I read Heartsickaround this same time last year. I was totally drawn into the painful story of police detective Archie Sheridan, who was the last victim of serial killer Gretchen Lowell, the Beauty Killer, and the only victim who lived. Gretchen was in jail, but Archie was still her victim, on leave from the force, estranged from his family, addicted to pain killers and still visiting Gretchen in jail each Sunday.
In Sweetheart,Archie is back on the force, living with his ex-wife and children again, no longer visiting Gretchen, but still addicted to those pain killers. Everyone thinks he’s managing, but he’s not. His latest case involves a dead girl found in the park with no ID. Then we have reporter Susan Ward, who’s also back and about to publish her expose on the US Senator who slept with his babysitter when she was 14 years old and paid her off to cover it up. That is, until the car he’s in goes off a bridge and he drowns.
All that gets put on the back burner when Gretchen manages to escape from police custody and threatens Archie’s children. Archie, his family, Susan and her mother all find themselves confined in a safe house to protect them from Gretchen. But no one can ever really be safe from Gretchen when she wants something and Archie seems more than willing to give up everything to catch her again, even his own life.
I really enjoy Chelsea Cain’s characters, from Archie’s partner Henry to Susan’s mother Bliss. They’re all quirky in their own ways and add a lot of depth to the story. I look forward to future books from Chelsea Cain and hope to see more of Archie and Susan.
This review is based on the Advanced Reader Copy of Sweetheart, which Roger kindly brought home from work for me.