Review: Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine


Release date: January 21, 2020

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


She’s investigating a cold case no one else could—by going places no else would dare.

In spite of a harrowing past still haunting her, Gwen Proctor is trying to move forward. Until a new assignment gives her purpose: the cold-case disappearance of a young man in Tennessee. Three years missing, no clues. Just Ruth Landry, a tortured mother in limbo. Gwen understands what it’s like to worry about your children.

Gwen’s investigation unearths new suspects…and victims. As she follows each sinister lead, the implications of the mystery grow more disturbing. Because the closer Gwen gets, the closer she is to a threat that looms back home.

In a town that’s closed its ranks against Gwen; her partner, Sam; and her kids, there’s no bolder enemy than the Belldene family—paramilitary, criminal, powerful, and vengeful. As personal vendettas collide with Gwen’s investigation, she’s prepared to fight both battles. But is she prepared for the toll it could take on everyone she loves?


I’ve been a fan of this series since day one, there is something about Caine’s writing that draws me in and keeps me engaged. This isn’t a series where you can just start wherever, you really need to start with the first book in order to appreciate everything that Gwen and her family have been through. The good news is that even though this is the fourth book they’re fairly quick reads and are easy to binge.

High points of this installment for me were Gwen as a private investigator and the fact that her case involves a cult. I have a morbid fascination and curiosity with cults and I never tire of reading about them. The chapters are pretty brief and you hear from Gwen, Sam, Lanny and Connor giving you a bird’s eye overview of all that’s going on, and with this crew, there’s always a ton going on.

Now onto the low points. You know how sometimes after the first few books a series can kind of feel meh? There was a little bit of that here for me if I’m being completely honest. You may be wondering why I spent the first part of this review trying to encourage you to read this series if this one was just ok for me, but stay with me for a minute. The momentum in the first few books was steady. I loved where these books seemed to be heading and was totally onboard. But something felt different with this one, almost like the exciting edge was missing? I’m not totally sure what it was but this definitely didn’t excite me as much as the other books. I have grown pretty attached to Gwen and her kids (and Sam) though so that’s why I’ll keep reading and recommending this one. I have faith in the author, especially since this one wasn’t bad by any means, it just felt lacking a little. I’ll definitely be picking up the next book in the hopes that the suspense and intrigue is heightened back up to the previous level and chalk this one up to a one off.

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

6 thoughts on “Review: Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine

  1. Yvo says:

    Fab review! I have similar issues with this series… The first two books blew me away, but book three and now book four failed to achieve that same level of awesomeness. That said, I still can’t wait to read the next one to see if that little something extra of the first two books returns.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. deesradreadsandreviews says:

    I love your review. This series has been a favorite of mine. It seemed like this book came out pretty quick. It feels like book three just came out. I wonder if it was a bit rushed? I’ll still read it and like you said, hopefully the next one is awesome. Great review!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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