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 Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain

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Laura
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Dictionary Definition : Laura: Also known as "Solveig", her internet pseudonym, this female specimen of Homo Sapiens founded the Literary Cabinet world. One can spot "Laura," by the fun she has grading papers and drinking coffee, with triple coffee consumption ever since she quit smoking. Like another species, Homo Sapiens Zarasahanous, she enjoys picking at the extreme Twilight fans. This specimen is particularly fond of procrastinating, as most of the other species of the Literary Cabinet Universe are.
Registration date : 2008-12-02

PostSubject: Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain   Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:05 am

So, I'm back to psychopathic serial killers.

I have only read two out of the three books that have already been published, but I'll give you a quick impression of them. The first novel was given to me for Christmas, and it took some getting used to. The serial killer is a woman, and she is already in jail when the plot sets in.

The story framing it all is rather complicated: Gretchen Lowell has already killed some 200 people when she infiltrates the team that is hunting her, led by Det. Archie Sheridan. She then kidnaps Sheridan and tortures him for ten days before releasing him and allowing his team to capture her. After that, he remains permanently bound to her by some really, really weird and perverse sense of duty. He makes a deal with her: He visits her every Sunday, and she will tell him about her other victims (so the team will be able to close some of the cases).

The serial killer that is actually "the case" in the first novel (called Heartsick) is secondary. In the second novel, Sweetheart, they don't even bother to hunt any other killer. They have to hunt Gretchen again because she managed to escape. They don't catch her, though, so I have a pretty good idea what the third novel, Evil at heart, will be about.

In a way, it's not the crimes that are fascinating in this series. It's the characters. Cain produces wonderful characters, full and rounded and terribly flawed. None of them is only good or only bad - not even Gretchen herself. By the middle of the second novel, I had a pretty good idea of why Archie feels so drawn to her.

I'd recommend the series to readers of Tess Gerritsen, Sebastian Fitzek (has he ever been translated into English anyway?), Cody McFadyen, Karin Slaughter and Kathy Reichs.
I'll update this when I've finished the third novel Smile

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Laura
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Number of posts : 2387
Age : 32
Location : Germany
Dictionary Definition : Laura: Also known as "Solveig", her internet pseudonym, this female specimen of Homo Sapiens founded the Literary Cabinet world. One can spot "Laura," by the fun she has grading papers and drinking coffee, with triple coffee consumption ever since she quit smoking. Like another species, Homo Sapiens Zarasahanous, she enjoys picking at the extreme Twilight fans. This specimen is particularly fond of procrastinating, as most of the other species of the Literary Cabinet Universe are.
Registration date : 2008-12-02

PostSubject: Re: Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain   Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:09 pm

So, here comes the update, since I've recently finished the third installment in the series, "Evil at heart". Also, I have found out that there will be a fourth and even a fifth book in the series, which delights me! I love you

The third novel is supposed to be the big climax that the readers have been waiting for ever since Gretchen Lowell first stepped onto the stage of literary serial killers. It is, in a way. In other ways, it is somewhat predictable. Of course, Gretchen escapes from prison (there wouldn't be a plot if she didn't), and of course, there are again people who copy her style of working (I refer to her crimes as "work" since both character and narrator do so repeatedly).

However, knowing Gretchen as well as he does, one would expect a little more insight from Det. Archie Sheridan who is still following her every step, even from the loony bin, where the action begins. I as a reader sometimes had the urge to reach into the book, slap him hard and tell him to wake the f*ck up, since it was so obvious that some ingenious scheme of his would turn sour in a page or two. The fact that he is still madly in love with her doesn't help him to see clearly either. Rolling Eyes

Still, it is probably this clumsiness that keep the suspense alive. In this series, you can never be sure that they'll get the bad guy, I mean girl, in the end. Usually, she manages to slip through their fingers at the very last moment.

Again, if anyone here is into thrillers, give it a shot. Smile

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