Chelsea Cain is the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Season, Evil at Heart, and Sweetheart. Both Heartsick and Sweetheart were listed in Stephen King's Top Ten Books of the Year in Entertainment Weekly. Chelsea lived the first few years of her life on an Iowa commune, then grew up in Bellingham, WA, where the infamous Green River killer was "the boogieman" of her youth. The true story of the Green River killer's capture was the inspiration for the story of Gretchen and Archie. Cain lives in Portland with her husband and daughter.
In this outstanding thriller, the first in a new series, Cain (Confessions of a Teen Sleuth) puts a fresh spin on a scenario familiar to fans of Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs. When someone starts dumping the bodies of teenage girls around Portland, Ore., after soaking them in tubs of bleach, Archie Sheridan, a police detective addicted to pain killers, turns for help to Gretchen Lowell, an imprisoned serial killer who once tortured him (the big scar on his chest "was shaped like a heart"). Covering the crimes is reporter Susan Ward, a smart-alecky punk with pink hair and authority issues. The suspense builds as the narrative shifts between Sheridan's new case and his ordeal with Lowell, who in her own way is as memorable a villain as Hannibal Lecter. The damp Portland locale calls to mind the kind of Pacific Northwest darkness associated with Ted Bundy and Kurt Cobain. A vivid literary style lifts this well above the usual run of suspense novels. 200,000 first printing; author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Portland, OR, never felt drearier than it does in this thriller debut. Without a doubt, psychopathic Gretchen Lowell, a convicted serial killer, pulls all the strings from her prison cell. Just consider her current exploitation list: Archie Sheridan, the Vicodin-addicted detective whom she kidnapped and almost killed two years earlier; Susan Ward, the spunky, young newspaper features writer who's attempting to profile Sheridan; and, finally, the current serial killer, who is targeting high school girls and putting the entire city in lockdown mode. Using flashbacks and psychological tension, Cain (Confessions of a Teen Sleuth) has crafted a gory suspense piece that is absolutely impossible to put down. Sheridan's current case, a hurried analysis of local high school suspects, is almost secondary to the horror of Lowell's personality. Sheridan's suffering makes him an empathetic hero, and Susan's foolish mistakes give the novel its requisite twists. Readers may figure out the "new" killer's identity early on, but Cain never lets up on the pace. Stylistically, this is great stuff for true-crime readers and for those who enjoy Jan Burke's Irene Kelly series. Recommended for all popular collections; expect a series. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 5/1/07; a 200,000 first printing.]-Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., Fairfield, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-The shocking opening chapter of this thriller lets readers know they're in for a rough ride through the minds of damaged people, including a drug-addicted police detective and an ambitious newspaper reporter. Two years earlier, a sadistic female serial killer captured and tortured Archie Sheridan, the lead detective on the Beauty Killer Task Force, leaving an indelible impression on his psyche and numerous physical scars. Now a new serial killer is stalking Portland, OR, and Archie is called back to duty to head a new task force. Susan Ward, a bright, offbeat reporter, is surprised to get the inside track on the investigation from him. It seems that he is finally willing to expose his feelings about Gretchen Lowell, the Beauty Killer, but Susan will have to reveal her secrets as well. Vaguely reminiscent of Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs (St. Martin's, 1988), with the setup of the serial-killer psychiatrist trading information while working her own angle, the novel has plenty of gruesome details, building suspense, false leads, and startling imagery in a setting so realistic that readers will feel damp and chilled. This one is for teens who like their stories gritty, grim, and gory.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"DYNAMITE...ONE OF THE MOST SEDUCTIVE AND ORIGINAL PSYCHOPATHS since Hannibal Lecter." --Entertainment Weekly "Suspenseful...plenty of grisly surprises." --The New York Times Book Review "A novel you CAN'T AFFORD TO MISS." --USA Today "Completely entrancing...totally original...UTTERLY UNFORGETTABLE." --Dominick Dunne "HEARTSICK HAS IT ALL: a tortured cop, a fearless and quirky heroine, and what may be the creepiest serial killer ever created. AN ADDICTIVE READ!" --Tess Gerritsen "OUTSTANDING." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)