Chelsea Cain

Evil at Heart

"Has the Beauty Killer returned to her gruesome ways or has the cult surrounding her created a whole new evil."


Gretchen Lowell is still on the loose. These days, she's more of a cause célèbre than a feared killer, thanks to sensationalist news coverage that has made her a 'star'. Her face graces magazine covers weekly and there have been sightings of her around the world. Most shocking of all, Portland Herald reporter, Susan Ward, has uncovered a bizarre kind of fan club which celebrates the number of days she's been free.

Archie Sheridan hunted her for a decade, and after his last ploy to catch her went spectacularly wrong, remains hospitalized months later.

When they last spoke, they entered a détente of sorts... Archie agreed not to kill himself if she agreed not to kill anyone else. But when a new body is found accompanied by Gretchen's trademark heart, all bets are off and Archie is forced back into action.

Has the Beauty Killer returned to her gruesome ways or has the cult surrounding her created a whole new evil?

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I enjoyed the third book in the Grethen Lowell/Archie Sheridan series, despite it being similar to the previous two novels. The two main characters have, in all three books, gone around in circles in their 'relationship', but there hasn't really been any progression or a sign of a definitive ending. Archie is easy to like, a well drawn character, although he has a weak side, shown clearly through his addiction. Gretchen is quite a mysterious character who despite taking a leading role in Cain's three novels, still seems rather elusive. I feel something is missing from the story as there has been no background as to who Gretchen really is, or why she acts the way she does. It would be great if Cain can give us background to Gretchen to somehow explain how she developed into the serial killer. I would prefer to see a different plot develop in future books. As with Cain's other Sheridan/Lowell books, Evil at Heart is a gripping and fast paced novel. It can also be gruesome at times but it is definitely worth a read. We may even yet get to see Gretchen coming to a cinema screen near you!!

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