Monday, February 21, 2011
The Night Season by Chelsea Cain
Gretchen is locked up, so Archie has been concentrating on his job and trying not to think of the vicodin that he was addicted to for a few years. He's clean now, but he still misses it.
The Williamette River keeps rising. Years ago, it was breached and thousands died. Now, bodies keep being found, drowned. Archie thinks nothing of it until the medical examiner finds a puncture mark on the victim. Murder, probably. But when they then examine the other bodies, they find the same puncture mark. They have a serial killer on their hands. With more tests done, they come to the conclusion that a rare octopus is biting the victims, causing almost instant paralysis. When Archie's dear friend and partner Henry is bit, Archie can hardly breathe himself. They get Henry to the hospital in time, but the bite is deadly and all they can do is wait for the inevitable.
Meanwhile, reporter Susan Ward has been creating a bigger name for herself in the newspaper industry. Archie allows her on almost every crime scene, and Susan usually scoops the competition. She's been working on a really old story of when the town of Vanport was flooded and many killed; a place not far from their current location. She found a skeleton and believes it to be one of the victims. Archie doesn't see what the connection could be and concentrates on his current case.
When his investigation deepens, they realize a young boy is involved. A boy kidnapped over a year ago. Archie vows to the parents he will retrieve him and bring him home. But if Archie keeps jumping in the river to save people, he won't be able to save himself. His lungs are very weak from the torture he sustained from Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell.
The stakes heat up and the killer is closer than they think. As the water rises, the deaths climb and no where near the water is safe, especially not knowing where the killer lurks with the deadly octupus.
The Night Season is a great addition to the series. It is great to see Susan Ward move forward into the passenger seat alongside Archie. When he isn't being tortured or lusting after Gretchen or trying to catch her, he is a great detective and he shines in this novel. Susan's character is strong and she grows in maturity without giving up any of her unique characteristics. Although I really enjoyed this novel, I was disappointed not to see Gretchen until the end of the book. However, it is a plus for Cain to show that she doesn't need Gretchen to write a top-notch thriller with a solid page-turning plot that will have you up late into the night. Now I can't wait for the next one! Write faster Chelsea!!