Friday Face Off : Lake – the mysterious lake

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

Lake – the mysterious lake

This week I had one book specifically in mind.  I’ve only read the first in series but I really enjoyed it and I’m determined to catch up.  Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake #1by Rachel Caine.  And here are the covers:

 

I have more than one that I quite like for this in fact I have narrowed it down to 3:

The first cover I like because that’s the cover of the book I read.  The second I like the tone and the long boardwalk and the third I like the stark black and white and the reflection of the trees on the still lake.  My favourite:

Stillhouse6

Do you have a favourite?

I’ve updated the list now to include themes for next year.  If you know of an event that’s coming up let me know and I’ll try and include covers that work for the event itself so that you can link up to the Friday Face Off and, as always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.  Also, I would just mention that it’s very possible that some of these might be repeats from previous FFOs although I have tried to invent more ‘open ended’ prompt that can be interpreted differently and also prompts that relate to emotions.  Finally, don’t struggle with any of these, this is meant to be a fun way of highlighting books.  If you can’t come up with a book you think fits for a particular week use a freebie – perhaps a recent read for example:

Next week – Highly Stylised 

2020

18th December – Highly Stylised

25th December- Freebie – or day off

 

2021

January

Vintage Sci-Fi month – if you’re taking part you could try and find some vintage style covers

1st – Dressed in White – could be a person could be a landscape – or something else completely?

8th – Books with ‘Moon’ in the Title

15th – An Aerial encounter – spaceships and explosions

22nd – An Alien Encounter – ‘we come in peace’ or maybe not.

29th – A favourite classic or vintage sci-fi

February

5th – A Book with a romance that you enjoyed

12th – Furry – a beast, something cuddly, or a fur covering

19th – Serpentine – could be a snake, could be a snake-like font, could be a snakeskin style cover

26th – A book with ‘Magic’ in the Title

March

5th – March is named for the Roman God of War – a Roman style cover or a cover with a God or Gods or simply a book about war

12th – Middle Grade – choose whatever pleases you

19th – Ruin or derelict, old and worn, could be the book itself, a building, a place

26th – A picture within a picture

April

2nd – A train or tram – travelling down the track, could be old style, futuristic, overhead, down below.

9th – Cartoonish or graphic

16th – I have to have it – a cover that gave you ‘grabby hands’

23rd – Your current read (if it has covers to compare) or any recent read

30th– A series that you love – highlight all the books in the series

May

Month of Wyrd and Wonder

7th – A Series where the cover changed midway through – which style do you prefer most

14th – The earliest fantasy you recall reading – or the first fantasy book you really loved, maybe the book that kickstarted your love of fantasy

21st – The Top Hat

28th – The Hood

June

4th – The nose boop – any animal, or human, with a close up shot.

11th – A cover that annoyed you and why

18th – Out of Perspective, or make you feel a bit dizzy

25th – Upside down, back to front or topsy turvy

July

2nd – A book with a landscape you’d like to visit

9th – A Wicked Grin

16th – Books with ‘book’ in the title

23rd – A Black Hole – could be in the universe or going deep into the ground

30th – Chaos – maybe too much going on in this one

August

6th – “They cluck their thick tongues, and shake their heads and suggest, os so very delicately!” – The Motel

13th – A favourite holiday read

20th – Dressed to kill (could be literally someone dressed to kill, or someone dressed up for a big night out

27th – Sunbathing or on the beach

September (RIP event)

3rd – 1920s feel, noir detective

10th – I’m Henry the Eighth I am – let’s look at Kings or other Emperors/rulers

17th – Books with ‘Murder’ in the title

24th – A favourite thriller

October

1st – A Halloween read

8th – Chills – anything at all that almost makes you too scared to pick up the book (your own pet hate)

15th – Your favourite book of magic

22nd – Books with ‘Queen’ in the title

29th – Must be gothic

November – Sci Fi Month

5th – Your earliest sci-fi read or the first sci-fi you reviewed

12th – A book with ‘star’ in the title

19th – Futuristic vista

26th – A Black Hole – in the universe or going deep into the ground

December

3rd – Windswept, the classic figure, stood majestically, with wind blowing out in a fetching way

10th – A fairytale retold

17th – Winter Solstice approaching – anything cold and seasonal

24th – All things fire – red hair, red covers, fire breathing dragons, simply fire?

31st – What’s your catnip – if it’s on a cover you have to pick it up

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Posted On 14 August 2017

Filed under Book Reviews
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stillhouseStillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine is a tense thriller that kept me turning the pages late into the night.  Rather than a grisly story based on the serial killer himself this story takes a look at the family of the serial killer and their lives in the aftermath of his capture and it turns slowly but surely into a gripping psychological read.  It’s a really interesting idea to be honest – surely, you couldn’t live with such a monster and be totally unaware of their tendencies?  Well, meet Gina Royal, wife to Melvin Royal.  Gina has two children and a fairly average life.  She doesn’t rock the boat and whilst she may not be absolutely overwhelmed with happiness she believes herself to have a fairly regular marriage to a decent man who loves his children.  She believes that, right up to the day that a body is found in her garage and it turns out it’s just one victim amongst many.  From thereon in Gina’s life will never be the same again.

We then pick up the story with Gwen Proctor and her two children Atlanta and Connor.  Basically Gina has gone on the run with her two children – not from the law, ironically enough, but from the relentless hoard of stalkers and trolls who believe that she was her husband’s accomplice and inundate her daily with hate mail and threats.  The three of them have moved house and changed names many times and Gina/Gwen has practically turned into Sarah Connor from Terminator – kick ass, gun toting super mum who will protect her children at all costs.  For the moment they seem to have found a home of sorts, a place by the lake that they’ve had to fix up but for the time being feel some sort of security living in.  Unfortunately their brief respite is short lived when a body turns up in the lake – a body that seems to mimic the horrors from their past.  Is this a coincidence or are things going on.

I really enjoyed this, the writing is very good, which wasn’t a surprise from this author, the characters were well drawn, there was just the right amount of information delivered in a steady stream that kept answering my internal questions more or less as soon as they occurred to me and on top of that the author creates this wonderfully tense atmosphere.  This is the sort of book that keeps the reader on edge almost as much as the family they’re reading about.  It felt like everyone was a potential threat to be honest and I almost found myself jumping every time there was a knock on Gwen’s door or a stranger walked by her property.  I think what really adds to this is that you feel so overwhelmingly sorry for this family.  They may not have suffered the same fate as Melvin’s victims but they are nonetheless undoubtedly suffering and their lives are far from normal.  Gwen is like a boiling mess of paranoia and guilt.  Why didn’t she know what her husband was really like and more than that how will her children ever be able to live normal lives again.

The setting was really well planned.  I loved the way the author creates an atmosphere so peaceful and calm one minute and then in the next twists that tranquillity around so that from a different angle it turns into something more creepy and sinister.  Similarly with the characters.  You meet people who feel genuine and you almost want to slap Gwen because she’s so stand offish and sometimes just downright rude to them, you want to shake her and say ‘come on, eventually you’ll have to trust somebody’ but then again, moments later it turns out maybe you can’t trust anybody.  I thought that was very cleverly done because it builds into the reader the same unease that Gwen herself is experiencing.

The villain of the piece also makes an appearance when Gwen finally visits him in jail to confront him about certain issues and boy does he come across as evil incarnate.  It seems he has his own followers and he may be in prison for life but that doesn’t mean he’s lost the ability to hurt people.

Stillhouse Lake was a step out of the norm for me.  I tend to read mainly fantasy with the odd bit of horror and sometimes historical fiction thrown in for good measure, but I also occasionally enjoy thrillers/chillers and this was a really good choice to throw into the mix.  It’s a compelling story that builds slowly to a dramatic conclusion that definitely whets the appetite for what is going to come next.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.