Cover Image: The Girls in the Lake (Beth Adams Book 2)

The Girls in the Lake (Beth Adams Book 2)

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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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When I found out that this second book in the Beth Adams series was out, I was very pleased indeed.

Beth gets caught up in a case where girls are getting fished out of a local lake. As a forensic pathologist, her job is to figure out how they died and to help the police with as much evidence as possible. Luckily Josh, her newly live-in partner, is a police officer so between them, they follow the leads.

However, what happens to their relationship when Josh's ex needs him? And who on earth wants all those lovely young women dead?

This was an interesting book, not quite as intense as the first one. Looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

4.5 stars from me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture.
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The Girls in the Lake is the second book in the forensic pathologist Dr Beth Adams series, set in the stunning Lake District. It isn't necessary to have read the first instalment before you pick this up as the story is self-contained. That said, you will not be privy to the development of the recurring characters. The body of a young blonde-haired girl is discovered floating in Lake Windermere and is ruled as a tragic accidental drowning. Then a second girl is pulled alive from the lake and confirms Beth's worst fears that she had been pushed from the vessel intentionally. The girls had been partying on the boat The Tequila Sunrise and both had been quite heavily intoxicated. When more victims are discovered, it is beginning to look as though a serial killer is on the loose and Beth finds traces of the paint used to colour the boat underneath the girls' fingernails and vows to get justice for those subjected to the crime and bring closure to their families.

I enjoyed the Lake District location and the deaths are all the more sinister for being located in a serene and breathtaking part of England; the contrast makes the aspects of the story really prominent, and although I liked the first instalment I preferred this one and found it a lot more enjoyable. The writing pulls you in and is easy to follow and there are sufficient twists and turns to keep you interested with the story moving in one direction then another. It's an absorbing and highly engaging tale with a plot and cast that are believable; I picked it up with the intention of reading a mere few chapters and got lost within its pages only stopping when there was no more to read; this is the mark of a true page-turner, in my opinion. The plot is both dramatic and exciting with a logical investigation and investigators who are compassionate and truly care about discovering the truth. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
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Tricky mystery with plenty of suspects. Good to catch up with these characters who have struggles in their own lives while trying to solve the crime.
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The Girls in the Lake by Helen Phifer is the second in the Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Series Background:    (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books)

Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Adams is a forensic pathologist.  After having her ex try to kill her twice, he is now behind bars, and Beth is trying to get on with her life.  She spent 7 years in fear, and enough is enough.  Now in a relationship with DS Josh Walker, things are looking up.  She has a friend in her lab assistant Abe, and she is learning to live without fear.

My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)

When Ethan Scales wakes from a drunken party on his friends James's yacht, he hears something banging against the side.  A few minutes later he has pulled the lifeless and naked body of a girl out of the water.

James, Ethan and their friend Marcus  often cater parties on the boat, but they soon become the main suspects in the death of this woman.

When another body turns up in the water, Beth is sure that the two deaths are related.

Meanwhile, on a personal level, Beth is dealing with the death of her ex, and with the questionable behaviour of Josh.

My Opinions:  

Beth Adams is a wonderful character, and I even like her relationship with DS Josh Walker.  However, I wasn't really happy with their "issues" in this one.  I felt their lack of communication was a little childish, and out of character for the pair.

This book was as action-packed as the first, and was a really quick read.  The plot was well thought out, and well-written.  I love the references to Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta (although I don't think Beth will ever compare).

Though this is only the second in the series, it is starting well, and could have been read as a stand-alone novel.  These books feel like a light entertaining read.  I think I'll continue to follow Beth!
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What a fabulous continuation in what is proving to be a wonderful series! I love Beth Adams - she is so strong even though she is broken. Now a Forensic Pathologist, though previously an A & E Doctor, she experienced a horrific attack yet still managed to get on with her life. 

In this latest instalment, a young boy discovers a teenage student floating face down in freezing water at Lake Windermere and it looks to be another tragic teen suicide. But the victim’s lack of clothing makes Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams suspicious and she decides to investigate further. When a second body materialises, this time still clinging to life, she tells them she was at a party on a boat, and that she was pushed. Beth and DS Josh Walker begin to suspect that the discoveries might be linked, but with witnesses remaining tight-lipped and any clues washed away by the tides, it’s up to Beth to find the evidence her team needs. 

Although The Girls in the Lake doesn't have the most intricate plot I've ever read, it is certainly a solid and compelling novel, with plenty of gritty narrative that held my attention throughout. Told from various points of view, mostly those of Beth and Josh, it was informative, fast-paced and extremely gripping. 

This instalment was not all investigation, however as there was a subplot about Beth and Josh’s relationship. Helen Phifer achieved the perfect blend of an enthralling police procedural balanced with demonstrating her characters' personal relationships, without allowing this to detract from the case. I loved that other members of the team are gradually becoming an increasingly important part of the story-line within the series, and I have no doubt that the third book will continue this welcome trend.

Helen Phifer is brilliant author and I will definitely continue to follow this series. She gave me characters that I admire and that I wish to read more about. I love her writing style and it displays evidence of some excellent research. This book is certainly worth five stars and comes highly recommended.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my request, from Bookouture via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I havent read the first in this series and I`m kinda curious about it now, having read The Girls In the Lake. This works well as a standalone but there are numerous references to Beth Adams past which has really piqued my interest.

The story here is about girls being discovered drowned in a lake.  Appearing to be accidental deaths, Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams  looks after the bodies and their post mortems to help the police with their inquiries. While thee police dont see any reason for foul play Beth is convinced that there is something more sinister going on.  When a connection is made between the dead girls and a party boat docked in the marina, the police start to take Beths concerns more seriously and wonder if they have a serial  killer on their hands.

This book was immensely readable and the characters fairly well rounded, Beth is a great central character although a couple of her decisions during the investigation did seem a little unbelievable and more of a device to move the plot along.

You are kept guessing right until the end. An ending that I didnt particularly care for and didnt sit well with me at all. It just didnt tally with the beginning off the book.

Overall though a very enjoyable read. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. I would have scored this higher only for a couple of major annoyances.

Many thankss to Netgalley, Bookouture and Helen Phifer for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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