Monday, November 26, 2012

Review of Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

Goodreads Synopsis:  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.

My Review:  Heartsick by Chelsea Cain is the first in a five book series featuring Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Howell.  In this book, there are basically two stories.  You are in the middle of a current murder investigation while at the same time getting glimpses in the past crime that shaped the lead investigator Archie Sheridan.

It is the Archie and Gretchen connection that really got to me.  Gretchen is one scary serial killer.  Her history has shown her to be very lethal.  She has done a lot of really gruesome things to a lot of people.  Some of these actions she has performed on Archie himself and for some reason she decides to do him one more form of torture.  She lets him live.  He has to deal both physically and emotionally with the results of all she did to him.  He is definitely a troubled soul.

The current investigation involves missing teenage girls and Susan Ward not only gets to write a profile on the famous Beauty Killer survivor, but also gets to tag along with this one.  I really like Susan.  She is spunky and witty.  I have to laugh each time she spouts some useless piece of information or her mouth expells something without thinking first.  I found her a welcome breathe of fresh air in this very dark thriller.

Heartsick will definitely give you the chills.  The things that go through some people's minds will scare the crap out of you.  This book now has me looking at usual household items in a different way.  Serial killers can be very inventive!  This book was great, definitely worth 4 out of 5 stars.

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