Set in 2100, “Fortuna” envisions an Earth where a collapsed economy and climate crises have eliminated the middle class, leaving a few very wealthy and the teeming masses in severe poverty. To give hope and avoid revolt, the elite create Fortuna, a mysterious game where one in a thousand wins a big payday and joins the upper classes. But their hidden goal to “reduce poverty” by 30% over 50 years comes with a deadly price tag.
Six best-selling novels in six years is impressive by any standard. But every entry in Chelsea Cain’s Sheridan/Lowell series is uniformly excellent, and Let Me Go (August 13; Minotaur Books) is no exception. No doubt Cain’s batting average has other authors squirming with envy.
It’s been 10 weeks since the events of Kill You Twice, and with prodigious serial killer Gretchen Lowell once again on the loose, half-broken detective Archie Sheridan attempts to find distraction by tackling another case. Undercover DEA agent Leo––a fringe player in the previous novels––has gotten himself into one hell of a mess with his mobbed up father, and it’s up to Archie to dig him out. As always, Cain is a masterful plotter––there are murders and mob parties, blackouts and blowjobs, and it’s all loads of fun to try to figure out. But through all the tangential mayhem, Cain knows that the increasingly twisted relationship between Gretchen and Archie is what readers crave. And with Let Me Go, she really delivers.
As the series has progressed, Cain has occasionally taken the Dexter approach––pushing the Gretchen/Archie dynamic to the background as she utilizes her supporting cast to explore a case-of-the-week. For those who read the series solely for the depraved central relationship, these moments can be frustrating. But all of the character development really pays off with Let Me Go, as Cain’s minor players truly take on a life of their own. As usual, Cain brings her fiendish sense of humor to the party, as well as the sort of totally cool investigative details that come from good research. Hell, at this point I’d be happy to read Cain’s shopping list. With her increasingly excellent Heartsick series, and Gretchen and Archie in particular, she has created a fully formed literary universe full of characters that are real, raw, and flawed. Here’s hoping Chelsea Cain never lets any of them go.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Skulls
I’m sure plenty of our readers are familiar with Chelsea Cain’s series of gory psychological thrillers featuring pill-popping detective Archie Sheridan and seductive serial killer Gretchen Lowell. Sadly, I was late to the party. After stumbling across a few of her short stories earlier this year, I finally sought out Cain’s wickedly addictive series. Meanwhile, a rabid fan base has been soaking up Cain’s novels since 2008, when the first book in the series, Heartsick, was released. Cable station FX, knowing a hot commodity when they see it, recently began developing a television series based on the Sheridan/Lowell novels. The fifth book in the series, Kill You Twice, was released on August 7 from Minotaur Books. I tore through it like butter. Existing fans will not be disappointed, and new fans…well, now you’ve got another entry to look forward to. The full review follows. READ MORE
FX has put in development a drama series adaptation of Chelsea Cain’s best-selling book series “Heartsick,” reports Deadline. Mikko Alanne (5 Days Of War) is set to write the series adaptation. The thriller novels, “Heartsick,” “Sweetheart” and “Evil At Heart,” “Center on beautiful therapist-turned-series killer Gretchen Lowell and her relationship with damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan.”
Here’s Amazon’s synopsis: “Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of another kind—addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off his mind. Archie’s a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she’s right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only he can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth—he can’t stay away.
When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer, and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen, once and for all. Either way, Heartsick makes for one of the most extraordinary suspense debuts in recent memory.“