BOOK REVIEW by Michala T.
He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “I need to take a shower,” he said.After Cain’s mesmerizing novel Heartsick ending, we all knew that we hadn’t seen the last of the infamous serial killer Gretchen Lowell. After ten years of chasing down the Beauty Killer and then getting caught by the one he chased, the former detective Archie Sheridan still can’t get over the tie that binds him to her. In Sweetheart Archie’s best friend and detective Henry as well as his wife step in and stage a whole intervention scene. They are severing all ties between Archie and Gretchen. Henry explains that they are moving her to a place far out of his reach and banning all phone calls and visits with her. It doesn’t matter that every time Archie visits her she gives up another name of another victim. It’s just not worth it anymore.
“It’s down the hall,” she said. “Second door on the left. You’ll find everything you need.”
“My sanity?” he said.
She leaned forward as if to kiss him, but instead put her lips next to his ear, her cheek millimeters from his. The smell of her made him dizzy. Her breath was warm but sent a cold shiver down his spine.
“Long gone, darling,” she whispered.
This novel opens up with the shuffling of transporting Gretchen from one prison to another, in which she escapes. Archie knows she will kill anyone, especially those who are important to Archie. She will kill anyone to get his attention. She wants him and she will not stop until she has him all to herself. With so many people Archie cares for there are a lot of people she can come after to gain his attention. But Gretchen isn’t playing games anymore. After a few leads that send the detective all over the city yet seem to get them nowhere to finding her, Gretchen comes directly for Archie and he goes to her willingly.
With Archie missing, our favorite reporter Susan Ward is back in action. Of course, she never left the action of trying to find the real scoop on the U.S. senator who seduced his children’s babysitter a decade ago. Only he’s dead and the babysitter is too. Susan worries her story is long gone? Until she finds a connection between the dead bodies that seem to be popping up everywhere and the sex scandal? Working with Henry trying to find Archie, Susan struggles with who to trust with the clues that she keeps uncovering about the other case she is working on.
The story goes back and forth between Archie’s relationship with his captor and Susan’s struggle to piece together all the parts of more than one head-scratching case. I found the book a bit sluggish at times and felt that Cain was not doing as great a job at holding my attention with this installment of her Gretchen Lowel series. I actually put the book down for a while only to come back to it because the characters did hold my interest. The tension in this book was not up to par compared to her first book and the gory details of the previous book was traded for some lewd scenes between Archie and Gretchen. Cain does however utilize the multiple plots going on in the book quite well and is easily switched from one to the other. I give kudos to Cain for incorporating the psychological complexities to the relationship between Archie and Gretchen as well as keeping the main characters busy with moving the storyline in the right direction. Though I feel the book could have been a wee bit better it was still a page turner for the most part and a very good read. It’s believable or as believable as one who’s never experienced a psycho serial killer can be and I am totally looking forward to the third installment.