Firstly let me say that this is a cracking read - it's so full of non stop action it's hard to put it down. Archie and the team are worried when an undercover DEA agent is killed as he is Leo Reynolds' handler and one of the few who know about him. Leo Reynolds is deeply undercover for the DEA in his father's drug empire and close to finding his father's partners. Gretchen Lowell, escaped serial killer with a thing for Archie, turns up in Portland for Archie's birthday and derails their investigation.
This is, as I've said, a very good read but I don't understand Ms Cain's need to continue with Gretchen as the plot lines get more and more fantastical and slightly farcical. We now have Gretchen abusing Archie sexually whilst he's unconscious and various superfluous flashbacks of her and Archie having sex, she seems omnipotent and omnipresent - controlling Archie's life anyway she wants and impossible to catch. Ms Cain has proved she can write so perhaps it's time to kill off Gretchen and give Archie the chance to get his teeth into another investigation.
I'm a big fan of this author and this series, so let me say from the start that had I been scoring out of 10, this book would have been a nine.
Detective Archie Sheridan is in big trouble yet again at the hands of the beguiling serial killer, Gretchen Lowell. She had managed to escape from prison in the last book (Kill You Twice) and, indeed, disappear who knows where but it's Archie'st birthday (he's 42 if you need to know) and it's also Halloween.
What starts out as a murder hunt for an undercover DEA cop soon involves Archie and Harry, his partner. They believe this death is related to the victim's job and the next in line, should this be the case, is a young man Archie also placed undercover in a huge drug dealing organisation, the leader of which is the young man, Leo's, father.
The story builds with Cain's usual ability to create atmosphere and intrigue through which Archie tries to solve the murder without much success but it does lead him to the crime boss's Halloween party. Which is when it all starts to go wrong.
If we recall the freelance reporter, Susan Ward, from the last book, then it will be no surprise that she finds herself as bait for another killing. This all appears to be a straightforward murder investigation until Susan receives a text from, well, you'll guess it was from Gretchen Lowell and you'd be right. So now, Susan is in serious danger.
Gretchen is becoming just a little too unbelievable and the relationship between her and Archie even more so. Even so, the author cranks up the tempo. Archie is drugged at the party, finds another body when he comes round with a loss of memory and lump on his head.
The poor man has suffered a lot in the 5 previous books and in this one, his troubles are just beginning. Gretchen is at work and, although she likes to inflict pain on Archie, she also holds him with some affection leading to a huge finale covering the last third of the book.
I did, of course, enjoy book 6. I've noted the unbelievable skills of the serial killer and in this book there are also quite a number of pages of rather explicit sex. It's not the prude in me, it's rather that it seems out of place, adding very little if anything at all, to the background to Archie's relationship with Gretchen.
That said, ignore these two irritations and you have a damn fine thriller, a book which, as usual, is hard to put down and a book which, as usual, leaves you wanting more. The last few chapters see Susan and Archie fighting to recover from huge injuries so whether we've reached the end of the road for certain characters remains to be seen but, for me, we must surely be nearing journey's end.
on 12 October 2013
I love following this series of books; downtrodden, damaged detective Archie Sheridan and his stalker, serial killer Gretchen Lowell are absolutely delicious. This book takes off from the last, Gretchen is on the run, Susan is still dating the son of a drug lord and Archie is still damaged.
The murder of a DEA agent takes Archie and Susan to a party on the private island of the drug lord Jack Reynolds. Susan is dating his son who in deep undercover in his father's organisation. The morning after he party Archie wakes up next to a dead girl, Susan is captive and there's a killer on the loose. Gretchen is back and Archie and Susan face a fight for their lives.
Loved this! If you are already a fan then this book will deliver and more, if not, then you need to go back to the beginning and start this journey. Can't wait for the next.
I love this series. The relationship between Archie and Gretchen is still fascinating and I can’t help but find some sympathy for Gretchen. She is like a bombshell killer but even though she tortured Archie she also seems to ‘care’ for him. Chelsea Cain delivers another excellent story with action and intrigue. It becomes clear that Gretchen can’t let Archie go and are we happy for this J. This is already the sixth book in the series and I sincerely hope it won’t be too long before the next one is published.
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on 12 October 2013
Chelsea Caine at her best once again. I love to read a book that you don't want to put down, and when you do , you wish you could start the book all over again. Can't wait for her next one, highly recommend this to anyone who loves to curl up with a cuppa on a rainy wet afternoon.
on 3 November 2013
What can I say but another brilliant book lfrom Chelsea Cain, this one has a slightly different twist, and although you may think it to be predictable its not, I read some of it under the sheets, and until the very early hours of the morning not wanting to put it down!!