Gretchen Lowell is a real conniver that can get in someone’s mind and stay there, as she has with Detective Archie Sheridan. Susan Ward, a reporter with the Oregon Herald, also seems to have allowed Gretchen to get in her mind too. Archie’s reliance on drugs to keep his physical pain away was getting worse. The farther the case went the worse his addiction was, even though he tried to hide it but those close to him knew and worked hard with him to get Gretchen out of his mind and life. This Archie couldn’t do. Mass murderer Gretchen was so beautiful that Archie dreamed that he was making love to Gretchen while physically doing this with his ex-wife who he still dearly loved deep inside.
Gretchen Lowell worked her way into the prison infirmary by either attacking a guard or being attacked by the same or both! She was good-so good. Archie and his partner, Henry, went to investigate the prison attack by first visiting Gretchen, as she lay bound up in shackles and appearing very beat up. Of course she would not tell Archie exactly how she got in this condition. He had to guess as Gretchen sweet-talked him. Shortly afterward, a guard was found dead and Gretchen had escaped, sore and beat as she was, that did not deter her escape from prison. Now that Gretchen Lowell was on the loose, Archie knew she would resume her killing and he could do nothing to stop her nor could he visit her as he did when she was in prison where she used each of Archie’s weekly visits as a bribe to disclose another of her many victims from years past.
The sudden death of a reporter and a politician in a car that went over a bridge appeared to be a suicide. This brought the authorities and news media out of their «Gretchen Lowell» shell and realize there was other crime occurring. Susan had previously uncovered a political bombshell about this politician and thought that the reporter might have been working on the same story. The reporter, Parker, was a tutor and close friend of Susan’s. Susan had tried extremely hard to get the newspaper to print the corrupt politicians story but no one would commit, not wanting to hurt the guy.
Meanwhile more bodies were being found, some old and some newer but most smelled of Gretchen Lowell all over the way they had been killed and where found. The authorities did all they could to protect Archie and his family knowing that they were in extreme danger with Gretchen Lowell on the loose. All the protection in the world could not stop her from contacting Archie and sweet-talking him once again. Susan Ward was constantly on this case and she and her mother were also in danger as Gretchen knew her and felt Archie could be near Susan.
Chelsea Cain, you have spun a follow-up story to Heartsick that is every bit as suspenseful or possibly more intriguing. The ending of this book makes me wishing I had a follow up book following Archie in his adventures. I truly hope you are working on this Chelsea. I would suggest that the reader start with Heartsick and then read Sweetheart. Both stories are fast moving and full of suspense and adventure that are nothing short of sensational.
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