Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Serial Killer Escapes to Wish Happy Birthday to The One She Didn't Kill! Latest Coming From Chelsea Cain!

English: Logo for Serial Killer Task Force
English: Logo for Serial Killer Task Force (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

"Why am I here?" Archie asked Henry. It was an ugle crime scene, but didn't look like something for the Major Case Task Force.
"Henry glanced back down the hall where two uniformed officers stood talking. "You knew him," he said quietly...
"Over the years, Archie had gotten good at projecting calm. He'd developed that skill first as head of the Beauty Killer Task Force, dealing with relatives of victims, his bosses, other cops. Then, after he finally went home from the hospital, after Gretchen Lowell had held him captive for ten days while she tortured him, he had again come to rely on that particular expertise, so he could pretend to be normal for his family. Two years later, when he'd come back to work after medical leave, addicted to pain pills, he pretended every day. He could look anyone in the eye and assure that person, with absolute confidence, that he was fine. He had learned to lie.
"That skill had come in handy. He had Gretchen to thank for that.

Let Me Go:
An Archie Sheridan/
 Gretchen Lowell Novel
Due out in August...
By Chelsea Cain

Graphic Violence Warning... This was my first read for Chelsea Cain so I'm not giving anything away when I say that Gretchen Lowell, convicted serial killer, has an unhealthy attraction for Archie Sheridan... Unhealthy for him, not her... Although this book easily stands on its own, I would like to have been there at the beginning! After all Gretchen Lowell is my first female serial killer--and is very intelligent, albeit a psycho. And she runs circles around everybody that tries to keep her penned up in jail, a hospital, or wherever... Although I deplore the violence, still I am attracted by the psychological suspense and for those who always love to match your wits against these characters...This is an amazing story!

The man who had been assassinated was a DEA agent. He had also been the sole contact for Leo, an undercover agent--and the son--of a drug king!

Archie was immediately concerned about getting Leo out of the situation; i.e., living and working with his father. But neither Leo nor his bosses were ready to pull him out!

Instead a new contact had already been ready to be his handler... but Leo told Archie that he was dirty!

Susan Ward, who had been a reporter, had once hoped to be important in Archie's life, but when that didn't happen, she had started dating Leo... Archie started using his birthday as the reason for some of his decisions and soon was on his way to Dancin' Bare. Where Leo had dragged Susan...

Leo soon decided to buy a lap dance for Archie's birthday. That just made Susan more curious since she knew that Archie would not want that gift! (Had to use this pic of Micki Minaj teaching how to give one posted recently!) Because, you know, Archie didn't get that lap dance anyway! Leo and he needed to talk and the dancer was a friend of Leo's and also an important minor character in the novel...

But then somebody came to the door and a dance started immediately! LOL And that somebody knew that Archie was a cop. But that was easy to explain since Leo's sister had been murdered by Gretchen Lowell and he was owed a debt by the family. Then they decided to watch and Archie had to get involved with it... Well, 'nuf of that, back to the story...LOL

In this book, Archie confesses to his boss and assigned officers of having had an affair with Gretchen. She had inserted herself into the investigation prior to the time anybody was even considering that the Killer could be a female... Even now, Archie knew that she was an addiction to him. But, even so, he sure didn't want to ever see her again, and especially not for his birthday! But she had indeed escaped. 
"Gretchen had been Archie's friend.
Until she had drugged him, strapped
him to a gurney, and started cutting
him into small pieces. This was one
of the things Gretchen had taught
him--his instincts, always so reliable
when it came to crime, could fail him
when it came to people. It was why
Archie had so few people in his life--
he was never sure when someone was
going to slip him a paralytic and start
torturing him--and that sort of
uncertainty tended to put a strain
on relationships..."

A somewhat strange component of Gretchen's escape was that it was near Halloween as well...and the celebrity of that serial killer was back with souvenirs being sold, people planning to dress as her for parties and even "Beauty Killer manicures" (Yikes!) were available again! And city officials didn't want to ruin Halloween for the public, but what if the real Gretchen also appeared that night!

Oops! Not Quite the Right Pic! LOL
Then Archie and Susan are both "required" to go to a costume party on the island owned by Leo's father and a young girl who had crashed the party alone was murdered. Archie had even seen her at the party and talked to her--now he was investigating who murder her and they discovered that other similar deaths had occurred...There was a serial killer on the island... so there were two serial killers in town at the same time. And Archie was involved personally in both cases...

Although Archie had been drugged and didn't remember what happened that night, he was now watching the security tape...Gretchen had indeed been there...She had made certain she and Archie were under a camera when she...  "The woman was supporting him, guiding him along, keeping him upright, like someone escorting a drunk home after a bender. She had her arm circled around his waist. Her hair was dark and fell past her shoulders. She was wearing a body-hugging evening gown with a deep V that cut down her best almost to her navel and a slit that reached halfway up her thigh. Even though the video was in black-and-white. Archie knew that dress was red. The woman led him to the embankment and then lowered him to his knees. He teetered there, kneeling before her, leaning against her legs, until she knelt beside him and guided him gently onto his back on the ground.
"She looked up at the camera then. And like a magician revealing a trick, she reached her fingers under the scalp above her forehead and peeled off the dark wig. Her light hair fell to her shoulders and there she was Viola. Gretchen Lowell.
"Archie heard Susan's sharp intake of breath, but he couldn't take his eyes off the screen.
"Gretchen said something directly into the camera. Archie could see her lips move.
"On the video, Gretchen curled over Archie. The red dress was cut low in the back, and he could see the shadows of her vertebrae coiled over his lifeless body. Gretchen had always had a beautiful back. Elegant. Like a dancer's.
"She lowered her head next to his, her hair falling like a blond curtain, swallowing his face. She was talking to him, Archie realized. She was whispering something in his ear. As she did, she walked one hand down his chest and over his groin...'

I admit I've kept this review light on purpose, because this is a "heavy" gory novel that moves into dark tunnels where the climax takes place. But can you guess what happens? I doubt it... Lots of action, suspense, bad guys, dead guys, and good guys getting hurt badly...

You can bet you'll be reading faster and faster, wondering how this will turn out! Happy Birthday Archie! What could possibly top this one next year! Wow! Highly recommended...Get it when it comes out and let's talk about Gretchen!


Chelsea Cain is the author of The New York Times bestselling thrillers HEARTSICK, SWEETHEART, EVIL AT HEART, THE NIGHT SEASON, and KILL YOU TWICE.  
Her Portland-based thrillers, described by The New York Times as "steamy and perverse," have been published in over 30 languages, recommended on “The Today Show,” appeared in episodes of HBO’s “True Blood” and ABC’s “Castle,” named among Stephen King’s top ten favorite books of the year, and included in NPR's list of the top 100 thrillers ever written.  According to Booklist, “Popular entertainment just doesn’t get much better than this."

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