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Heartsick Mass Market Paperback – Jul 29 2008


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (July 29 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312947151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312947156
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 10.5 x 16.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #225,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Jilla Lonsdale TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 24 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GinRobi on Dec 5 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Archie Sheridan is a detective with the Portland PD. During his rookie year as a detective, eleven years ago, he'd joined the task force that had been set up to capture the serial killer known as The Beauty Killer. For years, they tried to capture the killer, who evaded them, until a beautiful woman came into the picture. She approached the task force, introduced herself as a psychologist, and baited Archie until she kidnapped him, and tortured him. She kills Archie, but, unlike her previous victims, she brought him back, dialed 9-1-1 and turned herself in. And yet, she's not done torturing Archie, and he knows it.

Two years later, divorced from his wife, refusing to see his kids and addicted to prescription drugs, Archie is asked to head a new task force for a new serial killer, one who kidnaps teenage girls, strangles them, rapes them, douses them with bleach and dumps them in the river. With barely any clues or leads, they are on the hunt for the After School Strangler.

Meanwhile, Susan Ward, feature writer for the Herald, is assigned to follow Archie and write a feature about him. Dogging his heels, Susan sees things most reporters wouldn't unless they were to stumble upon a body themselves. For Susan, the After School Strangler hits close to home, for, years before, she'd actually gone to one of the murdered teenagers.

And all the while, hunting for a new serial killer, Archie continues his visits with Gretchen in prison every Sunday. The reason? Supposedly because she will give up a body of one of her victims; name and location of burial, but it has to be Archie. Does he go simply for closer to her victims families, or is there something more? Will they catch the After School Strangler before the fourth victim is found dead?

Incredible novel!
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Dec 21 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book 1 in the Archie and Gretchen series

The story explores what make up a psychopath and the relationship between a serial killer and his/her victims. "Heart Sick" is a gruesome tale of torture and manipulation, a fiction depicting a twisted and creepy serial killer.

Detective Archie Sheridan (main character) has spent ten years on a task force hunting a beautiful serial killer named Gretchen Lowell. Gretchen eventually turned the table and the hunter became the hunted. She lured him into a trap, tortured him for several days and contrary to her M.O. she mysteriously sets him free, leaving him haunted in many ways by the experience for the rest of his life.

The story picks up two years later with Gretchen in prison and Archie recently off medical leave and returned to duty. Still on strong medication he quickly finds himself deeply involved in another case of multiple abductions and murders. Many teenage girls have mysteriously gone missing in the Oregon area.

During this period, Detective Archie Sheridan's experiences attract the attention of the press and Susan Ward, a young eccentric journalist, is assigned the task of writing his story. In her research, she tags along and records every move he makes but unknown to her, this action leads her straight into the serial killer's web...

The gruesome torture Archie endured at the hands of Gretchen is rehashed in flashback sequences and the gory details create a graphic and violent atmosphere at times. Archie, one of the main characters, is overshadowed by the strong characterisation of Gretchen, a beautiful serial killer. The story only comes alive when she appears and dims when she is off stage.
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By Chris on Dec 1 2010
Format: Hardcover
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. Excellent characters (I remember thinking so when reading the sequel, too), excellent prose from Cain. This is one of my favourite reads of the year.
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By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 3 2009
Format: Hardcover
What I like about it is there's actually a female serial killer this time and she acts close to Hannibal Lecter with some minor differences. It sure is nice to see an evil female part though. It's a refreshing sight instead of having females always being portrayed as victims. The plot got better and better through each chapter and it just seemed as if the book went by really quickly - perhaps because I was just too engrossed in the book. You get two different stories here in this book. You have the current case Archie is on, then you also have chapters in between where they are flashbacks of Archie when he was being held captive by Gretchen. They were gruesome and rather hard to swallow but it added a lot of depth into Archie's character and explains to you why he is how he is. I thought that was pretty well done as it's a great way of explaining his character and his behavior. Gretchen made a wonderful villain. Manipulative, cunning, cruel, sadistic, all in one very attractive package it was perfectly done and even in prison she still continues to fiddle with her puppet strings.

It wasn't blatantly obvious who the culprit was behind the murders of the teenage girls, which was good, and it kept you guessing. What I liked was it wasn't until the last minute when you actually found out who it was and by that time it was cleverly done that you wish you could have seen it in the first place. There were a few twists and turns with the final twist happening between Gretchen and Archie. I thought that was great and it left me asking for more.

No doubt there will be sequels and I see this as a promising series. I'm left wanting to know what's going to happen in the next book. I'm definitely looking forward to reading it.
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