Kill You Twice (Cain)

Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell #5)
Chelsea Cain, 2012
St. Martin's Press
336 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780312619787

Nothing makes Portland detective Archie Sheridan happier than knowing that Gretchen Lowell—the serial killer whose stunning beauty is belied by the gruesome murders she’s committed—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.

To this end, Archie throws himself into the latest case to come across his desk: A cyclist has discovered a corpse in Mount Tabor Park on the eastern side of Portland. The man was gagged, skinned, and found hanging by his wrists from a tree. It’s the work of a killer bold and clever enough to torture his victim for hours on a sunny summer morning in a big public park and yet leave no trace.

And then Archie gets a message he can’t ignore—Gretchen claims to have inside knowledge about this grisly murder. Archie finally agrees to visit Gretchen, because he can’t risk losing his only lead in the case. At least, that’s what he tells himself...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 she playing this time? And even more frightening, what long-hidden secrets from Gretchen’s past have been dredged up that someone would kill to protect?

At once terrifying and magnetic, “Beauty Killer” Gretchen Lowell returns with a vengeance in Kill You Twice, Chelsea Cain’s latest razor-sharp psychological thriller. (From the publisher.)

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Author Bio
Birth—ca. 1972
Raised—Bellingham, Washington, USA
Education—B.A., University of California, Irvine;
   M.F.A., Univeristy of Iowa
Currently—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. (From the publisher.)

Book Reviews
(Starred review.)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.
Publishers Weekly

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
Library Journal

(Starred review.) Utterly fresh and compelling. . .Cain hits the narrative throttle with all cylinders firing. Like the best thriller writers, though, she knows how to ease off the throttle, too, making room for subtle and satisfying character interplay but at the same time building tension as we wait for the narrative to burst into overdrive once again. Masterful on every level.

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? ...Cain's abiding determination to outdo the suspense, plot twists and gore of each previous outing is both perverse and awe-inspiring.
Kirkus Reviews

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