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?
Another page turning hit. Chelsea Cain has one of the darkest imaginations I have ever read, and I love every word of it. Archie and Gretchen go way back, back to when she kidnapped him and tortured him nearly to death. Now they have this bizarre connection that neither one can break or are willing to break. Gretchen is locked away in a mental hospital, but someone is killing people that leads Archie closer to solving some old murders that are blamed on Gretchen.
This book has all the plot twists and turns that keep you trying to figure out who the killer is, how is the murderer tied to Gretchen, and where the hell did Gretchen come from. Archie gets closer than he has ever gotten to discovering all her secrets. And wow, are there some jaw dropping surprises! Cain's character development has reached an amazing level. Archie, Henry, and Susan are all back for another round of murder, thrills, scares, and near-death moments. Add in Claire, Leo and Bliss and you have the perfect balance. The plot with Archie, Susan, and Gretchen has reached a comfortable level where you can almost guess what they are thinking, or what they are going to do. And as we peel back the layers of Gretchen's life, we only get more questions. Leaving us with another cliff hangar ending.