Let Me Go

It's Halloween weekend AND Archie's birthday.  (He is such a Scorpio.)  Guess who's planning a birthday surprise?  Gretchen Lowell is back, and she's wearing a costume.  Archie finally learns what the hell is up with his neighbor, Rachel.  Susan gets to go to a masquerade party, and it totally sucks.  And she gets kidnapped.  Again.  This is my favorite book yet.  And I'm not just saying that because I want you to pre-order it RIGHT NOW.  I'm saying that because it really is everything I love all rolled into one.  To all of you who missed Gretchen in The Night Season, this one is for you.  For the rest of you: I offer one sentence.  "Det. Archie Sheridan gets his first lap dance, and everyone almost dies." 

Reviews (click to expand)


BOOKLIST (starred review), by Bill Ott

It figures that nonpareil serial killer Gretchen Lowell, on the loose since Kill You Twice (2012), would pick Halloween for a return trip to Portland, Oregon. After all, with all those revelers adorned in Beauty Killer masks, blond wigs, and red lipstick, no one will be able to tell the real Gretchen from the imitations. Except police detective Archie Sheridan, of course, on whose battered body Gretchen has done some of her best work, and who still can’t get Gretchen out of both his nightmares and sexual fantasies. But Archie has a lot on his mind. A DEA agent has been murdered, and it looks like the long-running sting operation aimed at a local drug lord may be in jeopardy. Hoping to learn more, Archie crashes the drug lord’s Halloween costume party, where he gets a late-night visit from Gretchen (or was that part just a fantasy?). Slowly Archie realizes that Gretchen has been stage-managing much of his recent life from afar, all leading up to a series of birthday surprises that put Archie’s pal, punky reporter Susan Ward, in grave danger. But here’s the thing: Cain knows she needs to keep playing with the dynamic between Gretchen and Archie—and even with our view of Gretchen—if this series is going to stay both fresh and exciting, and she always finds new ways to do it. Gretchen Lowell isn’t just the most fascinating villain (and certainly the most appealing serial killer) to appear in crime fiction in many, many years; she’s also becoming a multifaceted character capable of engendering a much wider range of emotions than one would expect of somebody who enjoys carving up spleens.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Cain’s previous Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell thrillers have routinely appeared on the New York Times bestseller lists, and the legion of fans who can’t get enough of the Beauty Killer will be lining up for more.

— Bill Ott