Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series #5)
  • Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series #5)
  • Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series #5)

Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series #5)

4.2 69
by Chelsea Cain
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“Utterly engrossing.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell is locked away in a psych ward. Archie can finally heal from the near-fatal physical and emotional wounds she’s inflicted on him and start moving on with his life.

See more details below

Overview

“Utterly engrossing.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell is locked away in a psych ward. Archie can finally heal from the near-fatal physical and emotional wounds she’s inflicted on him and start moving on with his life. Or can he? His latest case, involving a man who was mutilated and murdered in a public park in broad daylight, bears the stamp of an expert killer…and before long, Archie gets a message from Gretchen, who makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

“DELIVERS THE SHOCKS.”—MIAMI HERALD

Gretchen claims to have inside knowledge about the grisly Mount Tabor Park murder—and Archie can’t risk losing his only lead in the case. At least, that’s what he tells himself after he agrees to visit Gretchen…But the ties between Archie and Gretchen have always been stronger, deeper, and more complex than he’s willing to admit, even to himself. What game is Gretchen playing this time? And even more frightening, what long-hidden secrets from her past have been dredged up that someone would kill to protect?

 “Masterful on every level.”—Booklist

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Booklist (starred review)

Masterful on every level.
Entertainment Weekly Stephen King

Excellent writing…ferocious…refreshing.
The Huffington Post

[Chelsea Cain] creates stories that are razor-sharp in their delivery and heart stopping in their presentation. . . Kill You Twice is one of her best efforts.
Miami Herald

The fifth novel to feature Portland detective Archie Sheridan and his nemesis, Gretchen Lowell, delivers the shocks.
Louisville Courier Journal

[Chelsea Cain] wields her words like the sharpest of blades, carving away at reality to create unimaginable horrors. . .Cain writes tense narrative that crackles like the air in a summer thunderstorm, rife with danger.
Portland Monthly Magazine

Cain's talent for gory detail, wry humor, and expertly braiding together plotlines into a fine mesh is a fresh spark of life. Kill You Twice is a taut thriller that will delight and rattle fans and newcomers alike.
From the Publisher

PRAISE FOR CHELSEA CAIN
Publishers Weekly
Despite being locked away in the Oregon State Hospital, serial killer Gretchen Lowell still looms large in Det. Archie Sheridan’s life in bestseller Cain’s utterly engrossing fifth thriller featuring the pair (after 2011’s The Night Season). When Gretchen claims that the Portland police detective’s two latest murder victims—one found flayed in a local park and another burned to a crisp atop the iconic city sign—are the work of killer Ryan Motley, Archie knows better than to take Gretchen at her word, but he’s intrigued when she mentions having a child, a new twist. Meanwhile, Susan Ward, now working as a freelance reporter, is following both the current murder case and the developing situation with Gretchen, going so far as to interview her at the state hospital, where Gretchen divulges tidbits of her early life, previously uncharted territory. That blood oozes off practically every page is never in doubt. But neither is Cain’s skill in creating riveting character drama between two damaged souls.150,000 first printing; author tour. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (Aug.)
The Star-Ledger

Reader Christina Delaine does a fine job differentiating between female characters…Her triumph is the evil tone she brings to Gretchen.
The New York Times Book Review on Evil at Heart

You have to hand it to Cain, who's made the serial-killer genre a thoroughly female-friendly experience. . .[She] churns stomachs with a delicate touch.
USA Today on Evil at Heart

She's the most twisted--and most beautiful--serial killer on the planet, and she's back... Cain's wonderfully over-the-top series takes a new turn when fans of Gretchen try their hand at killing. It's not to be missed.
Parade Magazine on The Night Season

Cain's novel has headlong pacing, endearing characters, twisted humor, and scalpel-sharp descriptions of murder and mayhem. It grabs you like a deadly undertow and doesn't let you go.
Parade Magazine

Cain's novel has headlong pacing, endearing characters, twisted humor, and scalpel-sharp descriptions of murder and mayhem. It grabs you like a deadly undertow and doesn't let you go.
The New York Times Book Review

You have to hand it to Cain, who's made the serial-killer genre a thoroughly female-friendly experience. . .[She] churns stomachs with a delicate touch.
USA Today

She's the most twisted--and most beautiful--serial killer on the planet, and she's back... Cain's wonderfully over-the-top series takes a new turn when fans of Gretchen try their hand at killing. It's not to be missed.
Chicago Sun Times

Cain is among a new breed of women writers stepping way out of the stereotypical female comfort zones… serving up meatier and more gruesome stories. . .Cain knows how to keep readers fortified with psychological drama.
Library Journal
She's back. Gretchen Lowell, the exquisitely beautiful serial killer who has held readers in thrall, returns in the fifth installment (after The Night Season) of this popular series. Though Gretchen is locked up, she's still haunting Archie Sheridan, the detective she tortured and almost killed. Archie is working on his latest grisly murder case when Susan Ward, a journalist and sometimes friend, calls. She's been in touch with Gretchen, who claims a guy named Ryan Motley is the killer Archie seeks. She also dangles another clue, a victim whom the cops know nothing about. VERDICT Series fans will enjoy this latest book as they learn more about Gretchen. While still cagey and dangerous, Gretchen's persona deepens as Cain reveals details about her early life and relationships. Archie, still damaged by her influence, shows glimmers of hope that he may be able to move on to a new life where he has the power. A sure bet for vacation reads.—Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH
Kirkus Reviews
A fourth match--a fifth, if you count The Night Season (2011), in which she's limited to a cameo--between Gretchen Lowell, the Beauty Killer, and Archie Sheridan, the Portland cop who alternates between locking her up and having sex with her. Gretchen claims over 200 murder victims, but how could she have killed Jake Kelly, the philanthropist who volunteered at the Life Works Center for Young Women? Yet the corpse, bashed, skinned, hanged from a tree on Mount Tabor and decorated with a lily, certainly seems like more of her handiwork. So does the body of PR flak Gabby Meester, taken from her car and set afire at the foot of a Portland landmark with another lily. Of course, it's no trouble to prove an alibi when you're drugged to the gills and incarcerated in the Oregon State Mental Hospital. Although he swears that he's not going to see his murderous ex-lover again, Archie's lured back into contact with her when Gretchen's interview with Susan Ward, the newspaper reporter whose life Archie saved, concludes its grueling description of Gretchen's very first murder, the slaughter 16 years ago of James Beaton, with an urgent plea Susan passes on to Archie: "Children are going to die....You have to find the flash drive." Could one of those children be Pearl Clinton, who'd been staying at the Life Works Center before she disappeared? How much of what Gretchen says can be trusted? And just how many serial killers are lurking in the hills of Oregon? Cain's abiding determination to outdo the suspense, plot twists and gore of each previous outing is both perverse and awe-inspiring.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312619794
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
07/02/2013
Series:
Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series, #5
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
145,060
Product dimensions:
4.42(w) x 6.68(h) x 1.04(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Archie Sheridan slept with the light on. The pills on his bedside table were Ambien. A year before they would have been pain pills. Vicodin. Oxycodone. A cheerful skyline of amber plastic bottles. Even now the table looked empty without the clutter. Just the Ambien, a cell phone, a week-old glass of tap water, and a red gooseneck lamp from IKEA.

His kept his gun in the drawer. On the nights the kids weren’t there, he slept with it loaded.

The Ambien prescription was untouched. Archie just liked to know it was there. Sleeping pills made Archie groggy, and groggy wasn’t a luxury he could afford. If the phone rang, if someone died, he needed to go to work.

Besides, it wasn’t getting to sleep that was the problem. It was staying asleep. He woke up every morning at three A.M., and was awake for an hour. That was how it had gone since the flood. Now he just figured it in. Went to bed an hour earlier. Compensated. He didn’t mind it. As long as he controlled his thoughts, kept his mind from wandering to bad places, he was fine. Focus on the present. Avoid the dark.

The gooseneck lamp stayed on, its red metal shade getting hotter by the hour.

Three-ten A.M. Archie stared at the ceiling. The apartment was sweltering and his bedroom window was open. He could hear the distant grind of the construction equipment still working to clean up the flood damage downtown. They’d been at it in swing shifts for three months, and the city still looked gutted.

If it wasn’t the noise from the construction, it was the trains he heard at night: the engines, the whistles, the wheels on the tracks. They traveled through Portland’s produce district around the clock.
Archie didn’t mind the noise. It reminded him that he wasn’t the only one awake.

Everyone had a cure for insomnia. Take a warm bath. Exercise. Drink a glass of warm milk. Eat a snack before bedtime. Drink herbal tea. Avoid caffeine. Listen to music. Get a massage.

Nothing worked.

His shrink told him to stay in bed.

Don’t even read, she said. It would just make getting back to sleep harder.

He just had to lie there.

But his pillow was too flat. The used mattress he’d bought groaned every time he turned over.

The heat made his scars itch. The new skin was tight and prickly, reminding him of every place her blade had sliced his flesh. His chest was knitted with scar tissue. Patches of dark hair sprouted around the thick pale pink gashes and pearly threads, unable to grow through the tough flesh.

That sort of itching, in the middle of the night, can make a person crazy, and sometimes, while he slept, he scratched his scars until they bled.

Archie ran a hand along his side, the scars pebbly under his fingers, and then over his chest, where his fingers found the heart-shaped scar she had carved into him with a scalpel. Then he made a fist with his hand, rolled over, and pinned it under his pillow.

*   *   *

Four-ten A.M.

Archie’s cell phone rang. He turned over in bed and looked at the clock on his bedside table. He’d been asleep ten minutes. It seemed like longer. His eyeballs felt gritty, his tongue coated. His hair was damp with sweat. He was on his stomach, naked, half his face smashed against the pillow. As he reached out and fumbled for his phone he knocked over the bottle of Ambien, which toppled and rolled off the bedside table and clattered to a stop somewhere under the bed.

Archie brought the phone’s glowing LCD screen to his face and immediately recognized the number.

He knew he should let it go to voice mail.

But he didn’t.

“Hi, Patrick,” Archie said into the phone.

“I can’t sleep,” Patrick said. His voice was a strained whisper. Probably trying not to wake up his parents. “What if he comes back to get me?” Patrick said.

“He’s dead,” Archie said.

Patrick was silent. Not convinced.

The official report had been death by drowning. A half-truth. Archie had held Patrick’s captor’s head underwater, and when he was dead, he had pushed his body into the current of the flooded river.
The corpse still hadn’t surfaced.

“Believe me,” Archie said. Because I killed him.

“Will you come and visit me?” Patrick asked.

“I can’t right now,” Archie said.

“Can I come and visit you?”

Archie rolled over on his back and rubbed his forehead with his hand. “I think your parents want to keep you close right now.”

“I heard them talking about me. They want to give me medicine.”

“They’re trying to help you feel better.”

“I have a secret,” Patrick said.

“Do you want to tell me what it is?” Archie asked.

“Not yet.”

Archie didn’t want to force it. Not after what Patrick had been through. “Okay,” he said.

“Will you count with me?” Patrick asked. It was something Archie had done with his own son. Counting breaths to get to sleep. Patrick and Ben were both nine. But Patrick’s experience had left him changed. He was mature without being sophisticated.

“Sure,” Archie said. He waited. He could hear Patrick getting settled and imagined him curled on his side on the couch in his family’s living room, the phone held to his ear. Archie had never seen that couch, that house, but he’d seen photographs in the police file. He could picture it.

“One,” Archie said. He paused and listened as Patrick drew a breath and exhaled it. “Two.” Archie sat up in bed. Patrick yawned. “Three.” He put his feet on the floor. “Four.” Stood up. “Five.” The windows in his bedroom were original, made up of dozens of factory-style rectangular panes. If Archie ran his fingers over the glass, he could feel tiny waves and ripples on the surface.

“Six,” he said.

He made his way to the window. “Seven.” The light was on inside, and it was still dark enough outside that Archie could see his own mirror image in the glass. As he got closer, his reflection faded and the city appeared. Out his window the Willamette cut a curved path north, slicing the city in half. A sliver of light along the silhouette of the West Hills marked the first hint of dawn. The river was almost lilac-colored.

“Eight,” he said.

It was the truck’s backup alarm that caught his attention. The window was open, hinged along the top so that it swung out horizontally. Archie’s eyes flicked down to the street below.

“Nine.”

The streetlights were still on. The produce district had wide streets, built big enough for multiple trucks full of apples and strawberries. But the trucks didn’t run much anymore. The warehouses were now mostly home to used office supply stores, fringe art galleries, Asian antique stores, coffeehouses, and microbreweries. It was close in and cheap, as long as you didn’t mind the trains that barreled through the neighborhood every few hours.

“Ten.”

The truck down below had backed up to the loading dock of Archie’s building and stopped. A black sedan pulled up beside it. Two men got out of the cab of the truck and walked around to slide the back door up. A woman got out of the black car. Archie knew she was a woman the same way he knew that the men in the truck were men. It was how they stood, how they moved, the dark shapes of their bodies in the yellow glow of the streetlights. The woman said something to the men, and then took a few steps back and watched as the men started unloading large cardboard boxes from the truck.

A U-Haul.

Someone was moving into the building. At four in the morning.

Archie had stopped counting.

“Patrick?” he said.

The other end of the line was silent.

“Good night,” Archie whispered.

He ended the call. It was 4:17 A.M. The bed beckoned. He could still get a few hours’ sleep before he had to head in to the office. As he stepped away from the window, he thought he saw the woman look up at him.

Copyright © 2012 by Verite Inc.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >