Monday, April 5, 2010

Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge Reviews - Heartsick Series

I am going to review all 3 of Chelsea Cain's here since I am a little behind and joined this challenge late. I've hyper-linked all the books to Barnes and Nobles site for their description as well.


The beauty killer, and boy is she a beauty and one very sick sadistic killer.Detective Archie Sheridan has been after the Beauty Killer for 10 years. In a sick twist he is lured and then held captive by the very beautiful but psychopathic Gretchen Lowell and tortured for 10 days. Brought out of his retirement by another serial killer who is murdering sophmore girls, Archie is a tormented soul. Addicted to pain meds, he lives in a haze most of the time. Sadly, he can no longer live at home with his wife and children even though he loves them so, and he is most at peace after his Sunday visits with Gretchen. Each visit he hopes to learn the location of another of the over 200 victims she has dumped. When she tells him, she then follows with the horrific details of what she did to them. It is for this reason that he can't find it in him to stop seeing her. He wants the family's to have closure and their loved one back.A reporter, Susan Ward, is assigned to follow Archie and do a profile on him, while he conducts the investigation, dubbed the After School Killer. It is an intense read, with some very sad asspects, between what's become of Archie's life and the girls who have been murdered.Well worth the time, and I will definitely be continuing the series with Sweetheart next.

Poor Archie Sheridan, Let me preface this by saying, I never ever should have kept reading till it was so late. Once I saw I only had about a hundred pgs left, I just stayed up. The results were such a state of agitation that I couldn't fall asleep. This book had me so wound up, that even now I'm still pissed.Archie is a blooming idiot!! And yes I am projecting my peeves onto him. Another crop of bodies are turning up in the park, and Archie is going to find out who did this. He has moved back home, even though he is faking through his teeth and is far from happy. Still popping the pills, and no longer seeing Gretchen for their weekly visits, the only light is that he is seeing the psychologist whose home Gretchen Lowell rented and then lured Archie too in book one. Which, quite frankly is a little freaky too.The spillover from the first book is Molly Palmer, a stripper who was once the Senator's babysitter for his children. The rumor is that the Senator had an affair with her but nothing was ever proven. Susan is the reporter who is trying to get to the bottom of the story and have the Senator outted once and for all. In the midst of this, Gretchen has been "raped" in prison and she'll only talk to Archie. This is found out during his daughter's birthday party, and his wife pleads with him not to go, one more day won't matter. Of course he can't not go, it's the love of his life! When he gets there, her arms are bruised, she has four broken ribs and a broken collar bone. He is furious and sickeningly enough, jealous that someone else was with her. He entwines his fingers in hers, and the whole thing makes me want to vomit. When he steps out to get more info, his ever present partner Henry who never lets him go see her alone, tells her, "amazing how he didn't touch your face." Usually Gretchen ignores Henry but this time she zings him with her remark along the lines of let's see who wins Archie in the end.Needless to say the whole thing was a ploy by Gretchen knowing exactly what this visit would prompt and she manages to escape. I'll let you see how she does it. Truly his wife Debbie should have just done her in, somehow she could have gotten Gretchen to agree to see her since Gretchen is also a megalomaniac and wouldn't have been able to resist that, and just kill her once and for all. I don't know, a baseball bat to the head like Donny from Inglorious Bastards, that would work well. I'll be a monkey's uncle if some psychopathic witch is going to get my husband.Yes, I will read the book 3 to see what poor stupid pitiful Archie does next. Sadly I can't resist, for Gretchen has weaved her web around me and I'm ensnared as well.

As always Ms. Cain does not disappoint! Gretchen Lowell is so twisted and an insane genious, it's amazing. She knows just how to manipulate, and she can read people so well it is shocking.Archie is so on the edge. If it would have been available to him he would have slipped right back into his drugged haze. I fully enjoyed this book, I was proud that Archie fought his demons, as hard as it was for him. I'm sad about he and his wife. We'll have to see, since there is most certainly an opportunity for #4.The only thing that bothered me was all the crap that keeps happening to him and reporter, uh I mean journalist, since she prefers that title, Susan Ward. It's like, oh my gosh, what else is gonna happen. Kind of reminded me of Andy Sipowitz from NYPD Blue, everything under the sun that could go wrong did! It starts to get a little old. That and the fact that Archie lied to his partner Henry. Cop partners have a very special relationship, and Hank loves Arhie and has had Archie's back, has saved him and pulled him back from the depths so often, I was shocked that the author allowed that to be.All in all, an awesome read. Gretchen Lowell is without a doubt a fantastic psycho, Ms Cain has outdone herself with this series and hope she gives us more!


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