Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain
Genre: Crime Thriller
Series: #3 in the Gretchen Lowell – Archie Sheridan series
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 306
Challenges: Clear Off Your Shelves
Source: purchased used

Just like the first two books in this series (Heartsick and Sweetheart) this one falls in the seriously disturbing but good category. Twisted, gruesome, but again, one I stayed up late to finish the last 80 pages in one sitting.

If you haven’t read the first two books skip on over this next paragraph – it’s impossible to talk about this book without even giving minor spoilers to the first two.

Two months after his last encounter with serial killer Gretchen Lowell, Detective Archie Sheridan is still in the psych unit at the hospital. He could get out, but he doesn’t seem to want to. Gretchen is still on the loose and has become a media darling. So far Gretchen and Archie have kept their agreement – he won’t kill himself and she won’t kill anyone. Journalist Susan Ward is both appalled and intrigued by the celebrity of Gretchen. Tours of her crime scenes, T-shirts, Fan websites are all just a little too weird considering she’s a brutal killer on the run after escaping prison. But then the bodies (and body parts) start showing up. Archie, Susan and Archie’s partner Henry are all deeply intertwined in the events that result. Is Gretchen still out there and killing? Can Archie keep off the drugs and find her. Will his strange attraction to her get in the way again?

OK – spoiler free from here on out.

Once again, Chelsea Cain keeps the action moving and the blood flowing. It’s gruesome, it’s twisted, and yet I can’t stop reading. I liked this one a lot. I probably liked it even more than the second book. If you liked the first (and second) one, I do encourage you to continue with the series. There are questions answered and characters exhibit some growth, but there are also questions left unanswered and some new disturbing elements introduced.

As far as I’m concerned I’ve enjoyed the Archie and Gretchen story, but I’m ready for Chelsea Cain to take on a new story. She’s a talented writer who I’d like to see break out of what could become a rut if she’s not careful.

Rating 4/5