Title: Heart Sick
Author: Chelsea Cain
Published: September 4th 2007
Length: 336 pages
Source: Purchased (bookstore)
I’ve been craving a creepy crime thriller for a few months now so when I found this on the ferry on my way to Morocco I just had to pick it up! Crime thrillers were what really got me back into reading so they’ll be that one genre I can never get bored of. When I read the synopsis for this, I just couldn’t wait to pick it up! Here it is: ( taken from Goodreads)
‘Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie’s a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she’s right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth—he can’t stay away.
When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.’
I’ll be completely honest, this story had a bit of a slow start… For me the most interesting aspect of the story is the ten days that Gretchen Lowell had Archie for! The format of this book was that throughout the story the author would plug in a chapter from his time when Gretchen kidnapped him. I just found it to be a much more compelling story and it really helped us understand more about Archie. Gretchen was that kind of calm crazy, she was soft spoken whilst saying shit that made your skin crawl!
World Building: I would say the best world building was in the chapters between Archie and Gretchen. Having said that, the first few chapters were dedicated to world building, who knew I would leave this story with so much knowledge of Portland! I did find the first half of the book it little slow to get through, this new case was a little all over the place. It felt like there was no plot line, I didn’t see how everything would come together at the end.
Characters: My two favourite characters were obviously Gretchen and Archie! I just found that they had a little depth, and I definitely found that as I read on I understood the characters more! We have Gretchen who’s this creepy, sinister psychopath. Honestly she made the story a whole lot more interesting! She would also manipulate Archie, from her 10 days with him she was able to severely destroy his mind as well as his body! Throughout this story you also get to weird relationship that developed between the two, I’m not going to spoil anything but, weird is an understatement.
Plot: This genre tends to have the most excitement in the last 50 pages, that’s understandable. Its usually when a massive discovery is made blah blah blah… BUT I actually enjoy reading and experiencing the developments through the story probably just as much as the end. Unfortunately, I felt like there wasn’t too much to be interested by in the beginning. I just started to lose interest, literally the only thing that kept me reading were the flashback chapters.
It was a good read, it really was… But it had a slow start. My favourite thing about this book are the two main characters and their bizarre encounter! If there was a book just about that story I would be rushing to buy it! If you’re someone who has an interest in complex and developed characters I would definitely recommend you pick this up!