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McCormick delivers an uneven performance in her reading of Cain's bestselling debut thriller. Gretchen Lowell, The Beauty Killer, was one of the most prolific serial killers in history, claiming over 200 lives. Her only surviving victim was Archie Sheridan, the lead detective on the task force set up to apprehend her. Archie was tortured for days until Lowell inexplicably turned herself in. Two years later Archie is still a victim, on leave from the force, estranged from his family, addicted to pain pills and obsessively visiting Gretchen weekly. When a new killer begins murdering teenage girls, Archie is called back into action. By his side is an ambitious, pink-haired news reporter who may become her own page-one headline. The usually reliable McCormick has a rocky start with the first few chapters. Her clipped, overarticulation of each line keeps listeners at a distance instead of immersing them in the mesmerizing events taking place. However, she does improve as the story moves forward, and her rich, throaty portrayal of Gretchen Lowell is the perfect blend of predator and seductress.
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*Starred Review* It's a long way from a Nancy Drew parody (Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, 2005) to one of the most original serial-killer thrillers to appear in several years, but Cain makes the leap unscathed. Throw out all your assumptions about the sameness of serial-killer novels; this one breaks the mold. Yes, the notorious Gretchen Lowell is behind bars throughout the novel (a la Hannibal Lecter), and, yes, she counsels the Portland, Oregon, cop who is chasing a new sociopath, but unlike in Silence of the Lambs, Archie Sheridan, Cain's detective hero, was one of Lowell's victims. (After kidnapping and killing more than 200 people, Lowell captured and tortured Sheridan, then inexplicably let him live.) So two plotlines unfold alternately, each feeding the other: the grisly backstory of what Lowell did to Sheridan ("Whatever you think this is going to be like," she whispers, "it's going to be worse"), and the real-time account of Sheridan's search for a new serial killer who is preying on teenage girls from Portland's high schools. The plots are thickened by costar Susan Ward, a pink-haired, punky reporter, and by Sheridan's addiction to prescription drugsand his unbreakable emotional attachment to Lowell, his torturer and savior. Cain never misses a beat here, turning the psychological screws ever tighter for both Sheridan and Ward while drawing us deep into the nightmare that lives inside Gretchen Lowell's head. Sheridan will remind thriller fans of Ridley Pearson's Lou Boldt, and Cain's use of Portland as a settingcontrasting the charm of the city against the horror of the crimesechoes Pearson's similar use of Seattle. But Heartsick is in no way deriviative. This could well be the thriller of the year. Ott, Bill --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Best plotting ever -- get it, read it -- you will want more
Archie and Gretchen will mesmerize you -- a true cat and mouse game and not for the faint of heart!
I went back and forth on whether to give this book four or five stars. Look up - I gave it five stars, though the ending was disappointing compared to the rest of the story. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2010 by Chris
I thought this book was very well written...a real page turner. The author's imagination was amazing and I hope she keeps writing more like it.Published on Nov. 22 2008 by jaycee 2
This one didn't necessarily keep me up at night, but it was disturbing. The detective is linked to his torturer in ways that constantly surprise you as you read. Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2008 by Paul D. Leney
The Shadow knows, and he also knows that said evil lurking isn't the exclusive territory of men. In this creepy thriller, Chelsea Cain introduces a heartless female serial killer... Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2008 by Amanda Richards