Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell Novel) [Hardcover]

I've finished "Kill You Twice" the 5th book in her Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain.

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, “Beauty Killer” Gretchen Lowell returns with a vengeance in Kill You Twice, Chelsea Cain’s latest razor-sharp psychological thriller.

About the Author

first four novels featuring Archie Sheridan have all been New York Times bestsellers. Also the author of Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, a parody based on the life of Nancy Drew, and several nonfiction titles, she was born in Iowa, raised in Bellingham, Washington, and now lives in Portland, Oregon.

Product Details
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312619782
ISBN-13: 978-0312619787

My Review:

I highly recommend this series if you enjoy a tortured hero obsessed with a beautiful but deadly killer interwoven with great secondary characters and gruesome and descriptive crime scenes.

Portland Homicide Detective Archie Sheridan is still struggling with the ordeal of being tortured and maimed by his arch rival Gretchen Lowell.  He still bears physical and emotional scars from his terrifying encounters with the beautiful, cunning and deadly killer.  He sometimes rubs his scars (especially the heart she curved over his chest) until they start bleeding.  He has struggled to overcome his pill addiction and is now clean but not totally healed.  He suffers insomnia and his marriage ended though he sees his kids regularly.

One hot summer day Archie is called to a gruesome murder scene with his partner Henry Sobel.  A man's body was left hanging from the lower branches of a cedar tree with his wrists and ankles were tied with rope.  He was also tortured and mutilated (he was hit on the head with a hammer and his skin was carved from his chest and abdomen).  They discover he works at a local girls shelter and he finds a familiar face Pearl.  Then another body is discovered burning under a landmark.  The only clue to tie the two crimes is a white Lily.

Gretchen asks Susan Ward by way of her psychiatrist to visit her in jail so she can tell her about her very first kill James Beaton.  She describes how she killed him and drops clues that she wants Susan to relay to Archie.  She also drops a name Ryan Motley to peak his interest and make sure he would come visit her.

When he finally comes she informs him she knows who the killer is Colin Beaton.  Colin and Gretchen share a past together because they both had the same foster parents.  She also asks him to protect her daughter Pearl from Colin because she's his next target.

Archie's personal life is quite complicated with the aftereffects of his divorce and his unresolved feelings for Susan.  Then there is the new neighbor Rachel a young and dangerous women who bears an uncanny resemblance to Gretchen.  There seems to be mutual attraction between them and they start a sexual relationship and it's funny how she has heart tattoo on her back.


Books in series:

1.  Heartsick
2.  Sweetheart
3.  Evil at Heart
4.  The Night Season
5.  Kill You Twice

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