Book Review: Sweetheart

Picking up the tale of obsession begun in her chilling debut Heartsick, Cain continues developing the relationship between serial killer Gretchen Lowell, aka the Beauty Killer and Portland Detective Archie Sheridan, the man who put her behind bars. With the aid of drugs, Archie is recovering from the physical wounds Gretchen inflicted on him, the emotional wounds are not so easily medicated.

Living with his ex-wife and their two kids, Archie finds it impossible not to think about Gretchen, her many victims and what she did to him. He remains driven to get her confession about her first victim, a young woman he discovered in Forest Park ten years earlier. With the discovery of another unidentified young woman in the same park, Archie is forced to relive the nightmare only Gretchen is still in jail.

In a strange coincidence, rising journalist Susan Ward was fighting to get her story about a popular politician’s indiscretion with his underage babysitter released just as he and another reporter die in an accident. The timing is suspicious and Susan begins digging deeper just as Gretchen escapes from prison. Archie is both terrified and titillated at the prospect of interacting with Gretchen again, he knows that she will come after him and intends to use that attraction to put her away once and for all.

Cain has penned an absorbing, terrifying look into the depths of obsession that will keep readers riveted to the final page and leaves a tantalizing opening for more interaction between Archie and Gretchen.


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