Evil at Heart: A Thriller (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell Book 3) by Chelsea Cain
This is the best series of crime thriller fiction I have ever graced my mind with. All three books come together like a complete book. A superb read that never falters the imagination and the mystery and suspense of this tense tale of good and bad. The unflinching reality of perfect characters give the story a true experience like no psychological book has ever done.
Cain is a writing god when it comes to building the perfect base to a story by forming the beautiful twisted world of characters. Henry the big brother type detective to Archie. Susan the young naïve explore to the end reporter. Debbie the sane ex-wife. Archie the lost soul seeking the ultimate high called death and Gretchen the true spider that weaves the web to complete the base and weave the plot to a dangerous and sensual and sick and disgusting drama that lasts upon the one reading.
Cain gives moments you will never forget. Cain has created a new world in which she has brought the female world into the serial killer reality. She has taken an old story plot and refreshed it with true originality. The plot thickens once more. Archie is in an asylum, body parts are being left, and Susan is trying to write a book and is swept again into another setting of murder. Gretchen still taunts and haunts. This is the weakest of the series, the first two books grab the reader in the first ten pages making you hooked, this one is more drawn out and predictable and even after a hundred pages the book still does not hook. The book is a great read just not spectacular like the other two. You as the reader start to question how much more of this can take place without it being silly or non-reality based.
Yes, Gretchen is this sadistic smart genius, Hannibal like Lector character but after a while you’re scratching your head and saying does she have super powers, is she a mutant with invisibility and mind control powers. The first two books explored the sadistic nature of a perfect psycho serial killer, this one starts to overlap itself into the basic simple crime thriller that any author could write. I feel the worst reality to the story is making Susan and Archie almost this Laurel and Hardy type of sleuths. The concept of Archie being deeply disturbed and Susan’s quest for the truth in the first two books had made them unique and wonderful written characters and now it’s like it’s been washed away and hidden from the story.
Cain seemed to walk away from what made the story the best written. With all the negative said, it’s still a very interesting read with many psychos from copycat crazies to the queen herself Gretchen. The story is outrageous and very over the top to the point it’s not believable, but it still maintains the reader.
Finally, on Chapter 56 which is page 262 of the paperback, and then all the way to the end of page 324 is when the book really takes off with impact and leaves finally that lasting reality that you had with book one and book two.