Author: Chelsea Cain
Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
Series: Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, book 1
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
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.
As you might know, I’ve been on a thriller/audiobook mood. Looking for my next “fix” I found Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. After reading the blurb I thought this would be a perfect book for me and my library had the audiobook, so it was a no brainer.
The blurb explains perfectly what Heartsick is about. There are two stories in one. The story of Archie and the serial killer Gretchen and Archie’s investigation of the murders of young girls that are occurring in Portland.
Although I liked both stories I was more invested in Archie and Gretchen’s. Why? Because their relationship was twisted, sick and intriguing as hell. Gretchen tortured Archie for 10 days, he almost died because of her, but in his captivity he developed a close relationship with her, one that after two years he hasn’t been able to break. This has cost him his wife, his family and most of his friends. Thanks to her he also created an addiction to pain pills, but despite all this he can’t stop thinking about her, his addiction to her is stronger than himself.
The second story was a bit predictable, but still it was enjoyable and kept me listening.
What shines in Heartsick are the characters, especially Gretchen and Archie. I haven’t read in a long time (or maybe ever) a twisted character as sick as Gretchen. She is a manipulative sociopath and seeing her in action was scary and disturbing. Archie is the epitome of a broken character. His life is in shambles, his addiction is out of control and although he knows that what he feels for Gretchen is completely sick and twisted he can’t help himself. He can’t stop thinking about her; he lives for her and for that moment every week when he can go to prison to visit her. It was heartbreaking and disgusting at the same time; despite that, I couldn’t stop wanting to know more and see more of their twisted relationship.
Heartsick was my first audiobook narrated by Carolyn McCormick. It took me a long time to get used to her voice and her cadence, but at the end I think she did a good job, especially with Gretchen and Archie. She really brought to life the evil in Gretchen and the brokenness in Archie.
Chelsea Cain writing is fluid, engaging and very creative in a twisted and sick way. She created one of the scariest psychopaths I have ever read and I have to give kudos to her that her villain is a woman.
Heartsick is dark, disturbing, violent, grim, fascinating, and impossible to put down. I’m planning to listen to second audiobook, Sweetheart, soon, very soon.
I recommend Heartsick to fans of dark suspense/thrillers.
My Story Verdict: 4 Paws
My Narration Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
My Overall Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
Evil at Heart
The Night Season
Kill You Twice
Let Me Go
Other reviews Goodreads