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Heartsick: A Novel

by

Heartsick: A Novel Cover

 

Staff Pick

One of the best thrillers I've read in years, Heartsick is taut, edgy, and disturbing, and Archie Sheridan is a compelling new character. I eagerly anticipate the next book in this new series.
Recommended by Danielle, Powells.com

Characters are what make a thriller memorable to me. The first in a series, Heartsick is full of richly drawn characters positioned in a triangulated relationship. In pursuit of a serial killer on a spree, our tormented protagonist, Archie Sheridan, must revisit his old demons and flash back on some truly disturbing violence done to him by the "Beauty Killer," a female serial killer from a former case. Don't pick up Heartsick when an early morning follows, as it will be the wee hours before you snap off your light.
Recommended by Danielle, Powells.com

Heartsick is a riveting, intense thriller with amazing characters — Detective Archie Sheridan; Gretchen Lowell, the beautiful yet evil serial killer; and Susan Ward, the newspaper reporter who follows the story. I love that this novel is set in Portland with the sights of the local area.
Recommended by Adrienne, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"It's a long way from a Nancy Drew parody (Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, 2005) to one of the most original serial-killer thrillers to appear in several years, but Cain makes the leap unscathed....This could well be the thriller of the year." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"In addition to spiky characters, Cain has a crisp voice, a wicked sense of humor, and an imagination for all the horrors that can unfold in a locked basement....Bad news for Archie, but good news for readers who relish a profoundly creepy thriller. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Heartsick has it all: a tortured cop, a fearless and quirky heroine, and what may be the creepiest serial killer ever created. This is an addictive read!" Tess Gerritsen

Review:

"With Gretchen Lowell, Chelsea Cain gives us the most compelling, most original serial killer since Hannibal Lecter." Chuck Palahniuk

Review:

"Heartsick is a dizzying novel. Lurid and suspenseful with well-drawn characters, plenty of grisly surprises and tart dialogue, it delivers what readers of this particular kind of thriller expect." Kathryn Harrison, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"[F]or teens who like their stories gritty, grim, and gory." School Library Journal

Review:

"[G]reat stuff for true-crime readers." Library Journal

Review:

"For all its heavy-handed touches, Heartsick is not a cookie-cutter book. In a genre that is rife with copycatting, Ms. Cain deserves some credit for having gotten a potentially interesting new series off the ground." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"Chelsea Cain's novel is completely entrancing and totally original — what a read. Between the humanity of Portland cop Archie Sheridan and the chilling and twisted design of his beautiful nemesis, Gretchen Lowell, Heartsick is utterly unforgettable. Cain is a wonderful — and terrifying — storyteller." Dominick Dunne

Synopsis:

In this riveting debut thriller, Chelsea Cain introduces an unforgettable female serial killer and a homicide detective more human than heroic.

Synopsis:

Cain's novel is completely entrancing and totally original--what a read. Between the humanity of Portland cop Archie Sheridan and the chilling and twisted design of his beautiful nemesis, Gretchen Lowell, "Heartsick" is utterly unforgettable.

Synopsis:

In this riveting debut thriller, Chelsea Cain introduces an unforgettable female serial killer and a homicide detective more human than heroic.

Synopsis:

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. Archies a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows shes 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 cant 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.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Chelsea Cain lived the first few years of her life on an Iowa commune, then grew up in Bellingham, Washington, where the infamous Green River Killer was "the boogeyman" of her youth. She started writing Heartsick to kill time while she was pregnant. Also the author of Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, a parody based on the life of Nancy Drew, several nonfiction titles, and a weekly column in The Oregonian, Chelsea Cain lives in Portland with her husband and daughter.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

tregatt1, June 19, 2008 (view all comments by tregatt1)
A good thriller needs a few key ingredients: a good and compelling plot, an enigmatic killer that captures the attention even as (s)he repels, and a central character -- usually the detective who is trying to stop the killer before (s)he kills again -- that is charismatic and engaging. Unfortunately, "Heartsick" lacked all of the above. The central plot -- the hunt for the killer who is kidnapping and murdering these teenage girls, gets lost between the subplots involving Sheridan's obsession with Lowell, and the one involving the other central character, reporter Susan Ward's, search for a good story. It almost felt as if the hunt for the current serial killer was a bit of an afterthought. Also, I didn't really find any of the characters all that engaging or compelling. This second point, I'll concede as a matter of personal taste and that other readers may not have the same reservations as I had. Most damning of all, thought, was that I didn't find "Heartsick" to be a very suspenseful read. I actually read the book over three days, and I don't usually take so long to read thrillers! There just was no tension, no "the-edge-of-your-seat" feeling. And what is a thriller without a few chills
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
Susan Hohman, October 4, 2007 (view all comments by Susan Hohman)
Chuck Palahnuik got it right when he called Gretchen Lowell "the most compelling, most original serial killer since Hannibal Lecter". I bought this book on its release date and devoured it. It's a fast-paced suspense and exceedingly gory horror story.
I just loved it!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(17 of 30 readers found this comment helpful)
Clark, September 16, 2007 (view all comments by Clark)
This book lives up to the hype. I am pleasantly surprised with this book. Cain has great characters throughout this book. The storyline is excellent, dramatic and suspenseful. I felt bad for the cop and creeped out by the serial killer. This book reads fast because you don't want to stop, my curiosity kept me turning the pages. I did not want the book to end, I can't wait for the next. Give this book a chance, I promise you won't regret it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(20 of 35 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312368463
Author:
Cain, Chelsea
Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Author:
McCormick, Carolyn
Author:
Chelsea
Author:
Cain
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Police
Subject:
Women journalists
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Thrillers/Suspense
Subject:
Thrillers/Crime
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series Volume:
No. 1
Publication Date:
20070904
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
9 CDs, 11 hours
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.94 x 0.91 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Pacific Northwest
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

Heartsick: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages St. Martin's Minotaur - English 9780312368463 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

One of the best thrillers I've read in years, Heartsick is taut, edgy, and disturbing, and Archie Sheridan is a compelling new character. I eagerly anticipate the next book in this new series.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Characters are what make a thriller memorable to me. The first in a series, Heartsick is full of richly drawn characters positioned in a triangulated relationship. In pursuit of a serial killer on a spree, our tormented protagonist, Archie Sheridan, must revisit his old demons and flash back on some truly disturbing violence done to him by the "Beauty Killer," a female serial killer from a former case. Don't pick up Heartsick when an early morning follows, as it will be the wee hours before you snap off your light.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Heartsick is a riveting, intense thriller with amazing characters — Detective Archie Sheridan; Gretchen Lowell, the beautiful yet evil serial killer; and Susan Ward, the newspaper reporter who follows the story. I love that this novel is set in Portland with the sights of the local area.

"Review" by , "It's a long way from a Nancy Drew parody (Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, 2005) to one of the most original serial-killer thrillers to appear in several years, but Cain makes the leap unscathed....This could well be the thriller of the year."
"Review" by , "In addition to spiky characters, Cain has a crisp voice, a wicked sense of humor, and an imagination for all the horrors that can unfold in a locked basement....Bad news for Archie, but good news for readers who relish a profoundly creepy thriller. (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "Heartsick has it all: a tortured cop, a fearless and quirky heroine, and what may be the creepiest serial killer ever created. This is an addictive read!"
"Review" by , "With Gretchen Lowell, Chelsea Cain gives us the most compelling, most original serial killer since Hannibal Lecter."
"Review" by , "Heartsick is a dizzying novel. Lurid and suspenseful with well-drawn characters, plenty of grisly surprises and tart dialogue, it delivers what readers of this particular kind of thriller expect."
"Review" by , "[F]or teens who like their stories gritty, grim, and gory."
"Review" by , "[G]reat stuff for true-crime readers."
"Review" by , "For all its heavy-handed touches, Heartsick is not a cookie-cutter book. In a genre that is rife with copycatting, Ms. Cain deserves some credit for having gotten a potentially interesting new series off the ground."
"Review" by , "Chelsea Cain's novel is completely entrancing and totally original — what a read. Between the humanity of Portland cop Archie Sheridan and the chilling and twisted design of his beautiful nemesis, Gretchen Lowell, Heartsick is utterly unforgettable. Cain is a wonderful — and terrifying — storyteller."
"Synopsis" by , In this riveting debut thriller, Chelsea Cain introduces an unforgettable female serial killer and a homicide detective more human than heroic.
"Synopsis" by , Cain's novel is completely entrancing and totally original--what a read. Between the humanity of Portland cop Archie Sheridan and the chilling and twisted design of his beautiful nemesis, Gretchen Lowell, "Heartsick" is utterly unforgettable.
"Synopsis" by ,
In this riveting debut thriller, Chelsea Cain introduces an unforgettable female serial killer and a homicide detective more human than heroic.
"Synopsis" by ,
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. Archies a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows shes 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 cant 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.

"Synopsis" by ,
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.

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