gwen’s friend and a detective, Kezia asks for her help in a case that tragically involved two murdered babies. Someone drove a car into the lake with the children strapped inside. For Kezia this becomes a deeply personal case and Gwen, as a mother, feels like it’s personal too, so she readily agrees to help Kez in whatever way she can.

Though a heartbreaking mystery is not all Gwen has on her plate. There’s a new internet troll on the rise who is determined to make her life miserable and that of her children and family. He will not rest until Gwen pays for what she supposedly did. i.e. helping Melvin murder all those young women.

Like all Rachel Caine mysteries this one doles out the clues and story in bits and pieces. There’s multiple points of view, this time around it’s just Gwen, Sam, and Kezia telling the story. We get focus on the mystery at large and also the struggles Gwen and her family constantly go through having had a serial killer in their family. Things somehow wind up being tied back to Melvin, in this series. He had followers and haters and all of them hate Gwen and her family.

What makes this book so real to me is seeing this absolute hatred complete strangers have for this family that they don’t even know. How many times has something like this made it into the news somehow, if not in the same extent? When we hear about serial killers who were married, how many times do you think that the spouse and children had to have known what their loved one was doing? Do you ever think they were complicit in the actions too? It’s hard to say the right answer and we don’t always know what the right answer is. I feel like though society treats Gwen and her family horribly, I can see why they think what they do and Gwen understands this too, though she wishes it were different.

This is definitely a series that will have you see society and social media in a new light. We’ve known from the start of this series that Gwen is innocent and she has made friendships throughout this series, she has become stronger than she once was. She’s definitely a hero no matter what the trolls and haters say, and they’re the ones who made her one too in some ways.

The mystery itself was done very well! Though I will admit, I suspected our whodunit right away! As soon as they made it onto the page I was like “THEY* DID IT!!!” *Naturally, I am not mentioning gender here to avoid spoilers. Despite picking up on the killer so easily, I will admit to still being surprised throughout the story. The multiple perspectives is also something to look at here because each character sees other people differently and that makes a huge difference in ways I can’t really describe.

This story wasn’t without heartbreak, hence the title I suppose, as well. There was a lot of heartbreak in some ways. Things ended nicely to a point you can believe this is where Rachel intended to end the series, but still leave room for more had things turned out differently. It was a weird touch of irony that Heartbreak Bay was Rachel’s last book for us, but like everything she’s written, it’s a read worth waiting for! Heartbreak Bay was yet another thrilling addition to the bone-chilling mystery series by the late, great, forever loved, Rachel Caine!


 Overall Rating 5/5 stars



Heartbreak Bay releases March 9, 2020






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