Disturbing serial killer story.

Heartsick - Chelsea Cain

Okay, so this book is another crime thriller about serial killers. It is the first in the Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell series. He is a police detective who headed the Beauty Killer task force for 10 years. She herself is the Beauty Killer. He was her last victim before she was caught & sent to prison. She kidnapped him and tortured him until she finally called an ambulance for him. She ended up in prison and he is a broken man.


There is another serial killer active in Portland now. He is killing high school girls. Archie has been asked to come back to work and head the new task force. He is a wreck. He takes pills all day long and can't function without them. But he does seem to be capable of doing his job. The weirdest thing is that he is obsessed with Gretchen. Not only does he visit her in prison every Sunday (supposedly to find the locations of more bodies she buried), but he thinks about her all the time. It seems like he has some version of Stockholm Syndrome, but very extreme.


The book follows the current serial killer investigation. It also follows reporter Susan Ward who is writing a story on Archie.  He specifically asked her to follow him around during the investigation and write a story on him. Some chapters flash back to the time when Archie was Gretchen's prisoner and describe how she tortured him. These chapters are especially descriptive and basically gross. Whether hammering nails into his ribs or surgically removing a part of his body, she enjoys every minute of it and the author describes it in very graphic detail.


I thought the story was actually quite interesting. Though I had a very hard time understanding Archie's obsession with Gretchen. She is a killer who enjoyed torturing him and he seems enamored with her. It's just weird and I honestly can't relate, but I'm sure most people probably can't. It didn't stop me from enjoying the story. 


There are several more books in the series. I almost bought the next one, but first I read some reviews. From what I read, the series kind of goes downhill after this one. So, considering my large TBR list... I decided to stop with this one.


Recommended to:

Adults who enjoy serial killer thrillers, as long as the gory descriptions don't bother you. Seemed like the author was trying for a female Hannibal Lecter here. So, if you liked Silence of the Lambs, this may be a good book for you.