oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen

HEARTSICK, Chelsea Cain

I seem to be in a mystery/suspense mood. I read Heartsick by Chelsea Cain, first in a series (I think) with an interesting setup--the detective, Archie Sheridan, was the final victim of serial killer Gretchen Lovell, who didn't kill him, instead saving him and turning herself in. After ten days of torture and manipulation, Archie is somewhat, umm, fucked. He still sees the serial killer once a week in prison, to get her to give up more bodies of her (200!) previous victims. Heartsick is his first case after he was a victim himself, a serial killer in Portland, Oregon. A young writer/journalist with her own issues, Susan Ward, is assigned to profile Archie; her pov scenes strongly reminded me of being in my twenties, even though my life is nothing like hers! Cain is really good at characterization.

I enjoyed this mostly for the characters; Archie because he's struggling with pain and loneliness and isolation, Susan because she's wanting and needing things she doesn't yet have. The secondary characters, even those who only appeared briefly, also had life. I will likely read the rest of this series (three more so far) to see if there's more of them. I think the serial killer, Gretchen, is also in the later books - she's a sort of Hannibal Lecter character, with extra doses of manipulation.

If you don't like icky stuff, I wouldn't read this. The present-day story is interspersed with Archie's torture at Gretchen's hands; it's not hugely graphic, but what was done to him is described, and it's pretty inventive in a gross way. I'm told the series gets a bit more graphic as it goes on. This one was less vivid than the Tess Gerritsen I read a few months ago, if that helps.

This was terrific reading for while I was on the elliptical trainer. Then I went home last night, afterwards, and finished it.
Tags: chelsea cain, mystery

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