Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books: Evil at Heart

I received the ARC of Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain from LibraryThing. Chelsea Cain is one of those people I keep hearing good things about, but hadn't quite gotten around to reading yet.
Evil at Heart is the third book about serial killer Gretchen Lowell, also known as the Beauty Killer. I had not read the prior too, but just jumped in to this one. While I am sure there are nuances I missed, I felt informed enough to get through it fine.
Archie, who had led the task force, remains in the psych ward. His doctors have suggested that he is well enough to leave, having recovered from his pain killer addiction and seeming to have improved.
Body parts are discovered at a rest stop along with the signature hearts of the Beauty Killer and Henry, the cop now leading the task force is trying to both keep the investigation moving forward and convince Archie to rejoin the real world (which for Henry means the task force). Susan, a reporter, who was kidnapped by the Beauty Killer is also trying to talk to Archie, supposedly to assist with the book she wants to write about the case. Susan is drawn further into the case when she is contacted about a body. Her research into fan sites of the Beauty Killer also proves useful as she, the task force, and Archie, who is lured out of the hospital, look further into the latest murders.
The book also gives some interesting thought to the media treatment such killers get.
The writing was great here, and I found the case intriguing. It is about a serial killer, so there are some gruesome bits. I didn't find it terribly hard to read, but I read a lot fictional serial killer books*.
The thing that I did wonder, on finishing is how long this series is expected to extend. I will talk about that more in another post, because that's really a separate issue.
*This may seem a silly warning, but I have seen a number of people complain that books about serial killers were gory and/or twisted.