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Chelsea Cain is the author of The New York Times bestselling Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers. Her novels have been published in over 30 languages, appeared in episodes of 'True Blood' and 'Castle', named among Stephen King's top ten favourite books of the year, and included in NPR's list of the top 100 thrillers ever written.
Author photo © Laura Domela
Detective Archie Sheridan just has to get through the next few days, then his birthday and Halloween will be over. But with escaped serial killer Gretchen Lowell on the loose, the investigation into the murder of a DEA agent demanding his attention, and journalist Susan Ward showing up at his apartment needing a favour, it's going to be a long weekend. Soon Archie finds himself crashing a masked ball on a private island owned by Jack Reynolds, a notorious local drug kingpin. By morning, Archie is back on pain killers, a guest is dead and Archie quickly realizes that little is what it seems. One thing is clear: Gretchen is back, and Archie's nemesis and sometimes lover has something special in mind for the birthday boy, something she's been planning for a long, long time. On Halloween Eve, with time running out, and the life of someone close to Archie on the line, Archie knows his only chance is to give Gretchen exactly what she wants. But Gretchen will prove more horrifying, and unpredictable, than Archie could ever imagine...
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. A new series by the popular author of the chilling Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell novels introduces Kick (once Kit) Lannigan. The tough as nails survivor of an abduction in her childhood, Kick is now an angel of retribution and a simmering vat of damaged sensibilities. When two children disappear in close proximity, she is, against her will, recruited by a mysterious mercenary to assist in hunting them and their kidnappers down. The trail inevitably leads back to her own past and the matter quickly becomes intensely personal. Sharp tongued, gun and knife literate, Kick is a great if immensely conflicted character and this initial outing is a bracing page turner of a thriller. It's made for the small screen, and I'm already looking forward to another instalment where the character will not only kick ass but confront more of her own demons. Sarah Broadhurst's view.. Famed for her serial killer Gretchen Lowell series, this very talented author takes us into a new sick area, paedophilia. Kit/Beth, now Kick, was six when captured, twelve when rescued and is now 13 when we get to know her. This is going to be a terrific series and I do urge you therefore to start it now, at the beginning. As part of her mending process Kick learns to fight so she will never be a victim again. She is quite a character, you’ll love her. Naturally when a couple of kids go missing she is the obvious choice to help the police and so we get a flood of emotions as the poor girl faces her past. This is very difficult to put down indeed.
'Turn yourself in,' Archie said. He pressed the fingers of one hand into his right temple, trying to slow the pulse of blood that beat against his skin. Susan was taking notes, recording everything. He didn't care. 'I'll do anything you want,' he said. 'You know what I want.' She let that linger in the air between them. 'Tell me,' he said. 'I want you,' Gretchen said. 'I've always wanted you.' Investigative journalist Susan Ward is about to print the story of her career -- proving long-rumoured allegations about a respected senator's affair with a young girl. But the day before her story is published, the senator is killed in a car crash. Detective Archie Sheridan is trying to rebuild a life with his family. But he remains haunted by beautiful, ruthless serial killer Gretchen Lowell -- the woman who tortured him then saved his life. Now she is safely behind bars, Archie is determined to stay away from her. And when a mysterious child leads him to two bodies in Forest Park, Archie must focus his attention on the case. But then the unthinkable happens: Gretchen escapes. The only thing this gorgeous psychopath cares about is Archie -- and with her on the loose, everyone he loves has become a target ...
A city on flood alert, a killer on the rampage Heavy rains have burst the banks of the WillametteRiver; several people have died in the furiously rising waters but the latest victim didn't drown: She was killed before she went into the water. Soon, other victims are found, and Police Detective Archie Sheridan realizes that Portland has a new serial killer on its hands. Reporter Susan Ward is on the story, but she's also got other leads to chase, and some secrets can be too frightening for prying eyes with Archie following a bizarre trail of evidence, and Susan close behind, the pair must unearth the identity of a vicious murderer, and uncover the truth behind a mystery more than sixty years old.
April 2010 Book of the Month. The third in a series featuring a serial killer, Gretchen Lowell, who has acquired quite a cult following. These are gruesome, sick and totally addictive – wide open for a fourth but I do feel that should be the last for Gretchen. It is time she was caught and the series detectives had something else to get their teeth into, for they are good, rounded characters, ready to step forward. But don’t get me wrong, this is still terrific stuff. Comparison: Tess Gerritsen, Karen Rose, Richard Montanari. Archie and Gretchen series:1. Heartsick2. Sweetheart3. Evil at Heart
September 2009 Book of the Month. We have championed Chelsea Cain from the start and quite deservedly. In this third instalment of the series, about evil serial killer Gretchen Lowell, there is no let up on the action. Just when you thought Archie Sheridan had suffered enough at the hands of this woman there is more to come. Not for those with a sensitive stomach as some of the torture gets quite graphic but this is excellent, unputdownable writing.
Although leading on from the author’s first novel, Heartsick, this can be read alone, and read it you must. I do believe Chelsea Cain one of the most exciting finds in the macabre area since Thomas Harris gave us Hannibal Lecter, only here our serial killer is a woman and the detective a man – but the relationship between them is bizarre. This one is a little more predictable than the first but still first rate. Highly recommended. Comparison: Thomas Harris, Michael Marshall, Tess Gerritsen. Archie and Gretchen series:1. Heartsick2. Sweetheart3. Evil at Heart
July 2008 Book of the Month. Chelsea Cain is back with the follow up to her brilliant first novel Heartsick. Psychotic serial killer Gretchen Lowell and the cop she captured, tortured and set free at her own expense, Archie Sheridan, are back pitting wills against each other. Gretchen has been safely locked away and although she still haunts Archie’s every waking moment at least he, and everyone else, is safe from her sadistic lust for killing, that is until she escapes while being transferred to another prison. Wonderfully gruesome and totally chilling this is a thriller that will stay with you a long time after you have read the last page.
This is pretty frightening stuff. The descriptions of the torture and horror inflicted on the central character are particularly unpleasant, not for the squeamish. It is about the psychology of pain and fear and dependency and it is utterly gripping. The sort of thing that makes the skin on your skull tighten.Comparison: Thomas Harris, Tim Willocks, Michael Marshall. Archie and Gretchen series:1. Heartsick2. Sweetheart3. Evil at Heart
A brilliant thriller from this new crime writer. Heart Sick has pace and action and a fantastic psychopathic serial killer, something you feel all the more because the killer is a woman. Tension mounts brilliantly, the past and present stories are revealed cleverly. All in all one of the best crime thrillers I have read in a long long time, completely unputdownable.
Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Gretchen Lowell-the serial killer whose stunning beauty is belied by the gruesome murders she's committed-is locked away in a psych ward. Archie can finally heal from the near-fatal physical and emotional wounds she's inflicted on him and start moving on with his life.To this end, Archie throws himself into the latest case to come across his desk: A cyclist has discovered a corpse in Mount Tabor Park on the eastern side of Portland. The man was gagged, skinned, and found hanging by his wrists from a tree. It's the work of a killer bold and clever enough to torture his victim for hours on a sunny summer morning in a big public park and yet leave no trace.And then Archie gets a message he can't ignore-Gretchen claims to have inside knowledge about this grisly murder. Archie finally agrees to visit Gretchen, because he can't risk losing his only lead in the case. At least, that's what he tells himself . . . but the ties between Archie and Gretchen have always been stronger, deeper, and more complex than he's willing to admit, even to himself. What game is she playing this time? And even more frightening, what long-hidden secrets from Gretchen's past have been dredged up that someone would kill to protect?At once terrifying and magnetic, "e;Beauty Killer"e; Gretchen Lowell returns with a vengeance in Kill You Twice, Chelsea Cain's latest razor-sharp psychological thriller.
With the Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell locked away behind bars once again, Archie Sheridan-a Portland police detective and nearly one of her victims-can finally rest a little easier. Meanwhile, the rest of the city of Portland is in crisis. Heavy rains have flooded the Willamette River, and several people have drowned in the quickly rising waters. Or at least that's what they thought until the medical examiner discovers that the latest victim didn't drown: She was poisoned before she went into the water. Soon after, three of those drownings are also proven to be murders. Portland has a new serial killer on its hands, and Archie and his task force have a new case. Reporter Susan Ward is chasing this story of a new serial killer with gusto, but she's also got another lead to follow for an entirely separate mystery: The flooding has unearthed a skeleton, a man who might have died more than sixty years ago, the last time Portland flooded this badly, when the water washed away an entire neighborhood and killed at least fifteen people. With Archie following the bizarre trail of evidence and evil deeds to catch a killer and possibly regain his life, and Susan Ward close behind, Chelsea Cain-one of today's most talented suspense writers-launches the next installment of her bestselling series with an electric thriller.
Chelsea Cain's novels featuring Detective Archie Sheridan and serial killer Gretchen Lowell have captivated fans through two nail-biting entries, Heartsick and Sweetheart, both multi-week best - sellers in The New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. Here Gretchen is still on the loose and Archie is still hospitalized after his ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong. They've entered a detente of sorts-Archie agrees not to kill himself if she agrees not to kill anyone else. But suddenly there's something else to contend with that might be worse-a zealous fan of Gretchen's, paying homage to the Beauty Killer by luring Archie and reporter Susan Ward to the scene of a grisly murder. At least they hope it's the work of someone new, for the prospect of Gretchen breaking her promise is more than Archie can bear.
With Heartsick, Chelsea Cain took the crime world by storm, introducing two of the most compelling characters in decades: serial killer Gretchen Lowell and her obsessed pursuer Portland Detective Archie Sheridan. The book spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and garnered rave reviews around the world. But the riveting story of Archie and Gretchen was left unfinished, and now Chelsea Cain picks up the tale again.When the body of a young woman is discovered in Portland's Forest Park, Archie is reminded of the last time they found a body there, more than a decade ago: it turned out to be the Beauty Killer's first victim, and Archie's first case. This body can't be one of Gretchen's-she's in prison-but after help from reporter Susan Ward uncovers the dead woman's identity, it turns into another big case. Trouble is, Archie can't focus on the new investigation because the Beauty Killer case has exploded: Gretchen Lowell has escaped from prison.Archie hadn't seen her in two months; he'd moved back in with his family and sworn off visiting her. Though it should feel like progress, he actually feels worse. The news of her escape spreads like wildfire, but secretly, he's relieved. He knows he's the only one who can catch her, and in fact, he has a plan to get out from under her thumb once and for all.Chelsea Cain has topped her own bestselling debut thriller with this unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat story.
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.