I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girls in the Lake by Helen Phifer
Published by Bookouture on December 9, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, General, Thrillers, Medical, Crime, Suspense, Traditional, Women Sleuths, Romance, Psychological, Small Town & Rural, Private Investigators, Hard-Boiled, Noir, Amateur Sleuth
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Peering over the side of the boat, the glare of early morning sun catches on something pale in the inky water. The boy’s curious fingertips break the surface, pulling up a tangle of long blonde hair from the reeds below…
The discovery of a girl floating face down in Lake Windermere, her naked skin almost translucent in the freezing water, looks like yet another tragic teen suicide. But the victim’s lack of clothes make Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams want to investigate further. Anything to distract her from the arrival of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s body on the mortuary table that morning.
With witnesses keeping tight-lipped and any clues washed away by the tides, it’s up to Beth to find the evidence her team needs. But then another girl is found in the lake, this time still clinging to life. She tells them she was at a party on a boat, and that she was pushed…
As more bodies surface, tiny traces of boat paint lead Beth to a tragic accident involving a group of school children years ago, and the feeling that the killer might be closer than anyone could ever have imaged. But with her personal life spinning out of control, can she persuade her team before another life is lost?
An absolutely unputdownable serial killer thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Fans of Patricia Gibney, LJ Ross and Angela Marsons will have to hold on tight for this nail-biting rollercoaster ride!
Readers love The Girls in the Lake:
‘Brilliant… keeps you on the edge of your seat right until the last chapter...loving this series and the characters in it.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Plenty of twists… I didn’t want to put it down… suspenseful and riveting, you will want time to read it in one sitting.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Hooked from the beginning and it kept me engaged until the very last page.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Full of twists… full of tension… several times I caught myself holding my breath.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Another thrilling, tightly plotted addition to this already fabulous series...I loved this book…fast paced, realistic… plenty of action, mystery and suspects. Definitely comes highly recommended and deserves all of 5 stars.’ Netgalley reviewer, 5 stars
‘I thoroughly enjoyed… an engrossing tale… I don’t know where the time went, one minute I started to read and a few hours later I was finishing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘A humdinger of a crime thriller that grabs you and draws you in from the brilliantly written and powerful opening scene to the nail-biting, butt-clenching finale.’ Netgalley reviewer, 5 stars
The water is beautiful. The water will also pull you under into its murky depths without a care or a thought about race, gender or social standing. If you don’t grant it the respect it so deserves it will unleash its power and it isn’t a battle you are going to win. The Girls in the Lake is a steady paced police procedural which picks up a few weeks after book 1. I felt that the first half of the novel was slower paced but it took off like a rocket in the second half.
The story is centred around the main character, Dr Beth Adams, a forensic pathologist. She has had an extremely tough life, having been subjected to a traumatic abusive relationship for the past seven years. Fast forward and she has marginally moved forward happy in the knowledge that her ex is in prison but still frozen in the past and being haunted by the effects that relationship has instilled in her. She is now living with DS Josh Walker. Life is good but usually when its that good something comes along and has a habit of turning it on its end. Cue, two dead bodies turning up in lake Windemere and the onslaught of the impending investigation.
Things get even more personal with a third girl being pushed into the water from a troublesome party boat…are the three women connected or was its mere accidents?
I really liked the character of Beth. Although she often participated in the sport of self-depreciation, she was an extremely strong character. She knew her worth and knew what she needed to do to move forward and boy did she go out and do it. She is one hell of a woman! I think to a certain extent she is struggling with the possibility of suffering from PTSD and seeks solace in the bottle more than she should but again we all have our crutches to bear. She navigates the murky waters of following her gut instinct and at points I thought that she was more on the ball as a detective than the actual police were.
The girls in the lake was a haven for geeks like me. I really enjoyed reading about the science behind the pathology of Beth’s work and the other forensic anomalies that popped in her freelance investigating. Call me a weirdo but I love what killed someone and the science that backs it all up even more.
I was mildly frustrated with the avoidable spat that occurred between Beth and Josh. In any relationship, trust and communication is paramount and their issue just seemed like a non-issue. Beth seemed to go a little off the deep end without having any proof and it did feel a little at odds with the character that I had been becoming acquainted to previously. But, overall, The Girls in the Lake was an enjoyable reading experience and I would like to give the first book a go.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Phifer is the #1 Bestselling crime and horror novelist of the Annie Graham and Lucy Harwin series. Helen lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children. She has lived in the same town since she was born. Surrounded by miles of coastline and not too far away from the beautiful Lake District. She has always loved writing and reading since the days she learnt how to in infant school. loves reading books that make the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end and make her afraid to go to the toilet, alone in the middle of the night. is eternally grateful to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton for scaring her senseless in her teenage years. Unable to find enough of the scary stories she loves to read, she decided to write her own.
Her debut novel The Ghost House was released October 2013 and introduced readers to police officer Annie Graham. It went on to be an Amazon #1 bestseller in Canada. It reached #1 on the Amazon Contemporary Horror Charts in both the UK and the US, pushing her idol Stephen King off his #1 spot many times.
She was thrilled when the second book in the series The Secrets of the Shadows managed to push The Ghost House off its #1 spot even if it was a little surreal. This was followed by The Forgotten Cottage, The Lake House, The Girls in the Woods and The Face Behind the Mask.
The Good Sisters is a standalone old, fashioned horror story which Helen admits scared her so much when she was writing it that she couldn’t write once it got dark. Set in an abandoned convent it will definitely give you the chills.
March 2017 saw the publication of Dark House, a gripping psychological thriller which introduced readers to the dangerous world of Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin. Dying Breath and Last Light are books two and three in that series.
The Haunting on West 10th Street is a supernatural thriller set on the streets of New York.
The Girl in the Grave featuring Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams is released 16th July 2019.