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Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell #5)


Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell #5) Cover

ISBN13: 9780312619787
ISBN10: 0312619782
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Archie Sheridan slept with the light on. The pills on his bedside table were Ambien. A year before they would have been pain pills. Vicodin. Oxycodone. A cheerful skyline of amber plastic bottles. Even now the table looked empty without the clutter. Just the Ambien, a cell phone, a week-old glass of tap water, and a red gooseneck lamp from IKEA.

His kept his gun in the drawer. On the nights the kids werent there, he slept with it loaded.

The Ambien prescription was untouched. Archie just liked to know it was there. Sleeping pills made Archie groggy, and groggy wasnt a luxury he could afford. If the phone rang, if someone died, he needed to go to work.

Besides, it wasnt getting to sleep that was the problem. It was staying asleep. He woke up every morning at three A.M., and was awake for an hour. That was how it had gone since the flood. Now he just figured it in. Went to bed an hour earlier. Compensated. He didnt mind it. As long as he controlled his thoughts, kept his mind from wandering to bad places, he was fine. Focus on the present. Avoid the dark.

The gooseneck lamp stayed on, its red metal shade getting hotter by the hour.

Three-ten A.M. Archie stared at the ceiling. The apartment was sweltering and his bedroom window was open. He could hear the distant grind of the construction equipment still working to clean up the flood damage downtown. Theyd been at it in swing shifts for three months, and the city still looked gutted.

If it wasnt the noise from the construction, it was the trains he heard at night: the engines, the whistles, the wheels on the tracks. They traveled through Portlands produce district around the clock.

Archie didnt mind the noise. It reminded him that he wasnt the only one awake.

Everyone had a cure for insomnia. Take a warm bath. Exercise. Drink a glass of warm milk. Eat a snack before bedtime. Drink herbal tea. Avoid caffeine. Listen to music. Get a massage.

Nothing worked.

His shrink told him to stay in bed.

Dont even read, she said. It would just make getting back to sleep harder.

He just had to lie there.

But his pillow was too flat. The used mattress hed bought groaned every time he turned over.

The heat made his scars itch. The new skin was tight and prickly, reminding him of every place her blade had sliced his flesh. His chest was knitted with scar tissue. Patches of dark hair sprouted around the thick pale pink gashes and pearly threads, unable to grow through the tough flesh.

That sort of itching, in the middle of the night, can make a person crazy, and sometimes, while he slept, he scratched his scars until they bled.

Archie ran a hand along his side, the scars pebbly under his fingers, and then over his chest, where his fingers found the heart-shaped scar she had carved into him with a scalpel. Then he made a fist with his hand, rolled over, and pinned it under his pillow.

*   *   *

Four-ten A.M.

Archies cell phone rang. He turned over in bed and looked at the clock on his bedside table. Hed been asleep ten minutes. It seemed like longer. His eyeballs felt gritty, his tongue coated. His hair was damp with sweat. He was on his stomach, naked, half his face smashed against the pillow. As he reached out and fumbled for his phone he knocked over the bottle of Ambien, which toppled and rolled off the bedside table and clattered to a stop somewhere under the bed.

Archie brought the phones glowing LCD screen to his face and immediately recognized the number.

He knew he should let it go to voice mail.

But he didnt.

“Hi, Patrick,” Archie said into the phone.

“I cant sleep,” Patrick said. His voice was a strained whisper. Probably trying not to wake up his parents. “What if he comes back to get me?” Patrick said.

“Hes dead,” Archie said.

Patrick was silent. Not convinced.

The official report had been death by drowning. A half-truth. Archie had held Patricks captors head underwater, and when he was dead, he had pushed his body into the current of the flooded river.

The corpse still hadnt surfaced.

“Believe me,” Archie said. Because I killed him.

“Will you come and visit me?” Patrick asked.

“I cant right now,” Archie said.

“Can I come and visit you?”

Archie rolled over on his back and rubbed his forehead with his hand. “I think your parents want to keep you close right now.”

“I heard them talking about me. They want to give me medicine.”

“Theyre trying to help you feel better.”

“I have a secret,” Patrick said.

“Do you want to tell me what it is?” Archie asked.

“Not yet.”

Archie didnt want to force it. Not after what Patrick had been through. “Okay,” he said.

“Will you count with me?” Patrick asked. It was something Archie had done with his own son. Counting breaths to get to sleep. Patrick and Ben were both nine. But Patricks experience had left him changed. He was mature without being sophisticated.

“Sure,” Archie said. He waited. He could hear Patrick getting settled and imagined him curled on his side on the couch in his familys living room, the phone held to his ear. Archie had never seen that couch, that house, but hed seen photographs in the police file. He could picture it.

“One,” Archie said. He paused and listened as Patrick drew a breath and exhaled it. “Two.” Archie sat up in bed. Patrick yawned. “Three.” He put his feet on the floor. “Four.” Stood up. “Five.” The windows in his bedroom were original, made up of dozens of factory-style rectangular panes. If Archie ran his fingers over the glass, he could feel tiny waves and ripples on the surface.

“Six,” he said.

He made his way to the window. “Seven.” The light was on inside, and it was still dark enough outside that Archie could see his own mirror image in the glass. As he got closer, his reflection faded and the city appeared. Out his window the Willamette cut a curved path north, slicing the city in half. A sliver of light along the silhouette of the West Hills marked the first hint of dawn. The river was almost lilac-colored.

“Eight,” he said.

It was the trucks backup alarm that caught his attention. The window was open, hinged along the top so that it swung out horizontally. Archies eyes flicked down to the street below.


The streetlights were still on. The produce district had wide streets, built big enough for multiple trucks full of apples and strawberries. But the trucks didnt run much anymore. The warehouses were now mostly home to used office supply stores, fringe art galleries, Asian antique stores, coffeehouses, and microbreweries. It was close in and cheap, as long as you didnt mind the trains that barreled through the neighborhood every few hours.


The truck down below had backed up to the loading dock of Archies building and stopped. A black sedan pulled up beside it. Two men got out of the cab of the truck and walked around to slide the back door up. A woman got out of the black car. Archie knew she was a woman the same way he knew that the men in the truck were men. It was how they stood, how they moved, the dark shapes of their bodies in the yellow glow of the streetlights. The woman said something to the men, and then took a few steps back and watched as the men started unloading large cardboard boxes from the truck.

A U-Haul.

Someone was moving into the building. At four in the morning.

Archie had stopped counting.

“Patrick?” he said.

The other end of the line was silent.

“Good night,” Archie whispered.

He ended the call. It was 4:17 A.M. The bed beckoned. He could still get a few hours sleep before he had to head in to the office. As he stepped away from the window, he thought he saw the woman look up at him.


Copyright © 2012 by Verite Inc.

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Courtney Dillinger, November 8, 2012 (view all comments by Courtney Dillinger)
This chapter in the Gretchen/Archie series is nothing short of amazing. Each time a new one is released, I attempt to read just a few pages at a time, but fail miserably. Inevitably I devour every word in just one to tow days, then have the agonizing wait for the next novel. *sigh* Such is the life. I can only hope Mrs. Cain acheives her goal of writing at least one more novel than the Nancy Drew series. I can only hope.
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Jodi, September 15, 2012 (view all comments by Jodi)
I started Kill You Twice yesterday. As much as I always want to savor Chelsea books, like a delicacy, in the end. ...
with the first taste, I wolf it all down in one bite... then am left to contemplate the tasty memory of the morsels! Thanks for another great ride.
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Becky Weyrauch, August 28, 2012 (view all comments by Becky Weyrauch)
This series is different than most murder mystery/thrillers. At least to me. While most always get you connected to the detective and/or the team, this one has more going on. All the characters you get to know, but slowly as if you were actually getting to this person - not the quick wikipedia rundown on character backgrounds in other books. And finally in this book in the series we are finally getting to know the serial killer that Archie has chased on/off throughout this series. Gretchen Lowell. One of the best serial killers written - and its a female! Its hard to talk about what's so great about this book without giving everything away. Archie is not your classic detective and not your average tragic hero. Susan is not just a spunky writer with a hair that changes color as often as people change their shirts. Gretchen is not the killer you'd think of when you're describing a serial killer. You get to know these people and get excited about reading about them with every book. It's the characters and how real they are that make this series so good and make you keep coming back. I have loved every book in this series, but Kill You Twice is my favorite. After I read it, all I could think was "Wow". Then I started reading it again. Get the book. Thank Chelsea Cain for writing. Get sucked in like the rest of us. You won't regret it.
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Product Details

Cain, Chelsea
Minotaur Books
Popular Fiction-Suspense
Series Volume:
No. 5
Publication Date:
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Kill You Twice (Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell #5) Used Hardcover
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Minotaur Books - English 9780312619787 Reviews:
"Review" by , "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 building tension as we wait for the narrative to burst into overdrive once again. Masterful on every level."
"Review" by , "Utter engrossing...Cain [creates] riveting character drama between two damaged souls."
"Synopsis" by , America's most seductive serial killer is back, haunting every page of bestseller Chelsea Cain's latest heart-stopping thriller, this time drawing Portland detective Archie Sheridan deeper into the dark secrets of her past.

Archie Sheridan should be healing — mentally and physically — from his past run-ins with serial killer Gretchen Lowell. But while he seems to be making some progress, hes just as haunted as the day she let him go. He tries to focus on his work: a cyclist has come across a corpse in Mount Tabor Park on the eastern side of Portland. The man was gagged and hanging by his wrists from a tree, his torso skinned. It is the brutal work of a killer bold enough to torture his victim for hours on a sunny summer morning in a big public park.

The investigation isn't far along before Archie gets a call from an unlikely source. In fact, after months of ignoring calls from a doctor at the mental hospital where Gretchen is supposed to be locked away forever, Archie is surprised to hear that she claims to have inside knowledge about the new investigation, and finally agrees to see her face-to-face. Archie is sure she is bluffing just to get close to him, but he cant take the chance of losing his only lead.

One thing is for sure: Gretchen Lowell is back in Chelsea Cains fifth gripping blockbuster thriller, and Archie must decide if catching a killer is worth facing his demons one more time.

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