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Chelsea Cain: Heartsick (2007) ****½

11/12/08

Chelsea Cain: Heartsick (2007) ****½

Heartsick
By Chelsea Cain

Chelsea Cain pulls out all the stops in her haunting debut as a thriller writer.

Archie Sheridan, a Portland police detective renowned for being serial killer/femme fatal Gretchen Lowell’s last victim (and the only one who survived the ordeal), is called back to service when bodies of teenage girls are being discovered. After being imprisoned and tortured by Gretchen for 10 days and then released, Archie develops this weird codependent obsession with his alluring captor. He must once again rely on the “mercy” of this psychopath and enlist the help of reporter Susan Ward in order to apprehend this new predator.

Whether it's the tortured police detective who lost his way, or the reporter who is forced to face her grim past, the voices in this novel are just haunting. Although Gretchen’s aura overshadows the entire book, the reader can particularly feel the disconcerting atmosphere the author creates in the scenes Gretchen is directly involved in. Many reviews compare Gretchen Lowell to the modern day Hannibal Lecter (in a skirt mind you), but for some reason, I find her even more disturbing. Her ability to control and manipulate those around her is absolutely uncanny.

Cain presents us with an original and interesting take on the usual serial killer novel and I would highly recommend this book for Thomas Harris and early James Patterson fans.

I am currently working my way through the second book in this series entitled Sweetheart.

Be forewarned: there are graphic accounts and flashbacks of torture and the contents of the book are very disturbing.

Posted by Shiela


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