Book: Heartsick (Archie Seridan & Gretchen Lowell #1)
Author: Chelsea Cain
Article Type: Book Review
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.
Read from August 15 to 18, 2012
Read for #BoutofBooks and #BookClub (bought for myself)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 4.25 (Especially the sicko Gretchen)
First thought when finished: I am sufficiently creeped out in a Hannibal Lector kind of way!
What I thought of the Case: Heartsick has two cases: One that has already completed and one that is currently happening. It is an interesting way to tell a tale but I think it really works. We meet Gretchen Lowell “psycho supreme” who kidnapped, tortured, and then released our main lead. Female serial killers are pretty darn scary and Gretchen is probably one of the scariest. She made my skin crawl at times. The parts of the story that contain her are often uncomfortable but they work so well. The current case I wasn’t as invested in BUT I did feel it had a nice twist towards about the 3/4 mark. I felt it played out pretty predictably but the writing was solid!
What I thought of the Characters: I loved (maybe that isn’t the right word) Gretchen Lowell. She was so well written! I also really liked how broken Archie was written. I think he truly showed some remarkable amounts of “clarity” despite all his other issues. In fact, I think what Gretchen says to him is true–he has all the markers to be a serial killer but I think he will use his cat/mouse abilities for the greater good. I liked Susan and hope that she is in the future books. I think she has some great potential to be useful to Archie. Overall, this is a great character driven thriller!
Final Thought: Heartsick is a great thriller that I don’t recommend reading at night!