Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Series: #5 in the Archie and Gretchen series
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: 2012
The Short Version:
Portland Detective Archie Sheridan investigates a series of gruesome murders that may or may not be connected to a killer he’s already caught and locked up.
Why I Read It:
I have been a fan of Chelsea Cain since she was writing a column for our local newspaper. The Hubster and I both enjoy her psychological thrillers.
Even though serial killer Gretchen Lowell is locked up in a psychiatric hospital, she’s still very much a part of Portland detective Arhchie Sheridan’s life. Partly because he carries the physical scars from the time she held him captive and partly because he carries the mental and emotional scars of her torture and their disturbing ongoing obsession with each other.
When a new serial killer starts terrorizing the Portland area in markedly gruesome ways, Archie is on the case. When he gets a call from Gretchen’s doctor he refuses to see her. She has other ways of getting to him however and he soon hears that Gretchen claims to have knowledge of the identity of this new killer in town.
Archie’s partner hates that Gretchen still has power over Archie but he’ll do whatever it takes to both solve the case and keep Archie safe. Archie’s friend Susan Ward no longer works at the local paper but she’s still reporting on the story and the possible connection to Beauty Killer Gretchen.
Oh I love Chelsea Cain’s books. They’re incredibly gruesome and disturbing but so well done. Archie is a mess. Susan isn’t much better off. Henry would be happier if Archie would never speak of or to Gretchen Lowell ever again but she’s very much a part of this case even though she’s locked up.
It’s fun to read books set in my hometown by a local author who really knows Portland. At the beginning of the book she casually mentions the Adult Soapbox Derby held on Mount Tabor every year. Even though it’s not a part of the story other than describing Mount Tabor park where the first body is found it’s a fun tidbit because we saw Chelsea Cain and her daughter at that event last summer. Almost all of Cain’s settings and locations are familiar to me and even though there are rare name changes it’s all familiar territory.
What’s not familiar (thank goodness) is the twisted psychological stuff that goes on. Gretchen and Archie are so obsessed with each other in truly disturbing ways. This is twisted stuff and Chelsea Cain is good at writing it.
I wasn’t sure if another Archie and Gretchen story was possible but it worked. The previous book barely mentioned Gretchen and it was weirdly good to have her back. Where the series will go from here, I’m not sure but I know I’ll be buying Chelsea Cain’s next book which is due out in August.