The Girls in the Lake (Beth Adams Book 2)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

The idyllic setting of this crime thriller is quickly broken when there is a body found in the lake, followed shortly by another one. I appreciated that the main character in this book is a Forensic Pathologist, as it allowed the reader to follow the investigation from a different perspective. I thought that the case was well-thought-out, and the author did a good job of throwing out some red herrings to keep the reader guessing. I definitely recommend it. For more thoughts, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a digital ARC of this book.
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OMG this book! There is so many thing I want to say that I dont know where to start. After loving the first one so much I had high expectations for this one and I sure has hell wasn’t disappointed. Helen has totally nailed it and left me hanging with that ending!!! I so can’t wait for the third book.

With an OMG start and an OMG ending what more can I say this book is utterly brilliant. I read it in a matter of hours, I simply couldn’t put it down.

It is addictive, nail biting and action packed and totally kept me on the edge of my seat.

I have said this before and I will say it again I love the fact that Beth is a Forensic Pathologist making her a unique character. She is determined and will go the extra mile has show in this story. We also see an emotional side with the goings on in her personal life. Come on Josh sort it out!

This can be read has a standalone when though it is the second book in the series. But this is to good a series to miss which I cannot recommend enough. Giving it all the stars.

Thank you to Noelle at Bookouture for the blog tour invite. Grab your copy today on the link below……
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The Girls in the Lake by Helen Phifer is book 2 in the series featuring forensic pathologist Dr Beth Adams, but could easily be read as a standalone. Having said that, though, I do feel that reading the first book and knowing the background of the characters does add to the richness of the story.

I loved the first book in the series, so was incredibly excited when the opportunity arose to be part of the blog tour for this second book which, in my opinion, is even better than the first. Beth is a character I warmed to from the first time she was introduced and it’s wonderful to see the progress she’s made following the harrowing events of the previous story.

This time Beth and Detective Josh Walker, who are now in a relationship, are investigating the discovery of two dead bodies in Lake Windermere. Are the deaths related or is it just a sad coincidence? But then another girl is found, only this time she is clinging to life. She tells them she was at a party on a boat, but then she was pushed...

As more bodies surface, all with tiny traces of boat paint present, Beth and Josh must try to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Faced with a killer hungry for revenge, and with her personal life beginning to spiral out of control, Beth will need to use every ounce of skill and determination she has to catch this monster before he takes another innocent life.

The Girls in the Lake is a fast paced and exciting thriller that once started is impossible to put down. With a cast of memorable characters this is a series of books I hope will continue for a long time to come. Helen Phifer has written yet another addictive thriller that kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I loved every word of it and can’t wait to see what she has planned for Beth Adams next!

Highly recommended.
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This book is the second in a series and it did not disappoint. The author creates rich characters in a well detailed atmosphere. Girls bodies are being pulled out of the lake, are they connected? If so how? This needs to be solved fast before one of Dr Adams friends daughters get to close to someone dangerous. This was an edge of your seat ride start to finish that keeps you guessing till the very end. Great read
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It was a very insightful novel, with a strong cast of characters. I enjoyed the story line very much and would definitely recommend this book.
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This is the second installment of the Beth Adams series and I’m glad to say I like this book much better than the first book. 
In fact, I was a bit hesitant to pick up this book after feeling a bit disappointed by the typical injection of romance in the first book, but this book proved to be a winner, at least for me. 

One thing I noticed about this series; it always starts quite strong with multiple murders. The story kicks off with spotting a dead body floating in the lake and then we have another dead body also surfaced in the lake. The both victims have long, beautiful blond hair and have a tiny fraction of paint under their nails that could possibly tie the two cases. Three suspects are pulled in for questioning but it doesn’t get the investigation anywhere. Some lulls in the momentum ensues due to the complex nature of the investigation and a lot of going back and forth happening. 
You might think I got bored along the way, but the side story of a strained relationship between Beth and Josh kept the plot tight and engaging, I got to keep my focus the entire time without losing interest. 

When the story shifted its focus on the relationship between Beth and Josh describing communication breakdown between them, I must admit I almost lost my emotional attachment. 
I don’t know what saying this makes me out to be, and funny as it may sound, I have never felt emotionally attached to Beth. 
If anything, I didn’t particularly like it when Beth keeps wallowing in her own grief and insecurities. She should be and is a tough cookie having gone through and survived a brush of death not only once but twice, but funnily enough, she is quite volatile when things in the romantic department starts to falter. I’d much prefer to see Beth in her professional mode where nothing can faze her. 

That said though, I also witness the true strength in Beth in this installment. Yes,she might some flaws and weaknesses but she doesn’t stay pathetic for so long; she eventually snaps out of it and heads whatever problem head on. I must say it was quite exhilarating and I was content with the actions Beth took. As I mentioned earlier, the friendship between Beth and me is still in its infancy, but I liked Beth in this book way better than her in the previous book, that’s a win, right? 

Another thing I enjoyed about this book is playing detective which, believe it or not, I rarely do with mystery books. For me, it doesn’t really matter who the real culprit is; I am happy and satisfied as long as the plot is well crafted and executed and the reasonings make perfect sense. As long as I manage to connect the characters to their names, and what they have done in the story, I’m a happy camper in most cases. 

In this book, however, I found myself zeroing in on one specific character as a prime suspect and curious to find out if I got it right. This is quite a rarity to say the least, and I enjoyed the experience. 

I did think the motive of the culprit is not as convincing as I would have liked and the mystery might have been a bit easy to solve (even I could manage to nail down the culprit!), but overall, I enjoyed reading this book much better than the previous one. 

I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for the next book in the series and would very much love to see more of the pathologist side of Beth. 

4 stars go to this book and I thank NetGalley and the publisher, Bookouture or generously providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
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The Girls in the Lake was impossible to put down!! I devoured this book (no2 in the Beth Adams series) in one sitting, hooked from the beginning.
Set on and around Lake Windermere, the novel starts with a dead young woman being pulled from the water followed by another all in the space of twenty four hours. Is this a coincidence or the work of a serial killer??
It’s up to detective Josh Walker and pathologist Beth Adams to discover the reasons for these deaths and bring the culprit to justice. I think I found this so easy and compelling to read because both Beth and Josh are likeable characters, ordinary decent hard working, compassionate people. These two seem to have a good working relationship whilst trying to keep their fledgling romance quiet from colleagues and as a crime duo they work really well. I was as much interested in their backstory as I was to discover the person responsible for girls in the lake so I think this is a series that will be well received by readers who enjoy this genre.  I much prefer thrillers where the writing refrains from gratuitous descriptions/violence so this novel fits the bill perfectly.
Whilst this was a page turner for me, it isn’t because there are any shocking twists and turns (as some reviews suggest) rather the writing flows seamlessly drawing the reader into the storyline. It’s fair to say, without giving away any spoilers, that there are only ever really three people in the frame for these unexplained deaths so don’t expect any big surprises. That didn’t bother me, as it might do in other thrillers as I found the writing addictive. My only criticism is that Beth Adams appears to be a better detective than the real ones, not content to stick to her pathologist duties but then I suppose she is the ‘star’ of the series.
Immensely enjoyable,I would definitely recommend this book to fellow readers and as always my thanks to the author and publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read in exchange for an honest review. I eagerly await the next offering in this series!!
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This is the second installment of the Beth Adams series by Helen Phifer, and I really hope it won't be the last.  Phifer's writing flows, the story is engaging and well written and the characters and their development is believable and draws you in to their world.  

This is the second in a series, but the book could work pretty well as s stand alone.  If you haven't read the first book, you'd be fine just picking up this one and won't get lost (like you would in some series), though the characters relationships and progression would be a little more evident if you did read them in order.

I enjoy Phifer's style of writing.  You feel immersed in the story line and even the more technical aspects (like details of the coroner's or policemen's duties) are given in such a way as you don't get lost in terminology but still get a feel for what need to be happening.  Overall an enjoyable read, and I look forward to a third Beth Adams adventure.

** Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
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I did not read the first installment of Helen Phifer's Beth Adams' Series, but I certainly am going to read it after finishing The Girls in the Lake. This is a solid mystery with many twists and turns, along with a little romance. Ms. Phifer does a great job giving the reader a glimpse of Beth's past, especially how it relates to her current situation. She is a smart and savvy medical examiner who notices the tiniest of details... which end up as big clues in the end. I anxiously away the next installment in Helen Phifer's series.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.

This was the second book in the Beth Adams series but could easily be read as a stand alone book. In this book, medical examiner, Beth Adams is called to a death at the marina, a young woman is found floating next to a party boat. While it looks accidental when another body is found, in similar circumstances, but also looking accidental; Beth can’t shake the feeling that something is going on.  Josh, Beth’s live-in boyfriend, one of the town’s detectives, is hot on the case, but is it the case keeping him away all night, or is there something suspicious going on with him. As Beth gets closer to the truth than Josh would like her, will she help crack the case, or be another victim?

Good series, I like the main characters, Beth is an interesting character with lots of substance. Cannot wait to see how this series evolves.
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EXCERPT: The glow from the lamps along the quay gave just enough light to see there was something in the water; in the shadow of the boat it looked as if a clump of reads had got tangled in the anchor chain. Leaning further over, he blinked a couple of times and focused his vision, realizing too late that they weren't reeds at all.

It was a woman, floating face down in the water, her long blonde hair fanned out around her shoulders and snagged onto the anchor chain.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The discovery of a young student 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, Beth finds tiny traces of boat paint present on each victim. It’s a critical lead that links these attacks back to a tragic accident involving a group of school children years ago.

Faced with a killer hungry for revenge, and with her own life spiralling out of control, it’s going to take every ounce of skill and determination for Beth to catch this monster before he takes another innocent life. But will Beth realise he’s been right beside her all along?

MY THOUGHTS: I am afraid that I like The Girls in the Lake even less than The Girl in the Grave, and I thought that was barely an okay read. With The Girls in the Lake, I seriously contemplated dnfing it several times. By the time I finished I really didn't care who had done what to whom.

I disliked it for all the same reasons as the first book in this series. The action in this book takes place a mere month after the previous book finishes so Beth and Josh's relationship is still relatively new. But she is sneaking around following him. They are also trying to keep their relationship secret from their coworkers, so why would she contemplate taking him breakfast at work?

There's a lot of silly little errors that spoiled my enjoyment, and some not so small. Beth takes it upon herself to collect a paint sample to match against samples from under the dead girls fingernails, but does so without a warrant, in stormy weather, and despite evidence that there could be someone on board the boat to which the dinghy is tied.

The writing is mostly simplistic and flat. Beth goes outside. She gets (something) from her car. She comes inside. She sits down. You get the idea.....

Reading is a personal and subjective experience, and what appeals to one may not please another. If you enjoyed the excerpt from The Girls in the Lake by Helen Phifer, and the plot outline appeals, please do go ahead and read it. You may well love it, as many other people have.

Not a book I will be recommending, nor a series that I will be following.


#TheGirlsInTheLake #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Phifer was born in Barrow-in-Furness, a small town. She grew up there and continued to live there as an adult with her husband and children. She says that the town can occasionally receive some not great press, but confirms that it is a nice area to live in. It is surrounded by gorgeous scenic coast line and is fairly close to the Lake District, which is another beautiful area.

Helen confesses that she has always loved reading as well as writing. When it comes to reading, she likes to pick books that make the hair on her neck go up! Helen always has had a penchant for scary stories. When she eventually could not find enough books in this genre to suit her requirements, she decided that she would boost the amount of scary story books out there by writing some of her own!

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Girls in the Lake by Helen Phifer for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage
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The girls in the lake refers to several drowning victims found in suspicious circumstances.  Suicide seems the first answer but there are too many questions for our forensic scientist Beth Adams.  Helen Phifer built an excellent community and cast of characters in the first book of this series and it's great to see them bouncing back from the traumas suffered.  Ms Phifer does an excellent job of weaving personal and professional events and incidences to give us a complete picture of how Beth solves these crimes.  A very good procedural thriller that I enjoyed.
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The Girls in the Lake is the second instalment in the Beth Adams series and although it could easily be read as a stand-alone I do highly recommend reading The Girl in the Grave first, not only because it’s a cracker but because it really gives you feel for Beth and what she’s been through.

Beth, a forensic pathologist and her boyfriend Josh, who works in the police get an early morning call, a body has been found in Lake Windermere. What looks like a tragic teen suicide ends up being a bit more complicated and Beth is determined to find out what is going on.

I really like Beth, it’s nice to see her in a relationship with Josh and she finally seems happy although they do have a few ups and downs and I could have screamed at the pair of them to sort it out but she’s a great character and I’m really enjoying seeing her develop in these stories.

I will admit that I did have a good idea of who was responsible from quite early on, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book though. I still raced through it totally gripped and if it had been a physical book I think the pages would have been on fire with the speed. I just got so engrossed and with quite short chapters it’s easy to get totally lost in the story.

And like I said, I really like Beth but I was quite frustrated at how she put herself in danger, I won’t say what she was doing so I don’t spoil it for you though. I was sitting thinking would a forensic pathologist really do that, no I don’t think they would, but Beth would because she really cares about the victims, the people that come into her mortuary and it makes her a little bit more special.

The Girls in the Lake is a cracker of a story. The characters really come to life and it’s easy to get swept up in the story and with twists and turns I kept second guessing myself but I gave myself a pat on the back when I found out I was right.

I’m really looking forward to reading book three now, hopefully we don’t have too long to wait.
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Here's an author who's books just get better and better. So when the latest of Helen's came out to read and review I just had to request it. and It did not disappoint! 

The Girls in the Lake by Helen Phifer was just brilliant. This is the second book in the Beth Adams series. Ethan who was asleep on the boat is woken up by a banging sound outside the boat. He goes and takes a look, only to find a naked woman with her long hair caught up in the moorings to a boat. Ethan jumps in hoping to rescue her sadly she is already dead. Beth is a Forensic Pathologist and is very good at her job is called to the scene and DS Josh Walker is already there. 
Beth and DS Josh Walker are in a relationship however, they want it to be a secret from their colleagues and friends etc. 

Another body is found in Lake Windermere is this body linked to the first woman found?

Will they find the killer before someone else is murdered and found in Lake Windermere?

I love all the characters within this book especially Beth and Josh, and its about time Beth got some happiness in her life. 

This book is brilliant psychological thriller and can be read as a standalone book as well. Its full of twists and turns throughout that will have you hooked and gripped to the very end!

I am looking forward to Book 3 - No rush Helen! 

I highly recommend The Girls in the Lake 

Big Thank you to the author, Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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This was good but a little predictable. Maybe I read too many of this kind of books but if I can predict the ending by the time I am halfway through, it does spoil it a bit. Nevertheless, I kept on reading because it's well written and I liked the main character. I won't comment too much on the plot. Suffice it to say it is well-developed and makes sense. The strength of the book liens in its protagonist and in her relationships and character. It's a good read for the holiday season.
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I really enjoyed the first book in the Beth Adams series that follows the forensic pathologist on the shores of Lake Windermere. The Girl In The Grave introduced us to Beth at a time when she was vulnerable and a low point in her life so it is nice to see her, a few months down the line, moving on from that, although of course, the path isn’t going to be smooth.

I don’t like reading books in a series when I haven’t read the previous ones, I’ve done it but not very often, but I do think that The Girls In The Lake could be read as a standalone book. Although saying that reading books in order does make the story flow and gives the characters more depth.

When dead girls start showing up in the beautiful Lake Windermere, Beth Adams job is to confirm that the deaths were the accidents they look like so the police can close the file. But something doesn’t feel right to Beth and so she starts to dig deeper and soon finds herself facing the dark side of the beautiful lake.

I love the setting for these books, it’s somewhere so idyllic and an unlikely setting for the story that unfolds. I loved that the story was not what I was expecting, but I did feel that it didn’t grab me in the way the author’s books normally do. This is the fifth book of hers that I have read and they are all easy to read books that suck you in. This one didn’t quite do that.

It’s still a great read and is the second book in a promising series that I look forward to reading more of!
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An amazing psycological thriller! A young womans body found floating in a lake. Then another and another. All involving the same circumstances. Beth is a forensic pathologist trying to juggle her work and her own daughter without revealing too much. An interesting read.
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A new case for pathologist Beth Adams and her lover DS Josh Walters. Their relationship has developed significantly since the last book but now a case keeps them busy and a personal dilemma drives a wedge between them.
Two women are pulled form Lake Windermere, both apparently accidental but Beth is convinced that identical paint chips beneath their fingernails is suspicious. Josh and his team begin their investigation into the deaths but he is waylaid by his ex and her cancer diagnosis.
Beth and Josh’s relationship, both the personal and professional dynamic, is so well written and realistic. I really wanted to knock their heads together at some points in the book and was urging them to be open with each other and communicate properly!
There are references to events in the previous book but author Helen Phifer maintains a clear focus on the current case. The forensic detail was a little grisly but presented in an informative and objective way through Beth’s occupation as a pathologist.
The pace of The Girls in the Lake is speedy, with short chapters which sweep the reader along. The energy of Josh and Beth as they investigate is conveyed to the reader and the tension for their relationship as well as the case is carefully built up by the quickfire chapters and speedy plot developments.
In all honesty I felt the ending was a little abrupt and wanted more explantion of motive and the history of the character to gain a better understanding of their motivation.
However, overall the book was excellent and I can’t wait for the next installment!
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Thank you NetGalley & Bookouture for allowing me to read “The Girls In The Lake.”

A excellent thriller full of mystery. Dr Beth Adams goes above her role as a pathologist to help solve drownings even though she’s having issues in her personal life   I was surprised at the ending. I honestly had no clue!
This is the first book I’ve read by Helen Phifer and it won’t be the last!
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Three young women turn up dead.  The first two victims were found by people who were used the lake regularly. The third victim was unusual. She was pushed into the lake, was rescued but died a few hours later in her own bedroom. All three girls were pretty, blonde and young. All three were acquaintances of three young men.  Two of the men had unsavoury reputations, and one was just a hanger on without money or consequence, just a fellow student. 

The story of three young men without any seeming purpose in life, two of them just seem to want to find an easy girl for the night or day, the other equally aimless and not doing anything constructive. The story of too much inherited money and not enough responsibilities and even consideration of others. Condescending, patronizing the worst  possible friends one could have. 

Forensics in the form of Dr. Beth Adams refuses to accept that the deaths are accidental and she pushes the detectives on the force to look for anything suspicious. When she feels that the investigations are not making any headway she conducts her own. With the third girl's death, all of them combine efforts to prevent a fourth.

The end was surprising. Like all thrillers it was a twist to the tale.The characters though not likeable at all were compelling as part of the story.
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