Friday, October 12, 2012

Archie Sheridan-Gretchen Lowell Series

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing at my local bookstore and found a book that looked interesting. Then I read on the cover that it was part of a series. I made a note of the author, Chelsea Cain, then trotted off to the library to begin the series from the beginning.

So far, there are five books in the series. The first book is Heartsick:  Archie Sheridan, our hero, is a Portland detective and Gretchen Lowell, is the serial killer, he tracked for 10 years. Gretchen says she killed close to 200 people, but the police have only connected her to a few murders. She cuts a deal and gets a life sentence, instead of the death penalty. In return, she'll reveal the names of her other victims to Archie as long as he visits her every week. Before Gretchen was arrested, she kidnapped Archie, torturing him for ten days.

When the book starts, it's been two years since Archie was tortured by Gretchen. He's been on medical leave, but now there's a new serial killer terrorizing Portland and he joins a task force to help hunt the new killer down. Due to Gretchen's torture, which is told in flashbacks, Archie becomes addicted to painkillers, specifically Vicodin.

Out of the two plot lines (new serial killer story and Gretchen & Archie's story) the Gretchen and Archie story is the most interesting. There are also two other main characters in the book: Susan, a newspaper reporter who is constantly changing her hair color-- pink, turquoise, berry; and Henry, a Portland detective and friend of Archie. Henry and Susan are in all the sequels as well.

Sidenote: I love the TV show Grimm. It's set in Portland and it's main character is Nick, a Portland detective. Since Archie is also a Portland detective, I keep picturing Nick, the actor, from the TV show as Archie, in the books, while reading.

David Giuntoli as Nick in NBC's Grimm
The second book in the series is Sweetheart and takes place about two months after Heartsick ended. Gretchen's escaped from prison and is on the loose. For a sequel, it's not too bad. However, for a series, with a detective as a main character, there certainly isn't any real detecting going on. Susan keeps having epiphanies about dead bodies the coroner hasn't identified yet, such as their identities. Plus, the plot literally becomes ridiculous in places. Susan: slams her head on the bathroom sink; almost dies due to carbon monoxide poisoning; is in a car wreck but isn't injured; walks a gizillion miles in only a few minutes and so on.

The third book is Evil at Heart. This book starts with Archie at a mental hospital. He's trying to kick his painkiller habit and Gretchen addiction. Gretchen is still on the loose. Dead bodies start turning up. There's either a copycat killer or Gretchen is killing again. This is an OK read.

The fouth book is The Night Season. Portland floods and dead bodies surface. I'm having trouble reading this one. The plot line is already ridiculous and I'm not even past page forty.

The fifth book is Kill You Twice, which came out in August. I haven't read this one yet.

Thanks for reading!

I'm linking up to Ricki Jill for Literary Friday at Art @ Home.

1 comment:

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

It sounds like a good series, and highly unusual with a female serial killer. Have you ever read any of the books in the Dexter series? They are pretty's about a serial killer who kills serial killers!

Thanks so much for linking up! :D You have made my weekend!