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Paperback Heartsick: A Thriller Book

ISBN: 0312657811

ISBN13: 9780312657819

Heartsick: A Thriller

(Book #1 in the Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

In Chelsea Cain's bestselling series debut, Portland detective Archie Sheridan has spent years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer. In the end she was the one who caught him, but after torturing him for days she mysteriously let him go and turned herself in. Since then the she has been locked up, leaving Archie damaged but alive in a prison of another kind--addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Favorite Series

Heartsick is an amazing book. Ended up reading the entire series and loved every book.

Another good serial killer book

I enjoyed Heartsick enough to give it a 5. It was fast paced, interesting and sick enough to make you cringe. I do have one problem with it. Ms Cain needs to get better people to help with her medical facts. She had the drug combination wrong in Vicodin and the dosing wrong with lidocaine. Otherwise I didn't find much wrong with it. Looking forward to the next one.

Utterly Chilling.....

2 years ago, Archie Sheridan spent 10 days being tortured by Gretchen Lowell. For 10 years, Archie was on the task force that was investigating the serial killer, dubbed the "Beauty Queen Killer". Then Gretchen Lowell walked into his office and offered her services as a consulting psychiatrist. Not only was she off-the-charts intelligent, but she was also extremely beautiful. Little did anyone expect she was actually the killer. Very few serial killers were woman. Especially one this brutal. Besides, who would have thought the killer would be so arrogant as to insert themselves into the investigation?? But Gretchen did, and she came for Archie. But in a weird twist, after 10 days of torturing Archie to the brink of death, Gretchen actually saved his life. In fact, she called 9-1-1 for medical assistance and sealed her fate. She was caught, but through plea bargaining, she avoided the death penalty. Part of her agreement was that she would tell the police where to find the bodies of the 200 + victims she had tortured and killed. But there was a condition to this agreement. Gretchen would only speak to one person -- Archie. Now, 2 years later, another serial killer has surfaced. Nicknamed the "After School Killer", he is abducting high school girls on their way home at night. Archie has been asked to come out of retirement and head the new task force. But Archie is a broken man. Not only has he not worked since the incident, but he takes enough Vicoden on a daily basis to sedate a small elephant. He has a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions from anti-depressants to Xanax to sleeping pills. His wife divorced him. And every Sunday Archie drives to the prison to speak to Gretchen Lowell. He's obsessed with her, and not in a healthy way. Susan Ward is a features writer for the local Portland newspaper. She'd love to be serious reporter, but so far, she hasn't been given the chance. Spunky and independent,with bright pink hair, Susan has been tapped to do a story on Archie and the task force. She doesn't know why she was requested for this assignment, but she isn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Following Archie around is definitely the biggest thing that has ever happened in her career. Because Gretchen is in prison for most of this book, there are the obvious comparisons to another literary killer -- Hannibal Lecter. But in my opinion, Gretchen Lowell makes Hannibal Lecter look like a Sunday School Teacher. Through a few small chapters that flash back to the ten days Archie was captured, we get a small glance at how incredibly brutal this woman really is. The kinds of torture she put her victims through are so twised, I had trouble reading about them.. And not only was she brutal in her kills, but she is equally so with Archie. She is a master manipulator. She "killed" most of him during those 10 days. But now she is keeping him in a prison of her own making. He can't seem to let go of her. It's almost like a weird form of Stockholm S


HEARTSICK, a dark, twisted, disturbing psychological thriller by Chelsea Cain, is of a genre that I do not normally read. I do not like blood, gore, or torture, but somehow, this novel got under my skin and really surprised me. I could not put it down. I HAD to know what happened next, and I read it cover to cover in almost one sitting. The writing is outstanding. I was immediately grabbed and drawn into this vivid, perverse world. The atmosphere created by the mood, voice, and tone is truly amazing, dark, and creepy. I had to keep looking outside my window to reassure myself that it was still daylight. I have not been this affected by the atmosphere of a book since INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE by Anne Rice many years ago. The characters are mesmerizing in a distressing, twisted way. Our "hero," detective Archie Sheridan, was the final victim of a truly brutal psychopathic female serial killer, Gretchen Lowell, whom he tracked for nearly 10 years. He is also the only victim to "survive" her torture, if you can call Archie's current life and state of mind survival. Although Gretchen is in a maximum security prison for life, she still pushes Archie's buttons, and he is still dancing to her sick, terrifying tune. The chapters detailing Archie's prolonged captivity and the supreme agony and brain-washing inflicted upon him by Gretchen nearly two years ago are deftly interwoven between the chapters describing Archie's hunt for a new serial killer. This very unique and successful device lets us glimpse inside Archie's warped and troubled mind as he works to solve his current case. HEARTSICK is gripping, sinister, page-turner of a thriller that keeps you riveted until the final page. While you may think you have it all figured out, believe me, you don't. The twists, turns, shocks, and surprises carry on to the last words of the final page.

A Story to be Savored

It took me quite a while to read Chelsea Cain's Heartsick. I was gripped from the beginning. Regardless, I finished three other books in between starting and reading the final word of Heartsick. Every time I picked up Cain's book and read a few more chapters unraveling more of the suspense and mystery, I'd sit it back on the shelf and come back to it days (at times, even a week later) and pick it back up where I left off. Now there are some books that have me so involved I read them within days, but Heartsick I wanted to savor. I love the story here and the well built mystery that had my heart pumping like I was running for my life. Chelsea has a gift for doing this and making it enjoyable for the reader. She paints a distinct picture of Portland as the setting (evidently with passion for her city.) Her characters rise from well written passages and become distinct in your mind. She creates not only great, lovable characters, but also the most beautifully admired, evil monster in human form ever imagined. Gretchen Lowell is this beast, a suductive female serial killer with no remorse. Cain doesn't tell this distressing tale in an archetypal manner; in fact, the storyline extremely inventive. It's a story within a story revealing a mystery as it unravels the past. After reading each powerful chapter, I stared into an empty void somewhere in my mind savoring and picking at what I had just consumed with my eyes into the belly of my brain. When a read does this to me, I want to relish it; therefore, I slow down and take my time. Telling a story is a true talent. Many storytellers can do it, but Cain is a master of it. The tone of Heartsick is very dark. Its characters are captivating. Cain's prose is engrossing. I don't want to say much more about this breathtakingly intense novel. You should just grab a copy and enjoy. To write any more is unnecessary. Upon reading Heartsick, Gretchen Lowell will plunge a blade into your memory, and the scar will remain forever. Review by Don Moore. Sweetheart Muffy: or A Transmigration of Selves Smashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed, Chunked and Spewed

great book...

This book lives up to the hype. I am pleasantly surprised with this book. Cain has great characters throughout this book. The storyline is excellent, dramatic and suspenseful. I felt bad for the cop and creeped out by the serial killer. This book reads fast because you don't want to stop, my curiosity kept me turning the pages. I did not want the book to end, I can't wait for the next. Give this book a chance, I promise you won't regret it.
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