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Let Me Go
     

Let Me Go

4.1 36
by Chelsea Cain
 

See All Formats & Editions

Detective Archie Sheridan just has to get through the next few days, then his birthday and Halloween will be over. But with escaped serial killer Gretchen Lowell on the loose, the investigation into the murder of a DEA agent demanding his attention, and journalist Susan Ward showing up at his apartment needing a favor, it's going to be a long weekend.

Soon

Overview

Detective Archie Sheridan just has to get through the next few days, then his birthday and Halloween will be over. But with escaped serial killer Gretchen Lowell on the loose, the investigation into the murder of a DEA agent demanding his attention, and journalist Susan Ward showing up at his apartment needing a favor, it's going to be a long weekend.

Soon Archie finds himself crashing a masked ball on a private island owned by Jack Reynolds, a notorious local drug kingpin. By morning, Archie is back on pain killers, a guest is dead and Archie quickly realizes that little is what it seems. One thing is clear: Gretchen is back, and Archie's nemesis and sometimes lover has something special in mind for the birthday boy, something she's been planning for a long, long time. On Halloween Eve, with time running out, and the life of someone close to Archie on the line, Archie knows his only chance is to give Gretchen exactly what she wants. But Gretchen will prove more horrifying, and unpredictable, than Archie could ever imagine.

Back with her most thrilling novel yet, Chelsea Cain delivers the pinnacle of what fans of this series have come to expect: sex, murder, twists, dark wit, and some of the best characters in the genre.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Cain’s tense sixth thriller featuring serial killer Gretchen Lowell and Det. Archie Sheridan (after 2012’s Kill You Twice), the murder of DEA agent Carl Richmond leads Archie to investigate Portland, Ore., businessman Jack Reynolds’s drug empire. Jack’s son, Leo, is not only the boyfriend of freelance reporter Susan Ward but also the mole for the Feds inside his father’s operation. Carl was Leo’s handler. In an effort to determine whether Leo is alive or dead, Archie attends a lavish Halloween masquerade ball on Jack’s private island in a tony Portland suburb. Susan also attends, at Jack’s insistence. When a party guest turns up dead the next morning and Gretchen, who escaped from the state mental hospital months earlier, is seen in the vicinity, Archie has to choose his allies wisely if he’s to survive. Carefully peeling back Gretchen’s psychological layers with each new book, Cain continues to impress with her complex game of cat-and-mouse. Agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary Agency. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

"[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." —The Huffington Post

"With her very first thriller, Heartsick, Chelsea Cain established herself as a grand master of the genre. She wields her words like the sharpest of blades, carving away at reality to create unimaginable horrors—nightmarish crimes best solved by the skills of Detective Archie Sheridan and company . . . Admirable." —Louisville Courier Journal

"Chelsea Cain fills her new novel with dark atmosphere, a quick-thinking, likable hero, fast-moving narrative and plenty of wit.”The Associated Press on The Night Season

Heartsick is a dizzying novel. Lurid and suspenseful with well-drawn characters, plenty of grisly surprises and tart dialogue, it delivers.”—The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250022387
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
08/13/2013
Series:
Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Series , #6
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
78,070
File size:
708 KB

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER

1

 

 

Archie Sheridan had a paper birthday hat on his head and six bullets in his front pocket. The bullets rattled when he moved, making a clinking sound that no one else seemed able to hear. The hat’s tight elastic band dug at his neck. He pulled at it, feeling the imprint of a ligature mark forming.

“How was the bridge traffic?” Doug asked. Archie guessed that Debbie had sent him over. Go make small talk with the awkward guest. That’s what he was now, a guest. It still took some getting used to.

“Fine,” Archie said. He rolled the bullets between his fingers. It was a lie; the bridge had been backed up for miles.

Archie saw Doug’s face light up and then turned to see Debbie coming toward them from the kitchen. She was wearing a white chef’s apron and licking frosting off her thumb. Her hair was dark and very short and her body was strong and lean, though Archie supposed he wasn’t supposed to notice that anymore. Doug reached to put his arm around her waist as she stepped next to them, but she gave him a quick look and he pretended to do something else with his arm. No public displays of affection in front of the guest. He might feel bad.

“Archie says the bridge was clear,” Doug said. He was tall and long-limbed, with light brown hair and a wispy beard that made him look like a graduate student. He looked ten years younger than Archie even though they were the same age.

Debbie gave Archie a knowing smile. “Really?” she said. “At this time of day? That would be a first.”

Archie shrugged. He’d grown a beard once, but it had just made him look like a rabbi.

He could hear the kids in the kitchen, but he couldn’t see them. They had stationed him in front of a window in the far corner of the living room, while they frosted the cake. The apartment still smelled like the lasagna Debbie had made for dinner. There were dirty dishes on the table.

The window looked south, over downtown Vancouver. Archie could see the red taillights of airplanes lining up to land at the Portland airport, a barge making its way east down the river, the lights of the new Vancouver library, Fort Vancouver, a movie theater, a digital bank tower clock. Oregon was just on the other side of the Columbia River, a distant, indistinct horizon. Archie lived in Portland. He knew its topography, its skyline, its bridges and landmarks. But the view from Debbie’s window was an unfamiliar landscape.

“It’s not as far as people think,” Debbie said. “If you can avoid rush hour.”

“I know,” Archie said. But the truth was, he wondered sometimes if she had moved far enough. He missed his family, but he knew that the farther away from him they were, the safer he could keep them.

Debbie’s condo was on the tenth floor of a secure building. The kids didn’t have a yard anymore, but no one got in or out of the building without being buzzed in. The elevators required a keycard to operate. Security cameras monitored the hallways. Two security guards were on duty in the building around the clock.

The kids could live without a yard.

“Sara wants to be Gretchen Lowell for Halloween,” Debbie said.

Archie inhaled quickly and coughed.

Debbie patted him on the back. “I already said no,” she said with a glance toward Doug, who was staring at his shoes. “I just wanted to give you a heads-up. In case she brings it up.”

Archie’s fingers tightened around the slick brass cartridges in his pocket. “She’s seven years old,” he said.

“She wants to be something scary,” Debbie said. “It has nothing to do with you. Most of her friends don’t even know.”

It had been over a year since Archie and Debbie had split for good and she had enrolled the kids in school in Washington under her last name. It made sense for security reasons. It also required fewer explanations. Archie had been a public figure during the years he ran the Beauty Killer Task Force, but after Gretchen Lowell had kidnapped him and tortured him for ten days, he had reached a new infamy. Since her escape ten weeks before, the media had been revisiting every horrific detail.

Doug’s eyes darted around for something to say. “I hear you got a dog.”

“Sort of,” Archie said, not wanting to explain.

“The kids are excited,” Doug said.

Archie didn’t need Doug to tell him anything about his kids, but he decided that now maybe wasn’t the time to broach that particular topic.

“We’re ready,” Ben hollered from the kitchen.

Debbie pressed some matches into Doug’s hand. “Can you help the kids with the candles?” she asked him.

He smiled, happy to have been given something to do, and pattered off to the kitchen.

“He’s nice,” Archie said. He was making an effort to be pleasant, but he also meant it. Doug was dependable, good with the kids, kind to Debbie. Doug engineered wind turbines, a profession with limited exposure to serial killers. Archie liked him. When he could force himself to forget that Doug was having sex with his ex-wife and spending quality time with his children.

“Are you seeing anybody?” Debbie asked gently.

Archie’s fingers tightened around the bullets, and for a moment he thought that Henry might have told her about Rachel. But when he looked at Debbie’s face, he saw only tentative concern. The question wasn’t loaded.

“Not really,” Archie said.

She frowned skeptically. “What does that mean?” she asked.

Archie opened his hand and let the bullets drop back to the deep corner of his pocket. “It means I’m seeing someone,” he said. “But I don’t want to talk about it yet.”

Debbie’s face brightened with pleasure. “Is it Susan?” she asked.

“No,” Archie said. “Seriously?”

Debbie narrowed her eyes. “Does Henry like her?”

Archie hesitated.

“Tell me she’s not blond,” Debbie said.

Before Archie could come up with an answer, singing filled the living room and Archie’s children appeared, faces bathed in the glow of lit birthday candles. Doug stood behind them, guiding them forward, protective hands on their shoulders. Sara held one side of the cake plate and Ben had the other. They were dark-haired and freckled, baby teeth giving way to changed smiles. Every time Archie saw them, they looked more like their mother.

They finished singing, and Archie blew out the candles.

As he stepped back from the cake, he felt his phone vibrate.

“Make a wish, Daddy,” Sara said.

He didn’t make wishes anymore. But he pretended. He closed his eyes. When he opened them, Sara was beaming at him. “What did you wish for?” she asked.

“I can’t tell you,” Archie said. He pulled a candle from the cake, and handed it to her to lick the frosting off.

The phone was still vibrating in his pocket.

Archie glanced at the caller ID. It was Henry.

He turned away from the cake, and answered the phone. “Yeah,” he said.

“I’m at the Gold Dust Meridian,” Henry said. “Homicide. You’ll want to see this.”

Archie turned back toward the cake. Sara and Ben were plucking candles off and sucking them clean. Debbie had threaded her hand into Doug’s.

Forty-two candles. Six bullets. Two kids, every other weekend.

“Okay,” Archie said.

He slid the phone back in his pocket and looked over at Debbie. He didn’t have to explain. She knew the drill.

“Do you have to leave?” she asked.

Archie nodded.

“One slice of birthday cake to go,” Debbie said. “Coming up.”

 

Copyright © 2013 by Verite Inc.

Meet the Author

CHELSEA CAIN's first five novels featuring Archie Sheridan were all New York Times bestsellers. Also the author of Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, a parody based on the life of Nancy Drew, and several nonfiction titles, she was born in Iowa, raised in Bellingham, Washington, and now lives in Portland, Oregon.


Chelsea Cain is the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Season, Evil at Heart, Sweetheart, and Heartsick. 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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Let Me Go 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
RayHubble More than 1 year ago
Chelsea Cain is one of the most gifted mystery writers I have ever read. Let Me Go has a flawed main character, making him all the more interesting. And the mysteries that Archie faces are tense and hypnotically good. High marks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chelsea Cain, you have done it again!!!!! Here I sit bleary-eyed at work from an all-night read session of one of your books! I cannot get enough of this series!! Ms. Cain writes a murder-thriller like no other. Her heroes are flawed, her bad guys are almost likable (and may I put the emphasis on ALMOST). Gretchen is the worst of the worst, and I cannot help but wonder if she will ever let go of her hold on Archie, at the same time wondering if Archie will ever rid himself of her. I would suggest starting with the first of this series, as there are many references to past plot lines that could leave a reader new to the series a little confused. It could read as a stand alone, but you get so much deeper into a book when you are already familiar with the characters, and Archie's relationship with Gretchen (and everyone else) can really only be appreciated when you have followed the story from the start. I might add that this is a very dark and disturbing series. It is definitely NOT a story for a young reader (think definite rated "R"). If reading about seriously disturbed people is not your thing, please do not start this series as you will probably be disappointed. If dark and disturbing thrillers are what you live for, there is none better than this series!!! It will have you hanging on the edge of your seat and staying up all night just to see what happens next. Please write fast Ms. Cain -- the worst part of reading this series is waiting a year between installments. Who says people need to eat and sleep? -- SPeeD
Shauna19 More than 1 year ago
Chelsea Cain is amazing. All of her books are amazing. I could not put this book down! Let Me Go did not disappoint...it was terrifying, detailed, and suspenseful. Gretchen is the most unique and interesting serial killer this is! She always surprises!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series never disappoints! Only downfall is that I read it in 1 day and will have to wait forever for another one. Creepy and suspenseful. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will love this book and I for one never what it to end, hoever when it does I will cry my head off. You become so attracted to the characters of Susan, Archie, Henry, and Gretchen. They become a part of you daily lives. MUST READ!!!!!!!.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
avidreader255 More than 1 year ago
I love the Gretchen Lowell series and I'm hoping more will come! I picked this series back after a hiatus and was sucked right back in, made me want to reread the previous books. My only problem was the way it went back and forth from different scenes and story lines withholding information in an effort to keep you in suspense (I assume). This meant that it kept me reading so I could find out what was going on, but towards the end of the book I started to get a little annoyed by the jumping around. However, it was probably just because I wanted to know how everything would turn out. Overall, great book, easy read - definitely recommend you check the series out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enough w/archie & gretchen please!!!!! They are getting BORRRRRRRING!!!!!!!! The obession is getting silly. Chealsea Cain is a gifted writter, so, please find other characters!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love love love this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love these characters...wish i was just starting when im near the last page....thank you Chelsea for the distraction and entertainment
acorley84 More than 1 year ago
<b>Let Me Go - Gretchen is back in FULL FORCE!!</b> For a more in depth review, please visit my blog, Chorley Chronicals!  I just have to start out by saying that boy I am sooo thankful that Chelsea Cain kind of got back to her roots with this book, and came back to all that I have come to know and love about the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series! Cain captivated me first with Heartsick, and it was just as good reading Sweetheart and Evil at Heart, but I found myself not so much disappointed, but not nearly as happy with The Night Season as the first two books, then there was Kill You Twice, that started to pick back up, and BAM...she's back and as fully great with Let Me Go! Chelsea Cain sure has a knack for writing sick and twisted stories that absolutely capture and suck the reader in, leaving you wanting for nothing but more at the end of her stories! It didn't take me long to become obsessed with her writing and the Archie/Gretchen series! You will not find another author that writes so twisted but yet elegantly as her!! I love her as an author! You can't get much better than her writing, especially for her subject content! I think that Cain's characters are flipping awesome and addicting! I love Susan Ward and her unique quirkiness, and Archie with his sick and twisted obsessions, and of course Gretchen, gosh there are way too many adjectives to describe her psycho tendencies! I feel that Cain has really strong dominant characters and stories that stick with you long after reading! Overall, I was so happy after reading Let Me Go, especially after not caring for the last two books as much! I certainly hope that this isn't the end for the Sheridan/Lowell series clan, because I have come to need to read some psychotic Cain stories at least once a year, if not several times a year, so I really hope that Cain has more in the works for us, and if so I just can't wait to see what she will deliver this time!!
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
For those unfamiliar with this fascinating series (and as I wrote in my review of the prior entry, &ldquo;Kill You Twice&rdquo;), Archie Sheridan, a detective now heading the Major Case Task Force in Portland, Oregon (&ldquo;known for its blush-tinted scenery, and its serial killers&rdquo;), for 13 years had headed what was termed the Beauty Killer Task Force, dedicated to tracking down and bringing to justice a megalomaniac serial killer whose victims were tortured and killed in gruesome ways, graphically described. Their target, Gretchen Lowell, a stunning blonde who claims she had killed more than two hundred people, almost claimed Archie as one of her victims, but despite slowly torturing him over a 10-day period [during which time, among other things, she removed his spleen - - without anesthesia, of course] and leaving him in a medically-induced coma for a month, she let him live. After her capture, she was locked up in the forensic psychiatric services ward of the State Hospital. And after two years on medical leave, and now addicted to pain pills, Archie was able to return to the Task Force, his marriage only one of the things destroyed by Gretchen. There has always been a strong connection between Archie and Gretchen. As he says, &ldquo;She will never let me go.&rdquo; (Thus the title.) Years later, his scars, which still itch and sometimes bleed, are a constant reminder of her brutality, but he can no sooner escape them than he can the power and sexual pull she still exerts over him. The book opens as two important events are about to occur: Halloween, and Archie&rsquo;s birthday. And Gretchen, having escaped from the asylum ten weeks ago, is determined to make both of them something that Archie will never forget. The book takes place over an action-packed three days. Initially Archie gets involved in the investigation into the murder of a DEA agent who had been running a deep cover operation involving dirty cops and a major drug distribution organization headed by Jack Reynolds, a notorious local crime kingpin in Oregon. He and Archie had crossed paths before, when first his daughter and then his son were apparently among Gretchen&rsquo;s victims. Returning here are Henry, Archie&rsquo;s best friend on or off the police force; Henry&rsquo;s significant other, Claire, now very pregnant, also on the Major Case Task Force; and Susan Ward, a reporter who had been fired 7 months ago from the Herald and still very much in Archie&rsquo;s life, as well as her pot-smoking mother, Bliss. Also returning are the usual ingredients of this series: a great deal of graphic sex and violence, the two often intermingling at the oddest times, including a couple of Archie&rsquo;s flashbacks to his times with Gretchen. There are three story lines here: a second murder, of a young woman (the 2nd of many in the novel, of course); the murder of the DEA agent and the DEA investigation which the dead man headed; and of course the ongoing one dealing with the search for Gretchen. As are all the entries in this series, it is a dark and fast read, and one that is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is a good one in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I waited for this book for so long and all i can say is its very worth it. Cain is an amazing author that one day i hope to hug for creating this series. Love, action, graphic flashbacks and of course the dangerous dance between Gretchen and Archie...so worth the wait!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great addition to the Gretchen Lowell series. I can't wait to read the next one!
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Cooper1KK More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy the books in this series.
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