Newest Review: ... have given the choice of picked the first one. However despite all this I found this a very enjoyable and well-written book. Initially I w... more
Hannibal Lecter...er...I mean Gretchen Lowell....wants to break free...
Sweetheart - Chelsea Cain
Member Name: sparkymarky1973
Sweetheart - Chelsea Cain
Advantages: A neat little thriller if you don't expect too much
Disadvantages: Concept doesn't have that much longevity for a continuing series but still a good read
SWEETHEART is the shortly-awaited sequel to CAIN's bestselling debut, HEART SICK, and once again features troubled Detective Archie Sheridan as he tries to adjust to his life in the months following the events of the last novel. He still maintains an addiction to prescription drugs despite the fact that they are slowly killing him but has completely cut off all contact with the serial killer, Gretchen Lowell, the woman who nearly ended his life before turning herself in, and is back with his wife trying to rebuild their fragmented relationship. Archie and Gretchen had a very macabre deal; he would continue to visit her in prison in the most disturbing case of Stockholm syndrome I have ever seen, if she would provide him with the names and locations of her many victims who still lay undiscovered. Since Archie cut off all contact, Gretchen has refused to disclose these details to anyone else.
When Gretchen ends up in a prison hospital after an attack by one of her guards, Archie breaks his sanctions and goes to her bedside but it soon becomes apparent that the whole thing is just a farce the better to aid her escape from jail. Further forging the not-so-subtle links between this and THOMAS HARRIS' s SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which is so obviously provides much inspiration to CAIN's imagination, Gretchen Lowell goes on the lam and only Archie knows her well enough to track her down.
Meanwhile, reporter Susan Ward from the first novel is finally closing in on her story about a leading Senator when both the Senator and her long-time friend, colleague and mentor are killed in a car accident essentially also killing her scandal story that she so avidly pursued in the last book. Ward senses a conspiracy at foot but is hard-pressed to prove it until, with a little investigation, things start to fall into place. But she, too, has her connections to Archie Sheridan and slowly she finds herself being pulled back into his life again as well.
If this sounds as though there is a lot going on then thats because there is and thats without mentioning the pair of bodies discovered buried in nearby Forest Park that Archie starts out investigating in the opening chapters of this book. It almost feels as though CHELSEA CAIN is trying to juggle too many balls at once but, fair play to her, she does manage to carry the whole thing off!!
Although not as impressive as her debut, CAIN's follow-up is still a good read and a second novel in a potential series can often prove to be a little troublesome in places but all the loose ends do seem to come together and, almost despite yourself, you end up enjoying the book much more than you meant to. The writing style again is a little rough in places but, as you get caught up in the story, you can almost forgive CAIN for the few faults that present themself. She is defenitely a writer for the P.J.TRACEY generation and is obviously aimed at the supermarket audience who get their reading fix from the bestsellers list at Asda but there is nothing wrong with that and if this kind of book encouages more people to pick up a novel then I am all for it. I think at times perhaps I can be a bit tooo critical when maybe I should just shut up and enjoy a book for what it is. There is certainly scope for more books in this series but I do wonder how long CAIN can maintain the current story-arc and how long it will be before this formulae grows tired. At the very least I predict another couple of cracking good thrillers to follow but we will have to see what happens.....
For now all I can say is this is an above average thriller but that there is certainly a little room for improvement.
Summary: A very good follow-up to a highly impressive debut