Cover of KILL YOU TWICE; photo courtesy off Minotaur Books
KILL YOU TWICE by Chelsea Cain
The most overlooked writer in the field of mystery/thrillers is Chelsea Cain. This talented writer
creates stories that are razor sharp in their delivery and heart stopping in their presentation. All of her
novels focus on Portland Detective Archie Sheridan and serial killer Gretchen Lowell. The relationship between
these two people defies logic and comprehension, but followers of Cain’s stories know what basic needs keeps
them in contact with each other.
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In Cain’s latest novel KILL YOU TWICE Archie is back at work and Gretchen is locked up in a psych
ward. It seems this time her luck has run out and she will be kept away from society for the duration of her
life. Archie is still reminded of her every time he looks at the scars that criss-cross his body. In the past
Gretchen had him at her mercy and tortured him to the brink of death. Still she never crossed that line and
still maintains her affection for him.
For Archie, his relationship with Gretchen has not only scarred his body but also his life. His
best friends are his co-workers Henry Sobol and Claire Masland. Henry is the only person in whom Archie
intentionally confides; however reporter Susan Ward is able to get some information out of Archie that he
doesn’t intend to release. Archie trusts Susan but he doesn’t like opening up to a reporter.
With Gretchen locked up things should be a little more peaceful in Portland, but that is not the
case. Archie is called to the scene of a new murder, and shortly thereafter another murder. Both of these have
some of Gretchen’s signature elements. When Gretchen is questioned about the new murders she says a copycat by
the name of Ryan Motley is committing the crimes. But is it a copycat or someone Gretchen is controlling from
her hospital room?
The suspense in KILL YOU TWICE, as in all of Cain’s four previous novels, never lets up. It is
intense and confounding. You search the words of the book for an explanation but Cain only lets a few bits of
relevant information slip into the pages, and that is purely on her timetable.
Each of Cain’s novels stand alone but it is a fact the reader would enjoy and appreciate each one
more if he/she had read the previous stories. There is so much about the relationship between Archie and
Gretchen that is not repeated in each successive novel. Theirs is a twisted and unusual relationship that has to
be studied in order to be somewhat understood.
Cain is a writer whose novels are quickly reaching the level of excellence you find in the writings
of Jeffery Deaver and Karin Slaughter. She isn’t quite there yet but her talent is on the rise. KILL YOU TWICE
is one of her best efforts.
KILL YOU TWICE is published by Minotaur Books. It contains 326 pages and sells for $25.99.