Rachie3879’s #CBR5 Review #31: Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain


Chelsea Cain’s Sweetheart is the second in her series about serial killer Gretchen Lowell and the unfathomable connection she has with the detective she tortured and nearly killed, Archie Sheridan.  The second installment opens with Archie having reunited with his ex-wife Debbie, but still struggling with an addiction to Vicodin and an uncontrollable desire for Gretchen. He’s stopped visiting her altogether at Debbie’s request, but it’s obvious from the beginning of the book that this doesn’t work for Archie. Meanwhile, local reporter Susan is still investigating the local senator’s inappropriate sexual relationship with his children’s 14-year-old babysitter Molly Palmer. A body is discovered in a park where Gretchen’s first victim was found, Susan’s mentor is killed in a murder made to look like an accident related to her story, and to top it all off, Gretchen escapes prison and is now on the loose again. Archie and Susan must race to put the pieces all together and stop Gretchen before she really gets crazy.

The second installment of Cain’s books on Gretchen Lowell is fast-paced and entertaining. Though at first it’s difficult to see how Susan and Archie’s storylines fit together, it does in fact come together nicely. Archie is still a mess, so sometimes that’s frustrating to read. I found it difficult to comprehend how a man can continuously choose a crazy serial killer over his own family; he’s aware he is sick and needs help but doesn’t really want to get better. It’s hard to root for someone like that sometimes. His ex-wife is equally hard to understand; I haven’t ever been married, much less had kids, so I may be missing something that happens with that. As it is now, I can’t understand wanting to give such a man another chance and constantly have his preference for a killer that tortured him thrown in my face.

I’m painting these characters in a bad light. While they are incredibly flawed and sometimes obtuse, I am not saying I don’t really enjoy digging into them. Archie and Gretchen are quite fascinating to read, and I will definitely add more of these novels to my list. I’m not really sure what else to say on this except that I liked it, plus, I’m on the 7th of 8 books I read while out of town and so I’m running out of steam…

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