Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain
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
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 cant be one of Gretchens—she’s in prison—but after
help from reporter Susan Ward uncovers the dead womans identity, it
turns into another big case. Trouble is, Archie cant focus on the
new investigation because the Beauty Killer case has exploded: Gretchen
Lowell has escaped from prison.
Archie hadnt seen her in two months; hed 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,
hes relieved. He knows hes 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
unputdownable, unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat read.
Sequels have to be the hardest kind of stories to write. Theres so much to
overcome. Theres the been there, done that aspect of the interplay
between the characters. Theres having to repeat much of the backstory, so
that the book can stand alone.......good luck making THAT interesting.
Theres knowing that readers of the first novel will be split between those
who want story continuity and those who crave novelty. And theres twice
the pressure to finish it quickly.
I believe one has to take these very elemental issues into account when
reviewing a sequel.
Sweetheart was a solid read, well imagined and executed, given the above
constraints. Sure, I skimmed occasionally,during the requisite back-story
infodumps and revisited character development, but then, I ALWAYS do.
I wont bore you with story details, as there is already too much of that in
the previous reviews. Suffice to say that I read this book with relish and
was never disappointed. Cain has a quirky sense of humor that shows
itself at all the right times, a natural story tellers feel for timing, and a knack
for putting the reader in the scene.
Final note, (and a review all of its own), my wife hugged this book every
time she picked it up. :-)
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