Available purchase options for this title (via affiliate links) are located below this review. Purchasing through them helps keep The Audiobookworm going. Learn more here.
Goodreads⎮Reviewed July 2018
Narrator: Emily Sutton-Smith, Lauren Ezzo, Will Ropp, Dan John Miller
Length: 11 hours 55 minutes
Publisher: Brilliance Audio⎮2017
Synopsis: Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.
Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…
You’re not safe anywhere now.
Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has be-come a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.
But what she’s up against is beyond any-thing she feared – a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.
4.75★ Audiobook⎮After finishing Stillhouse Lake, my immediate impulse was to grab Killman Creek as quickly as possible. My second, and prevailing impulse, was to take a little break in between installments. This is an incredibly intense and disturbing series. Maybe I didn’t emphasize the “disturbing” part enough in my review of Stillhouse Lake. This series warrants all kinds of trigger warnings. It manipulates your emotions and psyche, nearly to the point of paranoia. I had to take frequent breaks while listening just to slow my thudding heart.
But man, it’s just so damn exhilarating. I made it approximately 6 hours before breaking down and buying Killman Creek. I am so weak. It started out amazingly and broke into four POVs– Gwen, Sam, Lanny, and Connor. I was really loving the multiple points-of-view until I noticed that Connor was getting significantly more time to tell his tale. The Conner POV was the worst. He came across as whiny, bratty, and basically every stereotypically horrible thing a child character can be. I can’t tell you how many times I muttered “God, this idiot child is going to get them all killed”. Ugh, book kids are the worst.
For about 65% of Killman Creek, I thought I was hearing a second installment slump. Things moved pretty slowly and a lot of reckless mistakes were made. For all the intelligence Stillhouse Lake possessed, Killman Creek nearly ruined it all. I think splitting the characters up was a mistake. The separate storylines seem to be set up with less aplomb and cheaper plot devices were used (i.e. convenient ignorance).
However, and this is a big however, the climax saved everything. Both climaxes, I mean. They were incredibly satisfying, as I’ve come to expect from Rachel Caine. During the last hour, wild horses couldn’t have dragged me away from listening. The epilogue seemed both open and closed. There’s a glimpse of an HEA, but the door is definitely left crack a bit for another installment. I know that a third installment is supposedly forthcoming, although it has been delayed. I can’t possibly imagine why another installment and would be needed after the Killman Creek resolution and since a synopsis has yet to be released, I’ll just have to keep guessing. At least Killman Creek didn’t end with a giant cliffhanger like Stillhouse Lake.
Narration review: The thing I was most excited for when beginning Killman Creek was the multiple narrators brought on board to record the four points of view. Emily Sutton-Smith was back in action as Gwen and this time she was joined by three more performers for the POV chapters of Sam, Lanny, and Connor. All four narrators are to be commended for their performances, but one stood out among the rest. Even though Lanny wasn’t my favorite character, I found her chapters the most enthralling because of the emotion with which they were performed. Lauren Ezzo absolutely killed it. More so than the others, Lanny’s chapters were performed, not read, and the line between Lauren and Lanny was expertly blurred.
All four of these performances made in the separate POVs bearable. If you’re interested in picking up this installment, I definitely recommend hearing it on audiobook. I’ll be interested to see if multiple points-of-view and performers are used in the next installment as well. ♣︎