Published: March 9th 2007 by Macmillan
Genre: Crime/ Mystery Thriller
Acquired: Local Library
Date Finished: June 1st 2012
When beautiful serial killer Gretchen Lowell captured her last victim - the very detective who was trying to hunt her down - she quickly established who was really in control of the investigation. So why, after 10 days of horrifying physical and mental torture, did she release Detective Archie Sheridan on the brink of death and hand herself in? No one else will ever know what happened between Gretchen and Archie, and even with his tormentor serving life Archie remains both obsessed and driven by a mysterious, terrifying dynamic that was born during his time alone with her. One thing is clear - Archie does not believe he was ever truly freed. Two years on Archie, shadowed by vulnerable, naive young reporter Susan Ward, must lead a new hunt for the 'after school killer', and he knows that one person can help him climb into the mind of this psychopath. But are there links between these brutal deaths and Gretchen's own unthinkable past? And will this only give Gretchen an invitation to play puppeteer once more? In turns shocking and touching, this startling, compulsive debut introduces a complex psychopathic killer who will haunt your every waking hour long after you finish the last page.
When I heard Krista over at the Cubical Blindness talk briefly about this book and describe it as a crossed between Dexter and Silence of the Lambs I knew sure as anything that I had to get this book. With an emptied bank account I pretty much raced down the library to make sure I could get the single copy they had, despite my book ban till we move. I gotta tell you that this is one of the greatest decisions I have made this week.
You’re probably asking yourself, Blair why would you want to read this book if you are moving house [which I am] and I asked myself the same question as this book deals with twisted, sordid and psychological issues that kept me up way past my bed time, not afraid but eager to continue reading despite the crawling of my skin reading the flashback chapters of Archie’s captivity and when meeting Gretchen for the first time. Oh and did my heart beat faster. But that is the wonderful thing about this book it is captivating, and I felt like I was trapped inside Archie’s mind, feeling everything he was and seeing it through his eyes. Scarily I could relate to those feelings, obviously not being tortured but being trapped mentally and almost sensually by someone who has manipulated your way of thinking. I could not get enough and it made Chelsea’s writing so much more honest.
Susan was a character who again when completing the book and reflecting and I can connect with as well. For the most part I wasn’t exactly her biggest fan. But at the same time I wanted to get to know her even deeper. I love the way that Chelsea drew experiences from Susan’s childhood and teenage years and really gave definition to Susan as a person in her adult life who is ultimately deeply damaged by her past and while not as fucked up as Archie, still lends herself to be a sever train wreck waiting to happen.
Would I say that it reminded me of a Dexter/ Silence of the Lambs crossover? No, I think this story has subtle references and characteristics of Silence of the Lambs, but the only real comparison to Dexter is the Serial Killing part and if I wanted to go there I could reference a hundred different crime books right here and now, however having a deeply disturbed and intensely fascinating female Serial Killer made for one hell of a refreshing read.
Was this book predictable? In some parts, mainly because I think Chelsea used such obvious psychology and almost text-book crime fiction format. Did that ruin the story? No it never did and even when everything was unfolding just the way I had imagined it in my twisted mind, I still was clutching my chest and trying to calm myself down.
I strongly believe this is one of those books to go into not knowing too much about it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone as it is a great start to a series and I will be continuing without a doubt. I would recommend this book for fans of crime of course, but also for fans who like character driven fiction as to me this felt strongly driven by the characters behavior and thoughts and the consequences of a domino effect through a ten year span.
Overall I greatly enjoyed Heartsick. It was the perfect book to ease myself back into my love for Crime and I am super excited to get started on the second book a.s.a.p. As always if you have read the book yourself let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment or posting a vlog response about it and link it back so I can check it out.
I am going to give this:
Blood stained nails