Heartsick (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Book 1) by Chelsea Cain
I started my book review blog in 2009 and I have read so many outstanding books that I wanted to share them again with my followers on #SegueSaturday. I first posted this review in July 2010. It caught my eye because it is a series about a female serial killer, and boy, is she nasty. The other reason is Ms. Cain was born in my home state of Iowa. Go, Cyclones! A memorable psychological thriller!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie’s a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she’s right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth—he can’t stay away.
When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.
This book pulls you in from the very first chapter which is a flashback of a female serial killer torturing one of her victims. The victim happens to be Archie Sheridan, a homicide detective who has been called back to duty after recovering from his harrowing experience two years before. He is put in charge to investigate another series of murders in Portland, Oregon, but is he up to it? He is addicted to pain killers, he is separated from his family. and he has an unnatural bound with his torturer, Gretchen Lowell who is now in prison and meets with him every Sunday to give him information on the 200+ victims she allegedly killed.
Susan Ward is assigned to write a story on Archie Sheridan and the recent serial murders of several high school girls. She is young, ambitious and had a rough childhood. Can she handle the unhappy memories while returning to her old high school where some of the murders have occurred?
This is an action-packed thriller that keeps you guessing to the end. The flashbacks of Archie Sheridan’s torture are terrifying and something you want to stop reading, but you just can’t. The female serial killer is an interesting premise and I look forward to finding out how Ms. Cain carries Gretchen Lowell over into her other books.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chelsea Cain is the author of The New York Times bestselling thrillers HEARTSICK, SWEETHEART, EVIL AT HEART, THE NIGHT SEASON, and KILL YOU TWICE. Her Portland-based thrillers, described by The New York Times as “steamy and perverse,” have been published in over 25 languages, recommended on “The Today Show,” appeared in episodes of HBO’s “True Blood” and ABC’s “Castle,” named among Stephen King’s top ten favorite books of the year, and included in NPR’s list of the top 100 thrillers ever written. According to Booklist, “Popular entertainment just doesn’t get much better than this.”