I am a big fan of murder mystery series, thrillers, serial killers (in books), interesting and flawed detectives... basically the entire murder mystery genre. It's always been my favorite type of book and I've read a bunch of them. So when I say that this Heartsick series by Chelsea Cain has jumped to the top of the list of favorites, know that it bypassed quite a few great books!
I received Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. When I realized that it was the third in the series, I had to go back and read the first two. See my reviews of Heartsick and Sweetheart. The thing is... it gets better with every book!
Summary: Chelsea Cain’s novels featuring Portland detective Archie Sheridan and serial killer Gretchen Lowell have captivated fans through two nail-biting entries, Heartsick and Sweetheart, both of them multiweek bestsellers in The New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly.
Gretchen Lowell is still on the loose. These days, she’s more of a cause célèbre than a feared killer, thanks to sensationalist news coverage that has made her a star. Her face graces magazine covers weekly and there have been sightings of her around the world. Most shocking of all, Portland Herald reporter Susan Ward has uncovered a bizarre kind of fan club, which celebrates the number of days she’s been free.
Archie Sheridan hunted her for a decade, and after his last ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong, remains hospitalized months later. When they last spoke, they entered a détente of sorts---Archie agreed not to kill himself if she agreed not to kill anyone else. But when a new body is found accompanied by Gretchen’s trademark heart, all bets are off and Archie is forced back into action. Has the Beauty Killer returned to her gruesome ways, or has the cult surrounding her created a whole new evil?
Archie is so depleted after the first two books, he doesn't really know which end is up. He's not even sure he can 'be' in the real world. His head is all messed up and yet he's still obsessed with Gretchen. Susan, Henry, and Claire are all here again, working hard to continue on while Gretchen is still out there. Then the killings start that have to be hers....or do they?
The unique thing about this book and Ms. Cain's writing is that one of the characters doesn't really 'show their face' during this story and are more behind the scenes. Yet they truly are always there. I'm sure you can guess who it is, but if not I don't want to spoil it.
Now, I do need to provide a warning. These books, especially this one, discuss some unique methods of torture. While it's not all blood and guts, it does have some descriptions in it that will stick with you for awhile. But it's such an integral part of the psyche of the characters, the book wouldn't be as good or suspenseful without it.
Evil at Heart became available on September 2nd. You need a copy! You need all three books!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars