Summary from Amazon
I recommend you read Heartsick first
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.
My Review - 4 1/2 Great to the last Drop
This is the book that got my attention but I wanted to start from the beginning. The first was good but I enjoyed this one more. I prefer a stand alone but what makes a great series is the characters, and this series has two amazing ones. Gretchen, the strong manipulative female serial killer and Archie, the Detective. They are the foundation characters but the supporting characters are just as engaging, especially the journalist Susan.
The unique spin which for some would be unbelievable but for me took it to another level of being speechless and brilliant. Archie and Gretchen are obsessed with each other in every unhealthy possibility there is. Archie pretended to live, thinking these made others around him happy but others knew he was slowly killing himself as he wasn't able to feed his addition with more time with Gretchen.
In order to get the names of Gretchen's victims she only wanted Archie to meet with her, this was agreed as an Identification project but didn't realise the stress and power this gave Gretchen over him. When they took this away from him Archie became preoccupied in a dangerous way on how to catch Gretchen again. Simply idiotic, his ex wife whom he lives with should find a way to kill them both.
This is a sick and twisted gory thriller. I love that the serial killer is female, takes it to another level of feminine psychosis manipulation, it is brilliant.
Here is a quote from Gretchen talking to Archie.
"I think about that," Gretchen said dreamily. "Having my hands inside you.. You were so warm and sticky. I can still smell you, your blood. Do you remember?"
Sick and twisted, no doubt, but she is also beautiful, in a get what she wants powerful way.
The journalist, Susan, who also has a crush on Archie is one step ahead of the police without realising she is putting herself in danger. Archie is investigating a political crime and I enjoyed how this was traced through the Gretchen story and came together in the end, very anti climatic. I was not impressed with the Gretchen part of the ending but the political part was great.
I look forward to continuing this series more now then I did 2 years ago.
Paula from Tomes Devotee had Chelsea Cain over to her blog last week for Thrill Week, go here to read. Paula also review the 1st three in one post, go here.
My review of the 1st Heartsick.