The First thing that I must say about this novel is that it is amazing! It's really like watching a movie in your head. The sequence of the story is unique and made so that we see little parts of the story revealed bit by bit so you CAN'T put down the book because you need to get to the next chapter to see what happened. Well, detective Archie Sheridan has been leading the Beauty Killer Task Force for 10 years. They're whole goal is to find the man, or woman, who has been killing young girls. But, then Archie gest kidnapped by the same killer that he's looking for. It turns out to be the beautiful Gretchen Lowell. She actually snuk her way into the force as a kind therapist in order to help them cope with anything traumatic. So she kidnaps Archie and drugs him so many times it's a miracle that he didn't die of an overdose, but the only reason that this doesn't happen is because Gretchen knows exactly how much of what to give him. From there the story goes to the present where Archie is in his apartment. This is where it gets a bit confusing so let me explain, the story goes in the sequence that as Archie lives his daily life the other story of his kidnapping and his ten day torture is revealed.
Archie wakes up in his apartment and it's a mess. The lights are out, no dishes have been cleaned, no trash has been taken out, and Archie? He's as much as mess as his apartment. Then he gets a call from his former partner calls him and tells him that there is a new serial killer and that they need him to lead a new task force. Of course, Archie refuses at first, but his oh so suave partner tells him exactly what he needs to hear and Archie is in. Now what no one knows except Archies Partner is that Archie is addicted to pain killers. This happened because of everything that Gretchen did to him. I can't even tell you how many meds that guy got into his system. So back at the force his partner tells him that the newspaper wants to cover the story. So he chose a journalist to profile Archie. Her name is Susan Ward, she's wild and has pink hair. Yeah, I was shocked too.
Well at this point the story of the torture that Gretchen put Archie through is revealed. She took him god knows where, to a house, and down to the basement. There she stripped him naked and tied him on a surgical bed and put a white sheet covering him from the waist down... I have to give points for descretion. She gagged him and fed him pain meds and she even made him drink a cleaning product. If you're not feeling sorry for Archie at this point then maybe this will get him your pity. She drove huge oversized nails into his chest with a hammer and made a heart with them. She put him under no anastezia whatsoever. And if you STILL don't feel bad for him, she also surgically removed his spleen and sent it in an envelope to his partner. This all went to the point where Archie actually started asking Gretchen for pain killers, which she gave him. He even wanted to die. In fact he almost did due to an infection on the wound from the surgery. But here is where the story takes a turn. As he was on the brink of death, Gretchen brought him back to life, called 911, and turned herself in. Why? That's up to you to decide.
I'm not going to say any more of this story because those of you who have not read it should. All that I have said is just the beginning, the story gets really enthralling from here on. I have to say that this book was so good that I HAD to finish it the first day. The characters are so well portrayed. There's no mistaking identity, each have their personality and the feel that they have is so real. It makes you think that the next time that you watch the news and a report about a serial killer comes out you are just going to see Archie at the scene. This book was obviously a New York Times best seller because of the mind bogling events and the eye popping description. If you don't squirm even once at the torture scenes then you're not into the book. Chelsea Cain is definately an amazing author. You have to give her praise for this story, no doubt about it.
By the way, There is a sequel to this book and it's called SWEETHEART. If you're a fan of Archie and Gretchen then definately buy it. I know I will and when I do you can definately expect a review from me.