Title: Heartbreak Bay
(Stillhouse Lake #5)

Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: March 9th 2021
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: December 20th 2020
Pages: 336

“One thing being a cop will teach you: nobody looks like it, and everybody looks like it. We contain multitudes, and at least half of that multitude is made up of assholes.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I confess that I started reading this story with a heavy heart, knowing the author sadly lost her battle with cancer and passed away last month… Those who followed her on Twitter might have seen how strong and brave she was while she kept fighting and writing and gave us this last installment to say our goodbyes to Gwen Proctor and the rest. May she rest in peace. đź’”

I’ve been a fan of this series ever since I read the first book back in 2017… The first two books blew me away completely, and while I did think book three and four lacked that je ne sais quoi of the first two, I still highly enjoyed them. And I can now say that Heartbreak Bay is back on the right track and it was without doubt a perfect ending to this series. Poor Gwen and her family have been through a LOT already, but it’s time for one last spin before the curtain falls… And what a ride it is! I was literally glued to my seat and couldn’t stop reading until I reached that final page and discovered how it would all end. This is another firecracker!

Heartbreak Bay uses multiple POVs to narrate this story, but the main focus always stays on Gwen, Kezia and Sam. Through their eyes, we slowly learn more about the current situation; Kezia’s POV more detective related while the other two take a more personal tone. After four books, these characters have become very dear to me, so I was invested from the very beginning… For that same reason, I wouldn’t recommend reading these books out of order; you will be missing out on a LOT of character background and it’s basically impossible to enjoy the story without having read the previous books. That said, they are excellent reads in the first place (especially the first two), so completely worth spending your time with!

The plot in this final book is another exhilarating one, with lots of suspense, danger, violence and of course another murdering criminal. Things will get up close and personal very soon, and I had a great time following the characters as they try to figure out what is really going on and who is behind the threats as well as the killings. Heartbreak Bay is suspenseful, action-packed and disturbing: it’s the perfect thriller choice if you like your stories fast and dangerous.


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