Evil at Heart, the third in the Archie and Gretchen series, picks up two months after Gretchen Lowell escaped in last year’s installment, Heartsick. Archie Sheridan has taken a leave of absence from the task force and voluntarily checked himself into a psych ward to help with his vicodin addiction and suicidal tendencies. He is lingering in the mental hospital when a series of bodies are found that point to Gretchen Lowell as the murder, violating her and Archie’s agreement that she would stop killing in return for him not to commit suicide. Gretchen has reached cult status, with fan groups, crime scene tours, t-shirts, and memorabilia. Some even celebrate the number of days she has been free. Susan Ward, journalist for the Herald, wants to write a book about society’s fascination with a serial killer. When an anonymous tip leads her to one of the bodies, she is drawn back into the hunt for Gretchen along with Henry, Archie’s partner.
Chelsea Cain’s novels are quick page turners. The latest is filled with same intensity and suspense. At times, the gory details made me flinch. The character’s relationships are intriguing and I can’t wait til the next to find out how they evolve. Susan’s death facts were morbidly funny. Archie’s problems make my heart ache in sympathy. I was glad to see that he is making improvements. I would recommend this books series. It reminds of Hannibal Lector-you know the person is a killer, but you can’t help but like them a little.