Heartsick (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series #1)

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LARGE PRINT FICTION

HEARTSICK

Chealsea Cain

Detective Archie Sheridan can't forget the woman who kidnapped him. For ten days, she tortured him to the brink of death, then mysteriously set him free and turned herself in. Now two years later, he's addicted to pain pills, estranged from his family, and obsessed with her. Gretchen Lowell is behind bars. But she still has all the power. Smart. Sexy. Vicious. She's ...

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Heartsick (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series #1)

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Overview

LARGE PRINT FICTION

HEARTSICK

Chealsea Cain

Detective Archie Sheridan can't forget the woman who kidnapped him. For ten days, she tortured him to the brink of death, then mysteriously set him free and turned herself in. Now two years later, he's addicted to pain pills, estranged from his family, and obsessed with her. Gretchen Lowell is behind bars. But she still has all the power. Smart. Sexy. Vicious. She's a beauty. She's a killer. As Archie trails a new case, he needs Gretchen now in more ways than one—to catch a killer and to release his soul.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
There should be small wonder why an inveterate watcher like Chuck Palahniuk should call Chelsea Cain's Gretchen Lowell "the most compelling, most original serial killer since Hannibal Lecter." Mass murderers don't generally act, of course, like normal human beings. But Gretchen Lowell goes a step further: She doesn't even behave like other serial killers. For example, she turned herself in; not a common strategy for a ghoul, one might say. And before that, she did something equally strange. She captured and tortured Archie Sheridan, the Portland detective who had been tracking her for ten years. But she didn't kill him; in fact, she freed him. And now Archie has real problems, and he visits her every week in prison...
Kathryn Harrison
One of the challenges for the thriller writer who takes on the catch-the-serial-killer subgenre is the ever escalating ante, one author’s diabolically perverse criminal demanding the next's invention of a murderer just that much more diabolical and perverse. In Gretchen Lowell, Cain has created a femme fatale with an appetite for cruelty that will be difficult to surpass…Heartsick is a dizzying novel. Lurid and suspenseful with well-drawn characters, plenty of grisly surprises and tart dialogue, it delivers what readers of this particular kind of thriller expect.
—The New York Times
Kevin Allman
The setup may be familiar, but Cain's greatest accomplishment is creating a hybrid—marrying the explicit content of splatter cinema to the conventions of an airport novel. Three things distinguish Heartsick: some sharp writing, a great locale (drizzly Portland is a sullen, noirish, minor-key backdrop), and the third main character, young reporter Susan Ward.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

McCormick delivers an uneven performance in her reading of Cain's bestselling debut thriller. Gretchen Lowell, "The Beauty Killer," was one of the most prolific serial killers in history, claiming over 200 lives. Her only surviving victim was Archie Sheridan, the lead detective on the task force set up to apprehend her. Archie was tortured for days until Lowell inexplicably turned herself in. Two years later Archie is still a victim, on leave from the force, estranged from his family, addicted to pain pills and obsessively visiting Gretchen weekly. When a new killer begins murdering teenage girls, Archie is called back into action. By his side is an ambitious, pink-haired news reporter who may become her own page-one headline. The usually reliable McCormick has a rocky start with the first few chapters. Her clipped, overarticulation of each line keeps listeners at a distance instead of immersing them in the mesmerizing events taking place. However, she does improve as the story moves forward, and her rich, throaty portrayal of Gretchen Lowell is the perfect blend of predator and seductress. Simultaneous release with the St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Reviews, July 16). (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

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, LJ5/1/07; a 200,000 first printing.]
—Teresa L. Jacobsen

Kirkus Reviews
A detective, emotionally damaged after his own kidnapping, pursues a serial killer of young girls in Portland, Ore. Two years ago, homicide detective Archie Sheridan was kidnapped while tracking beautiful but treacherously demented serial killer Gretchen Lowell. After torturing Archie for days, Gretchen eventually saved his physical life by calling 911 and turning herself in, but Archie's existence has been fundamentally ruined. Separated from his wife, he is addicted to various prescription painkillers and remains on disability from his work as a homicide detective. Every Sunday Archie visits Gretchen in prison, ostensibly because he is the only one to whom she'll disclose the locations of her 200 (!) murder victims. In fact, he is addicted to her control over him. Despite Archie's fragile emotional state, when someone starts murdering 14-year-old girls, the police department asks him to take charge of the case. As the cop who survived a kidnapping, Archie has become a celebrity, and the local paper arranges for a young reporter, Susan Ward, to profile him as he works the new case. Susan does not realize that Archie is manipulating her. He hopes her revealing articles about him spurs Gretchen, who has recently gone silent, to offer up the whereabouts of more bodies. Susan finds easy access to interviews with Archie's ex-wife Debbie, who turns out to be a sophisticated artist, his doctor, who describes Archie's torture as unimaginably cruel, and even Gretchen, who is frighteningly on target about Susan's own ghosts. Susan's father died when she was 14. As a freshman at Cleveland High, where one of the recent victims attended school, she may or may not have had an inappropriate sexualrelationship with her drama teacher. Archie realizes almost too late that Gretchen has actually been setting her own trap, and Susan is the intended victim. Despite obvious red herrings, Cain (Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, 2005) creates a cleverly contorted thriller plot and characters with memorable personalities.
From the Publisher
“Heartsick has it all: a tortured cop, a fearless and quirky heroine, and what may be the creepiest serial killer ever created. This is an addictive read!”—Tess Gerritsen, author of The Mephisto Club

“Chelsea Cain’s novel is completely entrancing and totally original—what a read. Between the humanity of Portland cop Archie Sheridan and the chilling and twisted design of his beautiful nemesis, Gretchen Lowell, Heartsick is utterly unforgettable. Cain is a wonderful—and terrifying—storyteller.” —Dominick Dunne

"Law & Order¹s Carolyn McCormick does a mean female-serial-killer voice, bringing Cain¹s haunting horror story to life." — People on Heartsick

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Chelsea Cain

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.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1Archie doesn't know for sure that it's her until that moment. There is a dull bloom of warmth in his spine, his vision blurs, and then he knows that Gretchen Lowell is the killer. He realizes that he has been drugged, but it is too late. He fumbles for his gun, but he is ham fisted and can only lift it awkwardly from his belt clip and hold it out as if it were a gift to her. She takes it and smiles, kissing him gently on the forehead. Then she reaches into his coat and takes the cell phone, turning it off and slipping it into her purse. He is almost paralyzed now, slumped in the leather chair in her home office. But his mind is a prison of clarity. She kneels down next to him, the way one might a child, and puts her lips so close to his that they are almost kissing. His pulse throbs in his throat. He can't swallow. She smells like lilacs."It's time to go, darling," she whispers. She stands then, and he is lifted from behind, elbows under his armpits. A man in front of him, red-faced and heavy, takes his legs, and he is carried into the garage and laid in the back of the green Voyager -- the vehicle Archie and his task force have spent months looking for -- and she crawls in on top of him. He realizes then that there is someone else in the van, that she wasn't the one behind him, but he doesn't have time to process this because she is straddling his torso, a knee pressing on either side of his waist. He cannot move his eyes anymore, so she narrates for his benefit."I'm rolling up your right sleeve. I'm tying off a vein." Then she holds up a hypodermic in his sight line. Medical training, he thinks. Eighteen percent of female serial killers are nurses. He is staring at the ceiling of the van. Grey metal. Stay awake, he thinks. Remember everything; every detail, it will be important. He thinks, if I live."I'm going to let you rest for a little while." She smiles and puts her flat, pretty face in front of his so he can see her, her blonde hair brushing his cheek, though he cannot feel it. "We'll have plenty of time for fun later." He cannot respond, cannot even blink now. His breath comes in long, shallow rasps. He cannot see her push the needle in his arm, but he assumes she has, because then there is only darkness.He wakes up on his back. He is still groggy and it takes him a moment to realize that the red-faced man is standing over him. In this moment, the very first moment of Archie's awareness, the man's head explodes. Archie jerks as the man's blood and brain matter blow forward, splattering Archie's face and chest, a vomit of warm, clotted fluid. He tries to move, but his hands and feet are bound to a table. He feels a piece of something hot slide down his face and slop onto the floor, and pulls hard against the bindings until his skin breaks, but he cannot budge them. He gags but his mouth is taped shut, forcing the bile back into his throat making him gag again. His eyes burn. Then he sees her, standing behind where the man's body has fallen, holding the gun she has just used to execute him."I wanted you to understand right away how committed I am to you," she says. "That you are the only one." And then she turns and walks away.He is left then to contemplate what has just happened. He swallows hard, willing himself to remain calm, to look around. He is alone. The man is dead on the floor. Gretchen is gone. The driver of the van is gone. Archie's blood is pulsing so violently that it is the only sensation. Time passes. At first, he thinks he is in an operating room. It is a large space, walled with white ceramic subway tiles and well lit by florescent lights. He turns his head from side to side and sees several trays of instruments, medical looking machinery, a drain on the cement floor. He strains again at his binds and realizes that he is strapped to a gurney. Tubes are coming in and out of him: a catheter, an IV. There are no windows in the room and a faint earthy smell skirts the edge of his consciousness. Mildew. A basement.He starts to think like a cop now. The others had been tortured for a couple of days before she dumped the bodies. That meant that he had time. Two days. Maybe three. They could find him in that amount of time. He had told Henry where he was going, that he had a psych consult about the newest body. He had wanted to see her, to get her advice. He was not prepared for this. But they would connect it. Henry would connect it. It would be the last place to which he could be traced. He had made a call to his wife on the way. That would be the last point of contact. How much time had passed since he had been taken?She is there again. On the other side of the table from where the body still lies, thick, dark blood seeping onto the gray floor. He remembers when she had first introduced herself -- the psychiatrist who had given up her practice to write a book. She had read about the task force and had called him to see if she could help. It had been hell on all of them. She offered to come in. Not counseling, she had said. Just talk. They had been working on the case for almost ten years. Twenty-three bodies in three states. It had taken a toll. She invited those who were interested to come to a group session. Just talk. He had been surprised at how many of the detectives had shown. It might have had something to do with the fact that she was beautiful. The funny thing was, it had helped. She was very good.She pulls the white sheet covering him down so that his chest is exposed, and he realizes that he's naked. There is no self-consciousness attached to it. It is merely a fact. She places a hand flat on his breastbone. He knows what this means. He has memorized the crime photos, the abrasions and burns on the torsos. It is part of the profile, one of her signatures."Do you know what comes next?" she asks, knowing that he does.He needs to talk to her. To stall. He makes a garbled noise through the duct tape and motions with his head for her to take it off. She touches her finger to his lips and shakes her head. "Not just yet," she says softly.She asks it again. A little more harshly. "Do you know what comes next?"He nods.She smiles, satisfied. "That's why I prepared something special for you, darling." She has an instrument tray beside her and she turns and withdraws something from it. A hammer and nail. Interesting, he thinks, amazed at his ability to detach from himself, to remain clinical. So far the victims had been seemingly random, male, female, young, old, but the torso damage, though it had evolved, had been notably consistent. She had never used nails before.She seems pleased. "I thought you'd appreciate some variety." She lets her fingertips dance up his rib cage until she finds the rib she is looking for and then she places the point of the nail against his skin and comes down hard with the hammer. He feels the explosion of his rib breaking and gags again. His chest burns with pain. He fights to breathe. His eyes water. She wipes a tear from his flushed cheek and caresses his hair, and then she finds another rib and repeats the process. And another. When she is done, she has broken six of his ribs. The nail is wet with blood. She lets it drop with an innocuous clink back on the instrument tray. He can't shift his body even a millimeter without a searing pain like none he has ever felt. His nasal passages have clogged with mucus, he can't breathe through his mouth, he has to brace himself for agony with every lung expansion, and still he can't make himself breathe shallowly, can't slow the panicked, heavy pants that sound like sobs. Maybe two days was optimistic, he thinks. Maybe he would just die now.
Chapter 2

The scar on his chest was pale and raised, the fibrous tissue no wider than a piece of yarn. It began a few inches below his left nipple, carved a naked path through his dark chest hair, arced, and then arced again back down to its original point. It was shaped like a heart. Archie was always aware of it, the raised skin against the cloth of his shirt. He had a lot of scars, but this one was the only one that still seemed to hurt. A phantom pain, Archie knew. A broken rib that had never quite healed right, aching underneath. A scar wouldn't hurt. Not after all this time. The phone rang. Archie turned slowly to look at it, knowing what it meant. Another victim.He only got calls from two people: his ex-wife and his ex-partner. He'd already talked to Debbie that day. So that left Henry. He glanced at the caller ID on his cell phone and confirmed his suspicions. It was a department prefix.He picked up the phone. "Yeah," he said. He was sitting in his apartment living room in the dark. He hadn't planned it that way. He had just sat down a few hours before and the sun had set and he hadn't bothered to turn on the light. Plus, the dingy apartment, with its sparse furnishings and stained carpet, looked slightly less sad cloaked in blackness.Henry's gruff voice filled the phone line. "He took another girl," he said. And there you had it.The digital clock that sat on the empty bookcase blinked insistently the dim room. It was an hour and thirty-five minutes off, but Archie had never bothered to reset it. He just did the math to calculate the time. "So they want to reconvene the task force," Archie said. He had already told Henry that he would go back, if they agreed to his terms. He touched the files that Henry had given him weeks before. They were on his lap, the crime scene photographs of the dead girls tucked neatly inside."It's been two years. I told them that you had recovered. That you were ready to go back to working full time."Archie smiled in the dark. "So you lied.""Power of positive thinking. You caught Gretchen Lowell, and she scared the crap out of everybody. This new guy? He's killed three girls already. And he's taken another one.""Gretchen caught me." A rectangular brass pillbox sat on the coffee table next to a glass of water. Archie didn't bother with coasters. The scratched-up oak coffee table had come with the apartment. Everything in Archie's apartment was scarred."And you survived." There was a pause. "Remember?"With a delicate flick of his thumb, Archie opened the pillbox and took out three white oval pills and tucked them in his mouth. "My old job?" He took a drink of water, relaxing as he felt the pills travel down his throat. Even the glass had been there when he moved in."Task force supervisor."There was one more requirement. The most important one. "And the reporter?""I don't like this," Henry said.Archie waited. There was too much in motion. Henry wouldn't back down now. Besides, Archie knew that Henry would do almost anything for him."She's perfect," Henry said, relenting. "I saw her picture. You'll like her. She's got pink hair."Archie looked down at the files on his lap. He could do this. All he had to do was to keep it together long enough for his plan to work. He opened the top file. His eyes had adjusted to the dark and he could make out the vague image of a ghostly body in the mud. The killer's first victim. Archie's mind filled in the color: the strawberry ligature marks on her neck, the blushed, blistered skin. "How old is the girl?""Fifteen. Disappeared on her way home from school. Along with her bike." Henry paused. Archie could hear his frustration in his silence. "We've got nothing.""Amber alert?" Archie asked."Issued a half hour ago," Henry said."Canvas the neighborhood. Dogs, everything. Send uniforms door-to-door. See if anyone saw anything along the route she would have taken.""Technically, you're not on the job until morning.""Do it anyway," Archie said.Henry hesitated. "You're up for this, right?""How long has she been missing?" Archie asked."Since six-fifteen."She's dead, Archie thought. "Pick me up in a half hour," he said."An hour," Henry said, after a pause. "Drink some coffee. I'll send a car."Archie sat there in the dark for a few minutes after he hung up. It was quiet. No TV blaring from the upstairs apartment, no footsteps overhead; just the pulse of traffic going by in the rain, a steady blast of forced air, and the rattled hum of the dying refrigerator motor. He looked at the clock and did the math. It was just after 9:00 p.m. The girl had been gone for almost three hours. He was warm and woozy from the pills. You could do a lot of damage to someone in three hours. He reached up and slowly unbuttoned the top few buttons of his shirt and inserted his right hand under the fabric, placing it over his ribs, running his fingers over the thick scars that webbed his skin, until he found the heart that Gretchen Lowell had carved on him.He had spent ten years working on the Beauty Killer Task Force, tracking the Northwest's most prolific serial killer. A quarter of his life spent standing over corpses at crime scenes, paging through autopsy reports, sifting through clues; all that work, and Gretchen had tricked him into walking right into a trap. Now Gretchen was in prison. And Archie was free.Funny. Sometimes it still felt like the other way around.
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Interviews & Essays

A Message from the Author

I have recently learned that I am a lot more twisted than I thought I was. It's a lesson that comes pretty quickly when you write a thriller. People read it and they look at you differently. They get nervous. They hide the knives. I kept Heartsick secret when I was writing it. I was working on another book, a book I had an advance for, a book that was due, and instead of writing that one, I worked on this one, my adulterous little project on the side. I worked on it in the basement, when no one was looking. The basement was half-finished and the ceiling was caving in, and we had rats and I'm pretty sure there was black mold growing down there. It's no wonder it brought out my dark side. If you are like my grandmothers, you will probably want to know how a nice girl like me came up with a wicked story like this. I have always loved to watch cop shows on TV. And I am a sucker for addicted, addled, emotionally wrung, long-suffering-yet-excellent-at-their-jobs detectives. Also, I was pregnant. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein while she was pregnant, so there must be something in the hormones. I took all the old devices I'd ever loved and threw them into one book, then tried to subvert them all -- in the end basically authoring the thriller I wanted to read but couldn't find. Why spend time looking for just the right book when you can easily write one in a year or two, right? So here is Heartsick. It's got all the stuff I like. The above-mentioned Byronic cop. A beautiful glamorous serial killer. A plucky pink-haired girl journalist. Sexual tension. Some blood and guts. Some noble suffering. Some witty one-liners. And enough hanky-panky to make my grandmothers blush. This is the first book in a series, so the characters will be back in about a year in Sweetheart and then, with luck, ad infinitum. I hope you have half as much fun reading it as I had writing it. --Chelsea Cain
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Recipe

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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 406 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 406 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow!

    Unless you are ready to go on a wild ride, don't even read the first page, because once you do, you won't be able to stop! Kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time! GREAT BOOK!!

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2009

    Unforgetable and Irreplacable

    This was one of the best books I have ever read! You just get so caught up in it that it's unreal. The characters are very strong and it's as if they come to life and are real people. The way that the story unravels and comes together is great and the relationship between Gretchen and Archie is compelling. Susan is also a very strong character and the ending is great. Definately a must have book. Chelsea Cain is a magnificent writer.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    In Portland, Oregon, the serial killer soaks his victims in bleach before discarding the teenage girls. Police Detective Archie Sheridan is assigned to lead the task force investigating the case. He knows he must get his act together to prevent more victims, but also thinks back to when he went after serial killer psychiatrist Gretchen ¿The Beauty Queen¿ Lowell. She caught and tortured him for ten days including breaking his ribs so that she left behind a heart shaped scar. He lives because she called 911, but he uses painkillers at an alarming rate to ease the ache and continues to visit Gretchen weekly although he claims it is to get her to tell the authorities where the bodies are buried he knows deep inside she owns him even from behind bars. On the task force is energetic pink haired reporter Susan Ward. She rejects Archie¿s controlling orders instead she pushes him to do the right thing but she must compete with Gretchen who controls Archie so much so that he deserted his family for her. As the tug of war between the two females occurs, the bleach killer is interested in the reporter as a victim while Archie thinks this case might get him past his fascination that has made no woman compare to his Gretchen. --- In an obvious connection to Hannibal Lector, HEARTSICK is a fabulous psychological police procedural that grips the audience from the onset, but especially when readers meet Gretchen. The story line switches back and forth between the current case to when Gretchen captured Archie effortlessly so that both subplots are well written and gripping. Readers will appreciate this dark suspense thriller driven by the lead quartet whose tango means death. --- Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Plot great; torture sick

    Good thriller plot, but "another book" was here - minute descriptions of torture, e.g., what EXACTLY it feels like to swallow drain cleaner as it goes down - the first, second and third times. Very sick, the author loves it just like the torturer. No thanks on future books by CC.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    GRIPPING

    This book was wonderful. I can't wait to read the rest in the series. Gretchen Lowell is a sociopathic deviant of society that will give any reader goosebumps.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    wow what an ending!!!

    this was a great book. i am looking forward to the sequal. i thought this was a very original take on a classic plot good guy vs bad guy. i thought for a minute i had it all figured out, then the ending took me by total surprise. a good read, but you better leave a light on.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow...tops any Patterson book I"ve ever read!

    I love this book! I'm a big fan of the thriller genre and this is tops with me. Cain is up there with Gardiner and surpasses Patterson by a long shot, in my opinion. Well worth the read! The idea of a female serial killer is brilliant. Women are tough, unpredictable, and smart...time to recognize! Loved it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    AWESOME!

    This book was a wonderful surprise! Kept me on the edge of my seat. Definately lost some sleep because I couldn't put it down! Would recommend in a Heartbeat!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    A digital page turner

    I am enjoying this audio one round trip at a week. I was beginning to tire of my weekly trips to visit a friend but lately I look forward to them The characters are well developed and the suspense and action keep things moving. If I was reading the book version I probably couldn't put the book down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2009

    very hard to put down!!

    very good a real page turner!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not for the Faint of Heart

    With its descriptions into the mind of a serial killer, Heart Sick captures the dark side of human nature. This wild tale is heart pounding and worth the read. The torture is hard to take, especially when its a woman that tortures for her own pleasure. Heart Sick makes a reader very aware of what the victim is feeling. Horrible, but engrossing.
    *****I highly recommend this story. Tamera Lawrence, author of THE POND

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Totally unexpected

    I just happened to come across this book and decided to take a chance on it, so glad I am! <BR/>This is a great easy read! The storyline is different and I cannot wait to finish it, (about 100 pages left). <BR/><BR/>Would definitely recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    Not bad.

    This book was easy to put down and did not become harder to do so until about two-thirds of the way through. The female serial killer in the story does have a fresh angle and the overall plot was good too, but I wouldn't call it all that suspenseful. All in all this was a decent crime novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    THE BEST THRILLER BOOK EVER!!! <BR/><BR/>Seriously, if you love thrillers, and ESPECIALLY thrillers about serial killers, then you DON'T want to miss HEARTSICK.<BR/><BR/>I don't know how Ms. Cain came up with the character of Gretchen Lowell (actually, I probably don't WANT to know!), but she has to be the most twisted killer I've ever come across. You may have thought Hannibal Lecter was the king of serial killers -- but that crazy man doesn't hold a candle to the chilling Ms. Lowell.<BR/><BR/>Trust me. Get the book. It's that good. Just don't read it while you're home alone, or when there's a threat of a power outage, or when you're eating dinner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A strange kind of hero

    This is a great mystery/thriller for those days when you do not want to read something typical. The main character is a man you are not sure if you like. . .you pity him one minute, hate him the next, then want him to win and you even have moments when you want him to just go away and bring in another hero. The protaganist is a female character you will never ever forget! The relationship between the two is so electrifying that you can feel it just leap off the page.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    loved this book

    At times the book made me cringe a little. It was very detailed and left me feeling uneasy. But I loved it. Had no idea it was a book that took place in my home town. Even more exciting!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2008

    Awesome!!!!

    Loved the book will be reading number two pretty soon, I am trying to wait cause I know number three is not ready to be released. Very good writer, one of the best books i have read. Writing style was great as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2008

    Geat new writer

    Now this is a real page turner, this book kept me up at night, cannot wait to get her second one

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2008

    The best book of the year!!!

    I mentally kicked myself over and over and over again for not buying this book sooner. I searched for months for the perfect book to grab me, use me up and throw me away like a dirty dishrag and it had been staring me in the face the entire time. Gretchen Lowell is the most original, articulate and sadistic serial killer I've ever read. She is a woman without conscience, without remorse, who will not stop until you acknowledge you are hers. There is no one like her and I am addicted. Yes, it's gory. Yes, it's messy. No, it's not for the faint of heart, but stick it out anyway, those scenes of torture made this book all the more real for me. There were moments I clasped my hand to my mouth at the very same time I gasped for air. And still I could not put the book down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2008

    Thrilling First Novel

    This is a great first novel from Chelsea Cain. I finished it one day because I could not put it down! Cain wonderfully explores the relationship of a female serial killer and victim while also telling the story of a current serial killer. A must-read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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