Hello, Login. Visit Our Stores. Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. Staff Pick Heartsick is a riveting, intense thriller with amazing characters: Detective Archie Sheridan; Gretchen Lowell, the beautiful yet evil serial killer; and Susan Ward, the newspaper reporter who follows the story.
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Eileen Wuornos. Blanche Moore. Velma Barfield. In Gretchen Lowell, Cain has created a femme fatale with an appetite for cruelty that will be difficult to surpass. Just how many people did she murder before he caught her? And Archie was free. Sometimes it still felt like the other way around. Susan Ward, assigned by The Oregon Herald to write a series of articles profiling Archie Sheridan, renowned for stopping if not exactly outsmarting Gretchen Lowell, tags along to murder scenes and takes notes on her subject and his methods.
Someone is kidnapping teenage girls from Portland. And he soaks them in a tub of bleach until he decides to dump them. Lurid and suspenseful with well-drawn characters, plenty of grisly surprises and tart dialogue, it delivers what readers of this particular kind of thriller expect. The idea of using one psycho killer to catch another is hard to improve; replacing a cop with a journalist involves creating a separate workplace, loosens structure and slackens tension.
To save lives, the F. And Gretchen herself, despite her delicate looks, is not the exquisite Dr. Gretchen, shattering ribs and force-feeding Archie drain cleaner until he vomits blood, is comparably clumsy in her approach. Her victim returns to her not because he seeks illumination but because beautiful Gretchen, like the vagina dentata she is, has consumed him. Archie cannot find himself without going to her.
Murder is, of course, a means of asserting power, and in terms of the archetypes that animate thrillers, film noir, comic books and other popular culture, beauty is a trope for female power just as intellectual prowess represents male potency.
The femme fatale has been around so long — remember the sirens of Greek mythology? Innocence has a plainer face. Book Review To Die For. Home Page World U.
To Die For
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Review–Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
Eileen Wuornos. Blanche Moore. Velma Barfield. In Gretchen Lowell, Cain has created a femme fatale with an appetite for cruelty that will be difficult to surpass.
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Summary: Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders.
Her father dodged the Vietnam draft and her parents lived "underground" for several years. Cain left Bellingham after high school to study political science at the University of California, Irvine , where she wrote for the New University newspaper and became the opinion editor. After graduating in , she attended the graduate school of journalism at the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, she wrote a weekly column for The Daily Iowan. One of her professors presented it to several editors for review, and Seal Press picked it up as Cain's first published work.